In an age where racial and ethnic identity intersect, intertwine, and interact in increasingly complex ways, Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream offers a superb and rigorous analysis of black politics and coalitions in the post-Civil Rights era. Using an original survey of a New York City labor population and multiple national data sources, author Christina M. Greer explores the political significance of ethnicity for new immigrant and native-born blacks. Black Ethnics concludes that racial and ethnic identities affect the ways in which black ethnic groups conceptualize their possibilities for advancement and placement within the American polity. The ethnic and racial dual identity for blacks leads to significant distinctions in political behavior, feelings of incorporation, and policy choices in ways not previously theorized. The steady immigration of black populations from Africa and the Caribbean over the past few decades has fundamentally changed the racial, ethnic, and political landscape in the U.S. An important question for social scientists is how these 'new' blacks will behave politically in the US.
Should we expect new black immigrants to orient themselves to politics in the same manner as native Blacks? Will the different histories of the new immigrants and native-born blacks lead to different political orientations and behavior, and perhaps to political tensions and conflict among black ethnic groups residing in America? And to what extent will this new population fracture the black coalition inside of the Democratic party? With increases in immigration of black ethnic populations in the U.S., the political, social, and economic integration processes of black immigrants does not completely echo that of native-born American blacks. The emergent complexity of black intra-racial identity and negotiations within the American polity raise new questions about black political incorporation, assimilation, acceptance, and fulfillment of the American Dream. By comparing Afro-Caribbean and African groups to native-born blacks, this book develops a more nuanced and accurate understanding of the 'new black America' in the twenty-first century.
Lastly, Black Ethnics explores how foreign-born blacks create new ways of defining and understanding black politics and coalitions in the post-Civil Rights era.