Talk:African immigration to the United States

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Awful article[edit]

This article contradicts itself many times(Obama's pic, population statistics, etc) and has many outdated sources. Please help me YVNP (talk) 08:15, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Summarize, don't delete[edit]

Yellowfiver, if you think that all the information on sex and age of immigrants can be summarized, then summarize it. Don't just delete accurate and properly sourced information because you don't happen to like the format that it's in. WhatamIdoing (talk) 05:37, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Renaming Article[edit]

Two years ago on this talk page Pharos suggested that the article's title be renamed to "Africans in the United States." I disagreed and felt that that term would include all black people. However after many years of contemplation, I think the term would describe the group better.

The main problem with the title is that it refers to African immigrants. Later it refers to the 2nd generation, who are themselves, not immigrants. The rappers were all born in the United States, as was Barack Obama. The term Africans in the United States works. The article can explain how there are African Immigrants and African-African Americans (children of recent Africans). As far as the neutrality, much of the article is interpretation of numbers.

If someone disagrees with the namechange, please comment. --Yellowfiver (talk) 05:57, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

I think African immigration to the United States is more general. This title is not only about the immigrants themselves, but a comprehensive view of immigration from Africa. In addition Africans in the United States is somewhat ambiguous, because some of them are Americans such as Obama, though his father was not an immigrant, but a foreign student who later returned to his native Kenya. Wapondaponda (talk) 06:10, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Wapondaponda that the title "Africans in the United States" is ambiguous. "African immigration to the United States" seems a reasonable clarification of the current title. olderwiser 12:32, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Phyllis Wheatley was an African in the United States; and she is off topic for this article. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:57, 27 April 2009 (UTC)
Good point.--Yellowfiver (talk) 17:13, 28 April 2009 (UTC)

Moved[edit]

Ah. I moved this page yesterday, and it appears I forgot to leave a note here. That's done now, cheers. -GTBacchus(talk) 20:06, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

This article is politically correct lying[edit]

In it's entirety the article is trying to make Africa look better than it does. On one hand it uses estimates to claim Africans make up the majority of black students at top tier universities. Then it goes on to compare them to HUGE ethnic groups(Black Americans and white Americans) even though African immigrants are a fairly small ethnic group. To top it off the article doesn't mention African immigrants are also white. Some countries consider African(such as Egypt or Morroco) are not black at all. YVNP (talk) 06:27, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

It also needs to discuss non black African immigrants. YVNP (talk) 06:34, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

YVNP, while I respect your opinion and value your contribution as a colleague, I regretfully find myself forced to disagree, on the following grounds:

A. The article is about African immigrants, not the state of Africa
B. Yes, it's a small group but a group nonetheless.
C. If you believe some groups are underrepresented, please feel free to include their statistics and information.
D. However, I hope you do it constructively, as your page shows that you have a history of vandalism.
Thanks. --Blambloom (talk) 15:38, 12 July 2009


Every African i've met in the US is likely to have a degree or is working towards getting a degree —Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.132.216.13 (talk) 01:59, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

It is disingenuous to advance a charge of lying simply because one does not agree with the statistics. The way to present a reasoned counter-argument is to offer alternative, scholarly statistics rather than simply declare as false facts which one disagrees with.
The article is mainly an interpretation of numbers pertaining to African immigration in the US, not an essay on the state of Africa. It is also important because the contributions of African immigrants to the development of the USA are largely understated. You are not likely to encounter an African on welfare, rather they are small business owners, industry professionals, or just plain hardworkers doing 16 hours a day rather than beg. Walk into any hospital in any major urban center in the USA and sooner or later you will be treated by an African doctor or nurse. Same with schools and colleges where they teach in large numbers. There is a separate article on the state of African that anyone can access. One can debate why this high level achievement does not seem to transfer to their continent, however, even that would not invalidate the facts as presented here. Merlin1935 (talk) 20:09, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Disparity on Population Figures[edit]

The main article states under Demographics that the population estimate of Africans in the US is 881,300, but in the quick stats box it mentions 1,035,253. In a separate article on Nigerians in America a population of over one million is given. The article needs to be cleaned up in this regard if anyone has factual estimates. Merlin1935 (talk) 20:09, 4 October 2009 (UTC)

Order of Points[edit]

