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Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority
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serendipity79
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Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

http://thesouthern.com/articles/2007/03/...643746.txt

Black immigrants, an invisible 'model minority'

Do African immigrants make the smartest Americans? The question may sound outlandish, but if you were judging by statistics alone, you could find plenty of evidence to back it up.

In a side-by-side comparison of 2000 census data by sociologist John R. Logan at the Mumford Center, State University of New York at Albany, black immigrants from Africa average the highest educational attainment of any population group in the country, including whites and Asians.

For example, 43.8 percent of African immigrants had achieved a college degree, compared to 42.5 of Asian Americans, 28.9 percent for immigrants from Europe, Russia and Canada, and 23.1 percent of the U.S. population as a whole.

That defies the usual stereotypes of Asian Americans as the only "model minority." Yet the traditional American narrative has rendered the high academic achievements of black immigrants from Africa and the Caribbean invisible, as if it were a taboo topic.

Instead, we should take a closer look. That was my reaction in 2004 after black Harvard law professor Lani Guinier and Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of Harvard's African-American studies department, stirred a black Harvard alumni reunion with questions about precisely where the university's new black students were coming from.

About 8 percent, or 530, of Harvard's undergraduates were black, they said, but somewhere between one-half and two-thirds of black undergraduates were "West Indian and African immigrants or their children, or to a lesser extent, children of biracial couples."

If we take a closer look, I said at the time, I bet we'll find that Harvard's not alone. With all of the ink and airwaves that have been devoted to immigration these days, black immigrants remain remarkably invisible. Yet their success has long followed the patterns of other high-achieving immigrants.

As one immigrant Jamaican friend once told me, "I'm too busy working two jobs to worry about the white man's racism."

Now comes a new study that finds a consistent pattern of Ivy League and other elite colleges and universities boosting their black student populations by enrolling large numbers of immigrants from Africa, the West Indies and Latin America.

Immigrants, who make up 13 percent of the nation's college-age black population, account for more than a quarter of black students at Ivy League and other elite universities, according to the study of 28 selective colleges and universities. The authors of the study, published recently in the American Journal of Education, included Douglas S. Massey of Princeton University and Camille Z. Charles of the University of Pennsylvania. The proportion of immigrants was higher at private institutions, 28.8 percent, than at the public ones, where they comprised 23.1 percent of enrollment.

Are elite schools padding their racial diversity numbers with black immigrants who do not have a history of American slavery in their families? This development immediately calls into question whether affirmative action admission policies are fulfilling their original intent.

But as Walter Benn Michaels, a professor of English at the University of Illinois at Chicago, writes in his book "The Trouble With Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality," the original intent of affirmative action morphed back in the 1970s from reparations for slavery into the promotion of a broader virtue: "diversity." Since then, it no longer seems to matter how many of your college's black students had slavery in their families. It only matters that they are black.

That said, I don't begrudge black immigrants or any other high-achieving immigrants for their impressive achievements. I applaud them. I encourage more native-born American children, particularly my own child, to take similar advantage of this country's hard-won opportunities.

But I also think we need to revisit the meaning of "diversity." Unlike our current system of feel-good game-playing, we need to focus on the deeper question of how education can be improved and opportunities opened up to those who were left behind by the civil rights revolution.

We tend to look too often at every aspect of diversity except economic class. Yet, the dream of upward mobility is an essential part of how we Americans like to think of ourselves.

It's also why a lot more people are trying to get into this country than trying to get out.

CLARENCE PAGE is a columnist for the Chicago Tribune.

10-19-2007 12:19 PM
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serendipity79
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RE: Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

So that got me to thinking.....maybe then it's not our skin color that is holding AA's back as much as we think.

This is like an algebra equation.

a=b b=c a=c.


I often hear people say that it's prejudice and racism that keeps us AA's down.

