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Old 11-07-2019, 11:22 AM
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Hostility Among Africans In America To African Americans


I watch a TV show about a Nigerian immigrant woman living in Detroit. There was a scene where she and some of her African friends were discussing men, and they all agreed that the preferred order of men they'd be open to dating goes like this:

An African man from the same tribe.
An African man from another tribe but the same country.
An African man from another African country.
A white (American) man.
An African-American man.

Is this a thing in the African immigrant community in the US? Not just the dating, but a general sense of dislike/distrust/hostility/words-like-that to the African American community?
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:26 AM
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Isn't this just cultural? Just because they're a similar skin colour doesn't mean they've actually got anything in common. Culture (and language and social mores) are very different in large parts of Africa from America.
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:17 PM
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+1 to cultural bias/preference. Replace the nationality with any other and the results will likely be the same. Relationship preferences are largely built upon common interests. I don't see any hostility at all.
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:12 PM
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The countries of Africa are as different from each other in language and culture as the countries of Europe, or the countries of Asia.

White Americans may imagine that all blacks are the same. Even black Americans may imagine that all blacks are the same - plenty have come to Africa expecting to be welcomed as long-lost brothers, only to be unpleasantly disappointed.

To African blacks, having a black skin doesn't mean there is anything in common, any more than having a white skin in Europe means there is anything in common. An American black is seen as American first and black a long way second.

African immigrants to America may not like the fact that they are expected to be on the same page as African-Americans, when they have nothing in common.
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Old 11-07-2019, 02:37 PM
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In my experience this is definitely a thing with Africans in the US. Much less with each successive generation but it is common among first generation immigrants.
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:07 PM
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I think the interesting thing that isn't addressed by the "cultural bias" explanation is that white Americans are preferred to black Americans. One would think that Africans would view white Americans as at least as alien as black Americans, if not more.
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:18 PM
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I think the interesting thing that isn't addressed by the "cultural bias" explanation is that white Americans are preferred to black Americans. One would think that Africans would view white Americans as at least as alien as black Americans, if not more.
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Originally Posted by GreenWyvern
The countries of Africa are as different from each other in language and culture as the countries of Europe, or the countries of Asia.
That would tend to suggest that African men from other tribes or countries would be as culturally different as an African-American man would be.

I wonder what the preferences would be for men, if they prefer women from their own tribe or culture vs. African-American women or white or Asian or Hispanic.

Regards,
Shodan
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:25 PM
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I'm seeing preference and not hostility in the description given by the OP. Weird title.
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:30 PM
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the preferred order of men they'd be open to dating
I have met Hispanic women who preferred Anglo men over Hispanic men. Partly it was a stereotype that all gringos are rich. Partly it was a stereotype that working-class Anglo men are less likely to be abusive than working-class Hispanic men. It was more about class than skin color.
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Old 11-07-2019, 03:39 PM
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We lived in Africa for three years. Africans generally view black Americans with pity, as they have none of the tribal connections that are important to African people. They have trouble imagining being that lost. They also view it with some amusement when black American entertainers show up and immediately exclaim to the audience "I feel like I'm finally home!" Anyway, I'm assuming that it's not really hostility at work in the USA, but a sense of alienation and total lack of any commonality with African Americans. They could probably relate better to Native Americans.
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Old 11-07-2019, 04:10 PM
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I'm 3rd generation Okinawan/Japanese-American and have known 1st generation immigrant Korean, Chinese and Filipino women who expressed either a strong preference for or strong preference against 1st generation immigrants from their native countries. Interestingly, their preferred match-up for me was usually someone of their nationality, usually a relative or friend.

Analyze it any way you want, but when it comes to relationships, there's no one answer for a person's romantic choices.

Last edited by lingyi; 11-07-2019 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:30 PM
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I don't know that I'd call it hostility, exactly and I don't think it's restricted to romantic partners - because I've seen it at jobs, where the Africans are one group and those from the Caribbean another group and people whose family has been in the US for generations were a third group. And while I wouldn't say the different groups were hostile to each other, it was pretty clear to me that they had different cultures, traditions, food etc. People of any race prefer to socialize with those they have they most in common with and it's the same for choosing a romantic partner.
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Old 11-07-2019, 06:48 PM
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One case sticks out in my head. I took a report about a baby that had been injured while in the care of a nanny. The parents were African immigrants and the nanny was a black American woman. The parents seemed very comfortable to tell me how they had made a mistake hiring a black American and used some choice racial epithets to tell me. Itís not the only time that an African immigrant for some reason felt comfortable to tell me how they felt about black Americans. Thatís anecdotal of course and I have no idea how prevalent but itís happened enough for me to notice.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:02 PM
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I used to teach in inner-city Buffalo. There was considerable disdain among African-American kids against immigrant African refugees.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:06 PM
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We lived in Africa for three years. Africans generally view black Americans with pity, as they have none of the tribal connections that are important to African people. They have trouble imagining being that lost. They also view it with some amusement when black American entertainers show up and immediately exclaim to the audience "I feel like I'm finally home!" Anyway, I'm assuming that it's not really hostility at work in the USA, but a sense of alienation and total lack of any commonality with African Americans. They could probably relate better to Native Americans.
That reminds me of a story I read a few years back by a young black African woman who had emigrated to the U.S. (IDR from where). She could not relate to the black American kids at her school, but she fit right in with that school's sizable Filipino community. IIRC, she even ended up marrying the older brother of one of them.
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Old 11-07-2019, 07:18 PM
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That would tend to suggest that African men from other tribes or countries would be as culturally different as an African-American man would be.
I wouldn't say that. It's more of a spectrum I would say. A Belgian and a Pole would certainly be quite different culturally, but they'd likely have some things in common, like they'd most likely have been raised Catholic or at least have a familiarity with Catholicism, and they'd both like beer, and sausage, and cheese. They'd probably prefer different styles of beer, sausage, and cheese, but these things wouldn't be completely foreign to them. They'd surely have more in common with each other than either would with a Nigerian. Likewise I would guess the differences between a Nigerian and a Kenyan would be similar to the differences between the Belgian and Pole -- definitely quite different, but not as different as either of them would be from a European, or African-American, or white American.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:40 AM
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Moving from GQ to IMHO.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:43 AM
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Also, black Africans are not automatically immune to pervasive societal prejudice against African-Americans just because they have similar skin color. Plus if you're talking about marital preferences, you've got traditional sexist prejudices coming into play as well as traditional racist ones.

If women are conventionally supposed to value social status in a marriage partner, and if the fellow Africans that their community traditionally ranks highest in social status are hypothetically unavailable, then it's not surprising if their choice among American men is more influenced by American social hierarchies than by feelings of vague "racial" solidarity.
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:45 PM
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I've had college students from Africa who have told me about the prejudices they experienced from African-Americans. They don't understand where it's coming from and end up hanging out with European-American friends. I didn't see any examples of the prejudice going the other way.

Even worse off are mixed-race folk from some Caribbean islands. The racism is not just more apparent, but since they grew up in cultures where racism was not significant and it was an entirely new and unexpected experience.

Of course, my African-American friends have regaled me with horrifying stories of racism they experience on a daily basis. (And I experienced racism and sexism at one position.)

