In this dissertation, I examine how collective memory and collective identity impact African American interpretations of Africa, African immigrants and African immigrant participation in affirmative action programs. The setting of the research is the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota (the "Twin Cities"), which has a notable historical and contemporary African American population and the largest eastern African population of immigrants from Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, and the Sudan. I find that rather than expanding their definition of African American ethnic identity through their interactions with African immigrants, African Americans, relied on a bifurcated notion of the historical place of Africa as part of the two-ness of African American ethnic identity, and African immigrants as an on-the-ground reality. Methodologiclly, I use historical newspaper analysis and extensive in-depth interviews with African Americans and eastern Africans from the Twin Cities. Theoretically I analyze theories of collective memory, intergroup contact and challenge the notion that African American ethnic identity is equatable with black racial identity.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2010. Major: Sociology. Advisors: Elizabeth Heger Boyle and Douglas Hartmann. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 200 pages, appendix A.
Collective identity and African American views of Africa, African immigrants, and immigrant entitlements..
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