Some people feel more comfortable lumping all blacks together even if they ARE different culturally speaking and they claim our west indian and carribean counterparts should not try to separate themselves because when you go outside and a white person looks at you they will see your "blackness" not your "nationality" and therefore your immigrant status doesn't really matter.

Well if it's just about colors - then why are immigrants being labeled more successful?

If they can manage to be more successful all the while "looking" the same we do then it cannot be our appearance that hinders us. Doesn't there have to be something else in addition holding us back? Are we holding ourselves back? Does that make sense to anybody?

10-19-2007 12:20 PM
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Rodney82
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RE: Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

My father is from Barbados
One thing I noticed is that West Indians feel differently about is white people
My mom's family tripped out that my brother and I are with non-black women
Americans were more ruthless with slavery than the British
That is why there is more anti-white sentitment among American Blacks than non-American Blacks
And I feel the black immigrant experience is not told enough


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10-19-2007 01:08 PM
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artbunker
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RE: Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

LISTEN iM THE LAST PERSON WHO WOULD MAKE EXCUSES FORM BLACK FOLKS NOT SUCEEDING. A LOT JUST DONT WANT TO .

BUT A LOT OF IMMIRGANTS COME FORM HOMES WHERE THE FAMILY IS TOGETHER . THAT MATTERS. WHERE THEY COEM FORM THE WHOLE FAMILY UNIT SUPPORTS EACH OTHER . THAT MAKES A BIG DIFFERANCE IN THEIR ABILITY TO MAKE AN IMPORTANCE  PLACED ON EDUCATIN WHEN THEY FIRST GET OVER HERE.

THEY KNOW EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO SUCESS IN LIFE AND THAT MAKING SURE THE CHILDREN SUCEED IS IMPORTANT. ESPECIALLY IN HOMES WHERE ITS  A FAMILY TOGETHER ..

ALSO  WHEN YOU HAVE CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS TO HELP YOU REALIZE YOURSELF AND YOUR SELF WORTH YOUR GONNA SUCEED.

MOST IMMIRGANTS WOULD ALSO RATHER WORK HARD THAN BE ON WELFARE FOREVER . THEY ARE TAUGHT TO BE SELF SUFFICIENT AND TO WANT AND GET BETTER IN THE HOMES. AGAIN IT GOES BACK TO FAMILY AS A UNIT .

NOW LETS SEE HOW THE CHILDREN DO A FEW GENERATIONS FORM NOW THATS THE REAL TEST BUT FOR THE FIRST TWO GENERATIONS AT LEAST , THEIR NOT AMREICANIZED  AND VICTIMS OF LOTS OF RACISM AND BROKEN HOMES.

ALSO , THEY ARE TRYING TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE. WITHOUT ALL THAT BS THAT A LOT OF AA BLACKS IN THIS COUNTRY GO THROUGH(STYLISH CLOTHES, MATERIALISM, FIGHTS IN SCHOOLBUSSES, FOLKS DEVAULING EDUCATION,

10-19-2007 01:08 PM
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serendipity79
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RE: Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

artbunker Wrote:
LISTEN iM THE LAST PERSON WHO WOULD MAKE EXCUSES FORM BLACK FOLKS NOT SUCEEDING. A LOT JUST DONT WANT TO .

BUT A LOT OF IMMIRGANTS COME FORM HOMES WHERE THE FAMILY IS TOGETHER . THAT MATTERS. WHERE THEY COEM FORM THE WHOLE FAMILY UNIT SUPPORTS EACH OTHER . THAT MAKES A BIG DIFFERANCE IN THEIR ABILITY TO MAKE AN IMPORTANCE  PLACED ON EDUCATIN WHEN THEY FIRST GET OVER HERE.

THEY KNOW EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO SUCESS IN LIFE AND THAT MAKING SURE THE CHILDREN SUCEED IS IMPORTANT. ESPECIALLY IN HOMES WHERE ITS  A FAMILY TOGETHER ..