I think that the demographics, population, and history of the group should be the first subcategories, as that is how information on various cultural groups is presented in an encyclopedia. It seems that someone is trying to push an agenda by having "educational attainment" the very first point. If someone has an issue with this, please discuss here, otherwise, I will be changing the priorities of the subcategories. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.14.109.211 (talk) 06:58, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Additions[edit]

I'll be making some additions to this article. I'll will be a bit more historical and illuminate patterns of African immigration to the United States from about 1500 to present-day. However, the paper will distinguish between Africans who "migrated" forcefully under the auspices of slavery and Africans who willingly came to live in the United States. Special emphasis will be placed on the huge flow of migration after decolonization in the late 1950's and 1960's. I will discuss the basic profiles of migrants in terms of how they came and what they hoped to accomplish. I will also evaluate records from the United States Census and discuss percentage increases, demographics of migrants, etc. There will also be an emphasis on contributions that Africans have made to American culture and life. In addition, there will be discussion on African "enclaves" ie areas where the most African migrants are found, reasons for their location there, etc. Finally, I will analyze any legal cases and discuss controversies surrounding African immigration. Olayinka117 (talk) 17:32, 28 April 2010 (UTC)

Educational attainment[edit]

Someone tampered with the percentages on the table comparing the educational attainment across immigrant groups. I have made the corrections based on the original percentages obtained from http://www.asian-nation.org/immigrant-stats.shtml. The research resources used to obtain the table are also listed on that site. RichyBlack (talk) 14:38, 18 June 2010 (UTC)

Who is notable?[edit]

There's been quite a bit of removal/restoration of people to the "notable persons" section. Can we get a discussion about these people rather than going back and forth in the article?

I think the question of "who is notable" is one of context. Certainly we have many articles on towns of various sizes scattered throughout the English-speaking world, and many of these article have "notable residents" sections; in these, depending on the size of the town, we're usually pretty lax on the definition of notability. For some podunk town, anybody who's done anything usually gets in. (I recently had a discussion on Bay City (which is actually a city, I think) where it was decided that a couple of people who played one or two games in the major leagues early in the last century were deemed to qualify).

So the population of African immigrants to the USA is 881,300. This is roughly similar to the population of the counties of the greater Dayton area. So I'll pick that city to look at, completely at random except that it happens to have the similar population.

The article List of people from Dayton, Ohio (which includes the area "around" Dayton) lists 119 people. So it would be in keeping with that article for this article (African immigration to the United States) to have around that many, except that 1) Dayton has had a large population longer than than there have been many free African immigrants in the USA, and 2) the average Daytonian has, historically, had a better chance to achieve notability than the average African immigrant to the USA, I would think. So this article could reasonably be expected to have less than 119 entries. Maybe, say, 75 to 90 or something. Well, it has 73, so we're in the same ballpark. (incidently, it would be valid to break out the list of notable people here into a separate list article, also.)

I note that virtually all the listed Daytonians have Wikipedia articles. However, even so, some of them are kind of marginal: "Gunshot victim"; "bisexual girl from the movie Across the Universe"; "Playboy's Miss May 1990"; "Medal of Honor recipient"; and a bunch of singers and writers and actors that basically nobody's ever heard of; and so forth. And in my opinion, the fact that these people are bluelinked is partly an expression of the demographics and interests of Wikipedia editors. I'm guessing, but I'll bet that at least of few of these Daytonians would not survive an AfD.

In my opinion, it would be reasonable to say "considering a population of 881,300, only bluelinked persons qualify". It would also be reasonable to relax this somewhat, given all the circumstances described above. Take, for instance, Jem Spectar. Now, Jem Spectar is the president of the University of Pittsburgh. Notwithstanding that he's redlinked, I don't see how you can say that the president of Pitt is not worthy of inclusion here.

Others are more problematical. My opinion is that lack of an article is not a deal-killer here. Providing that references are provided, I don't see the harm in being a little bit generous here. Fred McBagonluri, Kwabena Boahen, and Eric Osiakwan all seem like OK candidates to me, and I've restored these along with Jem Spectar. If you think this is wrong, please discuss this here rather than reverting. Herostratus (talk) 05:50, 20 July 2010 (UTC)

How can you say African immigration to the US and give proportions to black populations in US?[edit]

How can you do this is Northern Africans are not black. Or some South Africans aren't either which even show 1 of 4 pictures as a white women. You should say Sub-Saharan African. I know everyone in America will say You know what I mean. Well, that may or may not be so within the US. But that won't be the case for the rest of the world which sees this article. Please don't manipulate words and definitions. Tom65.32.185.72 (talk) 20:53, 11 October 2010 (UTC)

White Africans[edit]

I'm removing the "white" qualifier. I don't think the focus of this article is about the race of African immigrants and as a white South African, I would prefer to not be segregated into a 'special category' of African. For this reason Arnold Vosloo and Charlize Theron are simply "African" in my eyes. I can't find any reason to call them white Africans. There are lots of white people in Africa hence my actions. Hopefully I'm not stepping on anyone's toes. GetDownAdam (talk) 00:20, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

You are in a special category of African whether your prefer it or no. In the United States, "African-American" does not mean "American of African descent". It means "Black American of African descent". That is just a fact, notwithstanding that it might not seem correct if you parse the phrase literally. So for this reason I'm not entirely sure that the "white" qualifier should be removed from those African immigrants who are white. But I don't have a strong opinion on it, either; either way is defensible. Herostratus (talk) 02:48, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Rattansi, Velshi, Verjee[edit]

As near as I can tell, Shihab Rattansi is of British origin, and Ali Velshi and Zain Verjee are Canadians, so none of these belong here. Herostratus (talk) 16:25, 17 April 2011 (UTC)

Undiscussed edits[edit]

A user has made massive changes to the article with no discussion let alone consensus. These changes are either original research or synthesis or otherwise run counter to the actual purpose of the article. For starters, the user seems equating African immigrants as a whole with "blacks" (e.g. "Africans ARE are also 'Foreign- Born Blacks' not sure abt argument" [1]). This is despite the fact that African immigrants to the U.S. come from a variety of milieus, do not constitute a homogeneous group, and include people from different national, ethnic, racial, cultural and social backgrounds -- something that's clearly stated in the article's lede and is obvious from the picture of the South African actress Charlize Theron in the infobox.

The user also added the following paragraph on income levels that contains a lot of synthesis and original research:

"According to the 2000 U.S. Census, income levels among Africans are also typically higher than among Black Americans. This can be attributed to the higher education levels.[1] However Africans in the U.S still face discrimination.[2] During the recession, that began in 2007, both African Americans and continental Africans found it the most difficult to obtain jobs.[3] All Blacks in the U.S were the hardest hit in the recession showing that discrimination and race-based employment and salary assignments are influenced by race in the U.S.[4]"

The first two sentences are sourced to this briefing paper [2], which, as it clearly states on its page 4, only pertains to Black Africans, not to all Africans: The analysis below focuses on the U.S.-born, the English-speaking Caribbean or West Indian,1 Haitian, and African black populations. Black refers inclusively to individuals who only identify as black and to individuals with biracial or multiracial black identities.. The remaining sentences are sourced to this Huffington Post article [3], which doesn't mention Africans. It just mentions "black immigrants" to the U.S., which could be anyone from Afro-Caribbeans to Black Canadians.

The next paragraph on wage disparities and socioeconomic status is entirely sourced to that same briefing on Black Africans, and thus also does not pertain to all African immigrants:

"In reference to wage disparities between White Americans and Black foreign born immigrants,by 2008, African men were earning 34% less then White men and earning substantially worse less than U.S.-born black men who were earning 19.1% less than White men.[5] African women were earning 10.1% less then White women which is the same as US born Black women. [6] The poverty rates of African (18.8%) is closer to the African American rate (24.4%) than the U.S.-born white rate (9.2%).[7] Married Africans earned a higher salary than single Africans.[8] This increased for African men where Married African men were more likely to earn a higher salary than single African men.Cite error: A <ref> tag is missing the closing </ref> (see the help page). Studies suggest that this is due to 'white privilege and discrimination for all black groups in the U.S.[9]

The paragraph below on marriage rates is likewise from that briefing paper on Black African immigrants; as such, it too does not pertain to all African immigrants:

"Marriage rates for Africans is (56%) and similar to that of White Americans (58%). This is more than the marriage rate of African Americans which is 31.6%.[10]

In addition, the user added a section on discrimination against Africans, but again only cites info pertaining to Black Africans, not all Africans. The same Huffington Post article that doesn't even mention Africans and the briefing paper on only Black Africans are used. The user also cites an opinion piece [4] (which are not usable for material on third parties per WP:QS, WP:BLP and WP:OPINION: "Never use self-published books, zines, websites, webforums, blogs and tweets as a source for material about a living person, unless written or published by the subject of the biographical material"), as well as a self-published webpage/WP:SPS on Africa, not African immigrants to the U.S., which in any case hasn't been updated in almost a decade and a half [5]; and an About.com page [6] (which per WP:QS is not considered a reliable source since it regularly uses Wikipedia itself as a source and has poor editorial oversight).

"Stereotypes about Africans have led to discrimination and prejudice towards Africans in immigration laws like the The Emergency Quota Act of 1921. Although African immigrants are the highest education levels both African Americans and continental Africans face workplace discrimination [11] [12] This includes discrimination in wages, employment rates.[13]Despite the achievements of Africans in the United States, negative stereotypes towards Africa and Africans exist in the United States which are reinforced through literature, film, radio, music, comedy, media and other channels of communication. Africa and all Africans are still associated with poverty, war disease, famine, hunger, corruption and war[14][15]"

If the user wishes to re-add the material, she will first per WP:BRD have to a) heavily redact it to focus on African immigrants as a whole instead of placing WP:UNDUE on only Black African immigrants; b) then present that draft on this talk page for evaluation; and c) obtain WP:CONSENSUS for those changes. As is, she has done none of the above, so I've removed the offending passages. Middayexpress (talk) 19:08, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

All i can add to this is the reason why I would never put White people with African people in any study. the statistically reality will make comparison of any useful info redundant. It is impossible to study two races who occupy radical different social-economic positions under the same box. I have not really read everything but African-immigrants usually means racial Africans. So now we have White South African nations who occupy the upper economic strata in a box with stats that make comparison (education, HIV, social issues, racism) impossible- hence we lose any social data per all the above African-American vs. African nationals. The two groups (African and White) share next to nothing in common, especially racism. I hope i am making sense, you cannot successful look at African immigrants if you are not taking into consideration the racial dilemma which is very different for Whites who happen to be African nationals--They are also a serious minority and i think too much weight on their inclusion. (I dont know) Hence the confusion.Oh yeah, if no one has heard black African like Red Indian is not the coolest term anymore. --Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 20:18, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Africa is a continent which is home to many different peoples and races, folks who are collectively referred to as "African" (c.f. [7]). This article pertains to all immigrants to the United States from the African continent, not just one particular group. That's pretty much it. Middayexpress (talk) 20:41, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
So Is Asia, Africa is more than a continent hence why we see the above problem. Now Asian immigrants. In all of Africa#s diversity it would be safe to say that 95% of those people are not the white group. But this is actually not a problem here since the qualification is "national" of an African country. So just because of Theron we need to qualify every single sentence. Either way it is a problem. But a way needs to be figured out to separate the two in the article for the purposes of adding very important stats. Education is one I know about first hand. African-Americans do not do as well as African immigrants. Marriage rate, divorce rates, Health rate, Sickle Cell rates, Por example.--Halqh حَلَقَة הלכהሐላቃህ (talk) 20:54, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Asia is indeed home to many different peoples and races too, so that's a great analogy. Africa has even greater diversity. While most Africans aren't white, that of course doesn't automatically mean the remainder are all black either (they aren't). That's like inferring that all Americans are white because they form a numerical majority or that African Americans aren't really American simply because they form a numerical minority. Education and other issues can of course be addressed, but they must be done so within the scope of nationality discussed in the lede. Middayexpress (talk) 21:15, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Duh! Sorry! But the majority of Africans are Black Africans and as such, they should be given proper weight. Any other type of African should be given less weight. 86.135.192.247 (talk) 01:09, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

It's not people that are given appropriate weight on this website but viewpoints (c.f. WP:UNDUE). And the viewpoint that the term "Africans" is only reserved for Black Africans is certainly not in the majority. Middayexpress (talk) 10:34, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
It's a vexing problem. "Africa" is an awfully big and diverse place. In some contexts, it's probably useful to discuss black Africans as a group (and as distinct from white Africans and, I suppose, North Africans). So a construction like this is OK and I would support restoring it, if it's true and the refs are OK:
"According to the 2000 U.S. Census, income levels among black Africans are also typically higher than among black Americans. This can be attributed to the higher education levels.[1] However black Africans in the U.S still face discrimination...." etc.
As to to the one editor saying that "black African" is not an OK phrase, this seems odd and idiosyncratic, but if there's a better term, fine, use that instead. Herostratus (talk) 04:36, 23 November 2011 (UTC)
Helpful suggestions. Africa is a diverse continent and the particular type of African immigrants being discussed should always be unambiguously presented. Middayexpress (talk) 10:34, 23 November 2011 (UTC)

Percents of African immigrants by race based on the 2000 census can be found here: Easterly & Nyarko. IS THE BRAIN DRAIN GOOD FOR AFRICA? See table 4. >30% of African immigrants do not identify as Black African. --71.65.234.37 (talk) 19:47, 6 December 2011 (UTC)Chuck

A section about race and Africa and a table would be helpful....

Nation % of US African born population % Black African
Nigeria 20.9% 93.2%
South Africa 9.9% 5.8%

Updated data[edit]

The data here is dubious at best. For example in the education section, we are told:

"African immigrants to the U.S. are among the most educated groups in the United States. Some 48.9 percent of all African immigrants hold a college diploma. This is more than double the rate of native-born white Americans, and nearly four times the rate of native-born African Americans.[13]"

Yet in “Who Are the Other African Americans? Contemporary African and Caribbean Immigrants in the United States,” by John Logan, we see that in 1990 and 2000, 29% of African born residents had college degrees or higher. Where is the 48.9% coming from? We are also told that:

"This is more than double the rate of native-born white Americans, and nearly four times the rate of native-born African Americans"

This is comparing apples to oranges. Consider that in the TJBHE articles cited for the "48.9%" we are also told: "Research conducted at the Urban Institute in Washington suggests that in fact at least 40 percent of all immigrants from Africa to the United States are whites." Since "Africans" are both White and Black one needs to compare them not to Whites or Blacks but to the US population as a whole.

Going on:

"In 1997, 19.4 percent of all adult African immigrants in the United States held a graduate degree, compared to 8.1 percent of adult white Americans and 3.8 percent of adult black Americans in the United States, respectively. [14]"

It's now 2011. Anything more recent?

--71.65.234.37 (talk) 19:41, 6 December 2011 (UTC)Chuck

Interaction between recent African immigrants and African-Americans in the traditional sense?[edit]

The article has absolutely nothing on the interaction (or lack thereof) of the African immigrant communities with the mainstream black community; whether in the area of culture, or religion, or economics, or any other. I think this should be included, even if only to say that there is no significant interaction (if that happens to be the case; being European myself, I wouldn't know). -- 77.189.53.28 (talk) 15:38, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

African immigrants come from many different national, ethnic, racial, cultural and social backgrounds (refer to the intro). African Americans are today partially related to only one of those groups of immigrants (West Africans). They share most of the rest of their ancestry with Native Americans and Northwestern Europeans, people whom their ancestors mixed with. African Americans are themselves also only one group of Americans. They don't constitute all United States citizens, so no point in singling them out. Middayexpress (talk) 21:38, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

Numbers[edit]

I think the numbers of African immigrants in US and their descendants should be modified: According US Bureau 2009 survey, the number of people that reported be African naturalized or descendant of them was 1.793.219, while that others 2.854.709 people reported be of Sub-Saharan origin. I would like know why reason be put such a small number of African naturalized and descendant of them from US in the article, when in reality it is much higher. --Isinbill (talk) 00:30, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

I put the numbers of Africans in the United States according to the 2010 census, which are similar to those of 2009. --Isinbill (talk) 12:55, 12 December 2012 (UTC)
" According US Bureau 2009 survey, the number of people that reported be African naturalized or descendant of them was 1.793.219" - Are you sure it's only one person? Was a baby the 0.793219th part? --MacRùsgail (talk) 18:13, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

How recent?[edit]

When it says "recent", how recent are we talking about here?

Post-slavery? 20th century +? What?!--MacRùsgail (talk) 14:36, 13 December 2012 (UTC)

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African Immigrant PR Piece[edit]

The article start of good, then seem to turn into an African Immigrants are better then x,y,z Public Relations Piece.

From reading the Talk archive and revisions I can seem many attempt to add Pro African Immigrant Propaganda into the articles.

Some editor "being black African immigrants probably" are inserting POV into the articles.

I'm going to remove the POV sections, and leave the section on the Topic of Immigration. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2603:3020:707:4500:E9B1:89F5:E623:9BEA (talk) 12:21, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

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