African Arrivals

The metro times has an interesting take on African immigrants in the metro Detroit area. I happened to be one of those immigrants who now call metro Detroit home. The story focuses on our successes and short comings. Our interactions with the broader native born black citizens we found here. The suspicion as intimated in the article is hindering cross cultural cooperation amongst our people. This sums up the frustration felt on both sides of the debate:

Detroit Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick questions whether there is enough communication between the traditional African-American community and Africans who have arrived in recent years and decades. Kilpatrick says he has high expectations for unity between the two communities and suggests the present relationship is nowhere near its potential.

"I don't know if Detroit is benefiting from African immigration because Detroiters themselves don't feel like they are benefiting from it," Kilpatrick says. "The community doesn't feel it, so we can't say that we're benefiting from it yet as a city. ... It's great for property taxes and revenue, but currently that's about it."

Instead of the mayor taking the initiative to bring together people of African descent, he is promulgating the stereotype that make this happen in the first place. He spoke as if property taxes do not benefit Detroiters as a whole. The last I checked, property taxes help to maintain the city. The problem lies in ignorance on both sides of the divide. We failed to take the time to learn enough about each other and end up sticking to preconcieved notions. Thus we end up in isolated communes within the same city.

Read the rest of the story here. It is a wonder read.

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3 comments:

Cynthia said...

This is an interesting article.

Cynthia said...

Although I should add, no one in America really thinks of Barack Obama as an African immigrant. For all intent and purpose, he is African American. It's actually quite silly to put him in that category. His mother was American (plain and simple). His values would not be the same as someone whose mother's was an African immigrant.

ousman ceesay said...

Cynthia wrote:
"Although I should add, no one in America really thinks of Barack Obama as an African immigrant. For all intent and purpose, he is African American."

That is not what the author said. He used Obama to show the impact of African immigration. For all intents and purpose, this is true. He is not an immigrant but his daddy was an African immigrant. The impact of that immigration could not be minimize in his story either. In fact that is the center piece of Obama's rise to political fame. Remember his address to the democratic national convention?

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