ALSO  WHEN YOU HAVE CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS TO HELP YOU REALIZE YOURSELF AND YOUR SELF WORTH YOUR GONNA SUCEED.

MOST IMMIRGANTS WOULD ALSO RATHER WORK HARD THAN BE ON WELFARE FOREVER . THEY ARE TAUGHT TO BE SELF SUFFICIENT AND TO WANT AND GET BETTER IN THE HOMES. AGAIN IT GOES BACK TO FAMILY AS A UNIT .

NOW LETS SEE HOW THE CHILDREN DO A FEW GENERATIONS FORM NOW THATS THE REAL TEST BUT FOR THE FIRST TWO GENERATIONS AT LEAST , THEIR NOT AMREICANIZED  AND VICTIMS OF LOTS OF RACISM AND BROKEN HOMES.

ALSO , THEY ARE TRYING TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE. WITHOUT ALL THAT BS THAT A LOT OF AA BLACKS IN THIS COUNTRY GO THROUGH(STYLISH CLOTHES, MATERIALISM, FIGHTS IN SCHOOLBUSSES, FOLKS DEVAULING EDUCATION,


Those are all things within our control (theoretically) though. Racism is not within our control. I'm just pointing out that it's not always racism. There are other psychological strong holds on us....holding us back...aside from "The Man" and many of them are self-imposed.

10-19-2007 01:11 PM
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Akpeno
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RE: Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

Nice One Serendipity79.

Nice OneIcon_up

10-24-2007 12:43 PM
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poverty2prosperity
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RE: Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

serendipity79 Wrote:
So that got me to thinking.....maybe then it's not our skin color that is holding AA's back as much as we think.

This is like an algebra equation.

a=b b=c a=c.


I often hear people say that it's prejudice and racism that keeps us AA's down.

Some people feel more comfortable lumping all blacks together even if they ARE different culturally speaking and they claim our west indian and carribean counterparts should not try to separate themselves because when you go outside and a white person looks at you they will see your "blackness" not your "nationality" and therefore your immigrant status doesn't really matter.

Well if it's just about colors - then why are immigrants being labeled more successful?

If they can manage to be more successful all the while "looking" the same we do then it cannot be our appearance that hinders us. Doesn't there have to be something else in addition holding us back? Are we holding ourselves back? Does that make sense to anybody?



Its flat out racism thats denying blacks,especially black men,opportunties.Some of us do things to compound this oppression,but the oppression is still there.Dont try to comfort yourself by buying into that ''we are holding ourselves back'' bullshit.White america is holding blacks down,via rampant discrimination in jobs,housing,prison sentences,loans,etc as has always been the case in this country.Alot of black women,due to increased opportunties,tend to sugar coat or downplay this trend,just as whites do.In the meanwhile,black men are being kept unemployed,underemployed and locked up all accross this country.


Where does your white man stand on healing racial injustice(I already have an idea where you stand on the issue)?




October 8, 2003

Yet another study finds that racial discrimination is alive and well in the hiring process, and it's keeping black men in metro Milwaukee on the unemployment rolls.

The study offers this fictional scenario:

A young, white, male high school graduate with a felony conviction applies in person for entry level jobs as a driver, a dishwasher, a laborer, warehouse worker and production worker that are advertised in the newspaper and admits to employers that he served 18 months in prison for possession of cocaine with intent to sell.

A young black man with similar education, work history and style of presentation, but with no criminal record, applies for the same jobs.

Who do you think is more likely to be called back?

If you picked the white man with the felony conviction, you guessed right.

This study offers evidence that discrimination remains a major factor in the economic lives of black men, and highlights the fear and misunderstanding of black males that permeate the local job market.

Devah Pager, a sociologist at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., sent equally matched pairs of testers - two black and two white - to apply for low-skilled jobs at 350 places of employment in the Milwaukee area and found that white ex-offenders were more likely to be called back for an interview than black applicants who had no criminal record.

