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Article
Migration and Racial Formations Among Somali Immigrants in North America
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies (2006)
  • Abdi M. Kusow, Oakland University
Abstract
Early writers on migrants in North America such as Bryce-Laporte (1972) lamented the lack of research on black immigrants, referring to them as invisible immigrants. Since then, both the volume of research on foreign-born blacks as well as their share of the overall black population in North America have risen dramatically. This increase signals that the black population in North America is a diverse group increasingly identifying themselves more by culture and/or nationality than by skin colour. Using qualitative research methods, this project focuses on the disjuncture between how one set of black immigrants—Somalis—understand blackness in their homelands and how it is defined in North America. The findings reveal the problematics of racial categories and confirm the situational nature of racial identities. The results of this study are not substantially confined to African immigrants alone, but carry both theoretical and conceptual significance for the development, maintenance and consequences of racial formations in North America.
Keywords
  • Migration,
  • Racial Formations,
  • Blackness,
  • Somali Immigrants,
  • Identity
Publication Date
April, 2006
Citation Information
Abdi M. Kusow. "Migration and Racial Formations Among Somali Immigrants in North America" Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies Vol. 32 Iss. 3 (2006)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/abdi_kusow/7/