Skip to main content
African Immigrants in the United States: Implications for Affirmative Action
Sociology Mind
  • Abdi M. Kusow, Iowa State University
Document Type
Publication Version
Published Version
Publication Date
For more than half a century, an extensive literature has consistently reported that first-and second-generation black immigrants are more educated and economically successful than African Americans. This literature has also suggested that black immigrants are benefiting from affirmative action more so than African Americans without having been the direct objects of slavery and historical discrimination. An important shortcoming of this literature, however, is that it presumes an undifferentiated black immigrant success story and obscures important differences across black immigrants from different countries of origin. Using data from the three census years (1980, 1990, and 2000), I examine the extent to which the black immigrant success story is directly relevant to African immigrants from different countries of origin in the United States. The findings of the study reveal that African immigrants are represented in the entire continuum of the American class structure, and therefore, any representation of a uniform experience is not empirically defensible. Empirical and theoretical implications of affirmative action are also discussed.

This article is from Sociology Mind, 4 (2014): 74-83. doi:10.4236/sm.2014.41010. Posted with permission.

Copyright © 2014 Abdi M. Kusow. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. In accordance of the Creative Commons Attribution License all Copyrights ©2014 are reserved for SCIRP and the owner of the intellectual property Abdi M. Kusow.
Copyright Owner
The author
File Format
Citation Information
Abdi M. Kusow. "African Immigrants in the United States: Implications for Affirmative Action" Sociology Mind Vol. 4 Iss. 1 (2014) p. 74 - 83
Available at: