RACISM

How We Treat Black Immigrants in America Should Matter

An essay highlighting the injustices Black immigrants experience

Allison Wiltz
Published in
5 min readJan 12, 2023

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A Black woman carries the boy in the orange shirt in Haiti | Photo by Zachary Vessels via Pexels

One in every ten Black people in America is an immigrant, and that rate is expected to increase over the next few decades. Thanks to this new wave of Black African migration, the story of Black people in America is evolving like a split pea. On one end, you have Black Americans whose ancestors were forced to endure generations of slavery, and Jim Crow and, as a result, have spent over a hundred years fighting for racial equity. And on the other side, you have Black immigrants who often come to America in search of a better life, typically brought about by sociopolitical or financial hardship in their homelands or through an entrepreneurial spirit. As a result, the Black diaspora has become more culturally diverse and potentially more powerful as long as Black immigrants and Black Americans remember they’re two sides of the same split pea.

Racism is part of our local forecast in America but is also a global phenomenon. The South American apartheid system, which lasted from 1948 to 1994, is an example of how African people have been segregated, systematically abused, and diminished by White colonial powers outside America’s chattel slavery system. Sadly, the formal dissolution of the apartheid system didn’t diminish the racism that inspired Europeans to implement a system of racial segregation in the first place. For instance, European nations have enforced border policies that create “hellish journeys” designed “to control African movement in space and time.”

African people cannot freely move throughout Europe because of discriminatory policies, and the same can be said about those coming to America, where Black immigrants face “higher rates of detention and deportation” than immigrants from other racial groups and are “six times more likely to be sent to solitary confinement.” There’s no justification for why Black immigrants are treated like second or third-class citizens. But, as I wrote in AfroSapiophile, “America has a long history of shackling, hanging, beating, branding, and whipping Black people, all in the name of ‘safety’ and ‘lawfulness.’ But the truth is, there is no legitimate excuse to treat humans like animals or rob them of…

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Allison Wiltz
Momentum

Womanist Scholar bylines @ Momentum, Oprah Daily, ZORA, GEN, EIC of Cultured #WEOC Founder allisonthedailywriter.com https://ko-fi.com/allyfromnola