Students test employers

In this detailed study, bright, articulate, college students posed as job applicants. Even though the results were strikingly close, black men without criminal records were called back only 14% of the time, while whites with criminal records were called back 17% of the time.

The study, titled "The Mark of a Criminal Record," was conducted in Milwaukee between June and December 2001, and the results were released last month.

"It shows there's a great deal of work that has to be done in the education of employers and working on attitudes," says Julia Taylor, president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. "This type of racial disparity in employment practices really impacts us as a region. It impacts our work force, and it really impacts how the inner-city moves forward."

Pager chose Milwaukee for her experiment because it is representative of most large metropolitan areas in its size, racial demographics and industrial base, she says.

The study's findings would surprise few African-Americans in this city, who know from experience that this kind of discrimination exists in the job market. Research shows that white Americans, however, have been led to think that direct, racial discrimination of this nature has become less of a problem in our society.

It was even surprising to Pager, a young white woman.

"I expected that there would be an effect of race. I thought the effect of a criminal record would swamp other effects," Pager says. "That assumption was clearly wrong. It really suggests that stereotypes and assumptions about black males are very much a factor in hiring decisions."

Facing tougher odds

The study demonstrates the increased odds black male ex-offenders face in finding employment and successfully reintegrating into the economic mainstream, says Lenard Wells, chairman of the Milwaukee Parole Commission and a former Milwaukee police officer.

"It's as if there's a concerted effort to keep black men from getting employment, to keep them oppressed," says Wells, former president of the League of Martin, an organization of black Milwaukee police officers.

"We say we want to reintegrate individuals into the community. We say that we want to do something about unemployment in the black community, yet we want to pretend that it's a criminal record that prevents blacks from getting jobs. It's blatant, undisputed, racism," he says.

Combine the effects of race and a criminal record, and the problem becomes worse. For instance, only 5% of black men with criminal records received callbacks from employers, the study found.

White men without criminal records fared the best in the Milwaukee-area job market, with 34% receiving callbacks from employers.

Keep in mind that it's illegal to discriminate against applicants with criminal records unless the circumstances of the crime correspond closely to the requirements of the job, says Phoebe Weaver Williams, an associate professor of law at Marquette University who specializes in employment discrimination.

"What's frustrating is that, after so many years of having laws in place, the laws haven't corrected the problem," Weaver Williams says.

Clearly, the study's findings demonstrate that a criminal record closes doors on employment.

Still, employers are averse to taking risks on black applicants, whom they perceive to have criminal tendencies, the study says. For example, black testers were more likely to be asked by employers whether they had any convictions, yet none of the white testers were asked about their criminal histories up front.

Image problems

A couple of factors that work against young black men is their portrayal in the media as gangsters, thugs and rappers on the fringes of society, and the fact that more black men are going to prison than college, according to a report by the U.S. Justice Department.

The sad reality is that the majority of those inmates will be released back into communities where they have little opportunity to obtain legitimate work. Research shows that one of the factors for recidivism is employment.

Black felons face a hostile job market in Milwaukee, says Wendell Hruska, associate director of Project Return, a Milwaukee agency that helps felons and people convicted of misdemeanors find employment.

"Discrimination is very much a problem. That's what we've been hearing from our clients," Hruska says. "A lot of people get discouraged. Unfortunately, many of them give up. You really can't blame people when you've been out there for months putting in applications and you hear nothing back."

This research helps us measure the degree of discrimination that exists in the hiring process.

But the question remains: How do we attack a problem that so affects the economic lives of black men in Milwaukee, where many employers still make hiring decisions colored by fear and misunderstanding?

10-25-2007 08:22 PM
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serendipity79
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RE: Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

poverty2prosperity, I'm not ignoring your question however; I'm not sure I wish to entertain a dialogue with you if you insist on assuming, i.e. I have a feeling where you stand - before I've answered your question.

It appears to be impossible to have an intelligent conversation on this site without back-biting and arguing. That's not how I wish to spend  any of my time.

It makes no since to talk to someone that already has their mind made up and is not willing to change it, regardless of my position on this issue.

Now, if you can have a dialogue without assuming without making it personal, then I may be inclined to type something which is responsive to your question.

Take care.

10-26-2007 03:39 AM
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artbunker
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RE: Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

serendipity79 Wrote:

artbunker Wrote:
LISTEN iM THE LAST PERSON WHO WOULD MAKE EXCUSES FORM BLACK FOLKS NOT SUCEEDING. A LOT JUST DONT WANT TO .

BUT A LOT OF IMMIRGANTS COME FORM HOMES WHERE THE FAMILY IS TOGETHER . THAT MATTERS. WHERE THEY COEM FORM THE WHOLE FAMILY UNIT SUPPORTS EACH OTHER . THAT MAKES A BIG DIFFERANCE IN THEIR ABILITY TO MAKE AN IMPORTANCE  PLACED ON EDUCATIN WHEN THEY FIRST GET OVER HERE.

THEY KNOW EDUCATION IS THE KEY TO SUCESS IN LIFE AND THAT MAKING SURE THE CHILDREN SUCEED IS IMPORTANT. ESPECIALLY IN HOMES WHERE ITS  A FAMILY TOGETHER ..

ALSO  WHEN YOU HAVE CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS TO HELP YOU REALIZE YOURSELF AND YOUR SELF WORTH YOUR GONNA SUCEED.

MOST IMMIRGANTS WOULD ALSO RATHER WORK HARD THAN BE ON WELFARE FOREVER . THEY ARE TAUGHT TO BE SELF SUFFICIENT AND TO WANT AND GET BETTER IN THE HOMES. AGAIN IT GOES BACK TO FAMILY AS A UNIT .

NOW LETS SEE HOW THE CHILDREN DO A FEW GENERATIONS FORM NOW THATS THE REAL TEST BUT FOR THE FIRST TWO GENERATIONS AT LEAST , THEIR NOT AMREICANIZED  AND VICTIMS OF LOTS OF RACISM AND BROKEN HOMES.

ALSO , THEY ARE TRYING TO SURVIVE AND THRIVE. WITHOUT ALL THAT BS THAT A LOT OF AA BLACKS IN THIS COUNTRY GO THROUGH(STYLISH CLOTHES, MATERIALISM, FIGHTS IN SCHOOLBUSSES, FOLKS DEVAULING EDUCATION,


Those are all things within our control (theoretically) though. Racism is not within our control. I'm just pointing out that it's not always racism. There are other psychological strong holds on us....holding us back...aside from "The Man" and many of them are self-imposed.


I think that the fact that the family unit and morals on whats really important in life is a major factor hindering AA form suceeding.

Honestly racism is still thre to stop us no doubt about it. BUt a lot more AA could rise themselves out of therie current situtation if there was a strong family support base. I mean mother and father in the household if possible first of all.  Being taught the having bling bling snt the real world and that educating yourself is very important. Teaching your kinds that drug money isnt good money and  that the latest fad are fads and nothing more is important.

We hold each other back when we dont teach our youth the importance of good family life and education.  Immigrants have that work ethic and wont even think about consumerism till they have the good jobs from their hard work anf efforts in life.  I have been around many Jamician immigrants. I see how they value education of their children  and the improtance of it. I see  how the family structure is very strong and how the will to suceed in life no matter what is installed in them.  

Same in the AA families I see here in America. Whats holding us back is the media image of whats cool and consumerism. No doubt about it.  Most immigrants have sceen what real life is about and how rough it really is out there. They know the real world early in life and want to do better .  It really is enviroment over nature in this case . How your raised and your enviroment around you dictates how your  9/10 gonna suceede in life.

I really believe its how your raised. I know lot of folks who are doing well at least in their jobs . They ar the only blacks in their jobs and are very high in their company or profession. Now should they be higher in their jobs and are they being passed up for promotions because of their complexion most definatly yes. BUt they continue to work hard and are doing well in life.

Its ultimatly up to folk to understand they been delt a bad hand and to try to make themselves better . Immigrants understand that because they dont use racial slavery as an excuse as to why they dont suceede. they just simply dust themselves off and better themselves and the next time they get what their looking for. too many opportunities out here  still and too little of us are trying to take  those opportunities .

10-26-2007 05:08 AM
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serendipity79
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RE: Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

Art, I must say that I totally agree that there is still racism which holds back the progress of many african americans. I am not unaware of the reality around me. Thankfully, you realize that is not the ONLY factor. Look how many of the factors you listed (which were self imposed) that had nothing to do with racial descrimination. You spoke of OUR families; OUR consumerism; OUR misplaced values and those have a HUGE impact on our success. Sure there is racism but that does not mean AA's should not be trying to change the things they are capable of changing for the better.

10-26-2007 05:20 AM
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artbunker
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RE: Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

NO they should I misunderstood your question at frist I thought you were asking what were other factors that might be holding us back besides racise (hading to corner of class with dunce hat on his head) My fault sorry about the misinterpation

10-26-2007 06:09 AM
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serendipity79
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RE: Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

No, you're interpretation was correct. What makes you think you misunderstood? Probabaly part of my post was directed (indirectly) toward p2p. I think you are right on with your response!

10-26-2007 06:29 AM
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RE: Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

Rodney82 Wrote:
My father is from Barbados
One thing I noticed is that West Indians feel differently about is white people
My mom's family tripped out that my brother and I are with non-black women
Americans were more ruthless with slavery than the British
That is why there is more anti-white sentitment among American Blacks than non-American Blacks
And I feel the black immigrant experience is not told enough


Not only that, but a bajan will tell you "slavery is over with. You have to move on with your life". Its easy for us to say that when we don't have to deal with the prejudice on a regular basis. I can see how AAs get into a slump. I am studying in my class right now about how immigrant blacks are treated differently.  More readily valued.
Besides, Bajan culture is built on the need to thrive and succeed. We value education before anything else in this world. Good looks are fleeting and everyone has them in our culture, but not everyone can be smart.

10-26-2007 08:00 AM
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IndependantBlackMan
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RE: Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

4UrLuv Wrote:
Not only that, but a bajan will tell you "slavery is over with. You have to move on with your life". Its easy for us to say that when we don't have to deal with the prejudice on a regular basis. I can see how AAs get into a slump. I am studying in my class right now about how immigrant blacks are treated differently.  More readily valued.
Besides, Bajan culture is built on the need to thrive and succeed. We value education before anything else in this world. Good looks are fleeting and everyone has them in our culture, but not everyone can be smart.

When I was in Bridgetown, Barbados I saw shiftless, uneducated, and criminal-minded Bajans all the time.  Every culture has its achievers and its losers.  While I respect West Indians a great deal, it seems that sometimes we forget the truth about them when we talk about how successful they are.  Yes, Colin Powell had Jamaican parents, but Colin Ferguson of the Long Island train shootings was a "Yardie" as well.


Feel free to visit my sites and to leave your comments:

http://thedeclineofmyamerica.blogspot.com/

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10-26-2007 10:32 AM
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RE: Black Immigrants:The invisible Model Minority

Rodney82 Wrote:
My father is from Barbados
One thing I noticed is that West Indians feel differently about is white people
My mom's family tripped out that my brother and I are with non-black women
Americans were more ruthless with slavery than the British
That is why there is more anti-white sentitment among American Blacks than non-American Blacks
And I feel the black immigrant experience is not told enough



Black americans are a minority of the total american population (this has always been true). "Blacks" from the islands are the majority of the population.  Importation of slaves to the US became illegal in the US before it was illegal in the carribbean and s. america.    As a result, black americans slaves were more generations removed from Africa than were black slaves in other parts of the disapora.

10-26-2007 11:24 AM
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