Exploring The Relationship Between Africans And African Americans

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Exploring the Relationship between Africans and African Americans

Thesis Statement

It is widely argued that Africans and African Americans, besides their skin pigmentation and common origin, have little in common. The fact that these strain-causing elements do not come from Africans or their black American counterparts but are perceived as coming from somewhere outside these two groups; they come from white who are said to have deliberately spawned myths and stereotypes to demean black peoples and keep them deliberately separated and isolated so they can be dominated.

African immigrant Diaspora in the United States, John Arthur argues that the “cultural, political, and economic affinity between African immigrants and their black American counterparts is not as strong as it should be considering the historical cord that ties them together.” Arthur concludes that “the cultural barriers and the social and economic differences separating the Africans and the African-Americans is sometimes the cause of a simmering hostility and misunderstanding between them. Sharing the common physical characteristics of skin color has not ensured cultural and economic unity between African immigrants and American-born blacks” For his part, Philippe Wamba, explains that, “the twin histories of African and African American peoples are brimming with both triumph and tears; similarly, the story of the interaction between them has not always been positive…their associations, and the collision of their true false ideas about one another, have sometimes been problematic.”

Jennifer Cunningham, for example, described that “some of the more than 4,400 Africans living in Central Harlem have been routinely targeted and singled out for discrimination and abuse, both verbal and physical, according to Africans living in the area. The recent acts have highlighted longstanding tensions between African immigrants and African American residents.” A similar view is echoed by Kery Murakami and Mary Andom, they established that “leaders in the African American and African immigrant communities say long-simmering tensions between the two groups were reflected in a shooting July 12 in which an African American woman is suspected of killing an East African immigrant.”

In some of the interviews conducted in this study both African immigrants and Africans Americans acknowledged that there is indeed a strained relationship between these two groups. An African American participant who is well informed about African and African American history had the following to say: “At the present state, the relationship is not good, worst than the 1950s and 1960s.” He concludes that, “the friction is instigated by outside sources.” Not surprisingly, the interviewee pointed fingers at whites, whom he believed are in the middle of the problem. Josephine Moraa Moikobu's book, Blood and flesh: Black American and African identification points out that:

An African immigrant also interviewed expressed his views on the relationship between African immigrants and African Americans by saying that “our relationship is based on suspicions. They blamed Africans for slavery.” He said, “For those who are conscious about history...they want to move on, and their interactions with Africans are fine.” It is quite evident that there is a strained relationship, myths, grudges, ignorance, and stereotypes that ...
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