From West Africa

africanIn her book, African & American: West Africans in Post-Civil Rights America (New York University Press, 2014), Boston College alumna Violet Showers Johnson and co-author Marilyn Halter tell the story of first and second generation West African immigrants and refugees in the United States during the last 40 years. Drawing on original interviews, personal narratives, cultural and historical analysis, and documentary and demographic evidence, African & American explores issues of cultural identity formation and socioeconomic incorporation among this new West African diaspora. Bringing the experiences of those of recent African ancestry from the periphery to the center of current debates in the fields of immigration, ethnic, and African American studies, the authors examine the impact this community has had on the changing meaning of “African Americanness” and address the provocative question of whether West African immigrants are becoming the newest African Americans. Johnson, who earned her doctorate at BC, is a professor of history and director of the Africana Studies Program at Texas A&M University.

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