People are jerks.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:06 PM
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African immigrants to America may not like the fact that they are expected to be on the same page as African-Americans, when they have nothing in common.
IMHO something like this. The last five years I've worked with a lot of Africans and African-Americans. The fact that society as a whole tries to equate them seems to make the differences even more pronounced to them; and as a result they keep more of a distance them some would expect. Like others have said rarely have I sensed any hostility and the few times it did was from individuals who just hostile to everyone and everything so you throw those results out.
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Old 11-08-2019, 01:34 PM
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I wouldn't say that. It's more of a spectrum I would say. A Belgian and a Pole would certainly be quite different culturally, but they'd likely have some things in common, like they'd most likely have been raised Catholic or at least have a familiarity with Catholicism, and they'd both like beer, and sausage, and cheese. They'd probably prefer different styles of beer, sausage, and cheese, but these things wouldn't be completely foreign to them. They'd surely have more in common with each other than either would with a Nigerian. Likewise I would guess the differences between a Nigerian and a Kenyan would be similar to the differences between the Belgian and Pole -- definitely quite different, but not as different as either of them would be from a European, or African-American, or white American.
I'm not sure your chosen examples (Nigeria to Kenya, and Belgium to Poland) make for good comparisons. Nigeria and Kenya are on the same continent, but any other similarity seems to stem from their shared experiences as former British colonies (knowledgeable of English culture/language/administration/law/music/sports/etc). You probably should have picked closer countries like Nigeria and... Ghana. Or Kenya and Rwanda.

Belgium and Poland, while different countries, are still quite close to each other (separated only by Germany) while Nigeria and Kenya are on the opposite shores of Africa with no know direct histories or ethnic/cultural relations; and a total of FOUR Germanies apart (at their closest points)

Last edited by orcenio; 11-08-2019 at 01:35 PM.
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Old 11-08-2019, 03:24 PM
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I work in a diverse school, and I will say that most of my African students are very aware that while they may not think of themselves as being culturally closer to African Americans than to any other American group, cops and other authority figures don't make that distinction. This does create a common ground and a powerful shared experience. #BLM speaks to both.

Most of my kids have been in diverse schools the whole way through. There doesn't seem to be any particular gap or tension between the two groups. African kids are a lot more likely to be forbidden to date ANYONE, generally speaking.
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Old 11-08-2019, 04:39 PM
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Do American Caucasians have problems in the Caucasus?

No, that's not a serious question. Yes, I am going all reducto ad absurdum. But I've a parallel. I met a Mayan girl in Guatemala who had been adopted in infancy and raised in Ohio. Vacationing with her gringo family in her distant birthplace was difficult; she looked local but wasn't.

Moral: Beware appearance stereotypes.
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Old 11-08-2019, 05:53 PM
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I'm not sure your chosen examples (Nigeria to Kenya, and Belgium to Poland) make for good comparisons. Nigeria and Kenya are on the same continent, but any other similarity seems to stem from their shared experiences as former British colonies (knowledgeable of English culture/language/administration/law/music/sports/etc). You probably should have picked closer countries like Nigeria and... Ghana. Or Kenya and Rwanda.

Belgium and Poland, while different countries, are still quite close to each other (separated only by Germany) while Nigeria and Kenya are on the opposite shores of Africa with no know direct histories or ethnic/cultural relations; and a total of FOUR Germanies apart (at their closest points)
Point taken. I was trying to go for a country in western Europe versus a country in eastern Europe and a country in western Africa versus a country in eastern Africa. But of course Africa is much bigger than Europe. I actually almost went with Uganda and Kenya for my example, but then I though people would say "But of course they're similar, they boarder each other" so I went with a country farther away.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:50 PM
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I don't know about the Caucasus and Caucasians, but I do know that Acadians who were put into service as translators during WWII were sometimes looked down upon by the French. This may have been cultural or linguistic. Louisiana Creole isn't exactly the French of Parisian universities, but most random Cajuns drafted during WWII weren't university student materiel, either. In any case, the epithet connasse was used and Anglo soldiers heard "coon ass", which entered into Acadiana's vocabulary thereafter.

Anyway, people are tribal and insecure and if they don't have a claim to superiority, they are likely to invent one. But, that's just the opinion of this Coonass.
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Old 11-08-2019, 08:00 PM
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Slavery fucked African Americans up. And so there are many who perceive us (African Americans) to be tainted not due to any genetic failing, but due to the history of fucked-up-ness we've experienced for the past 400 years.

Immigrants tend to be strivers full of hope and ambition. There is a widespread belief (incorrect one) that African Americans don't have hope and ambition...that we're all lazy anti-intellects. Mainstream America holds this belief, and so do many immigrants.

African immigrants tend to be very well-educated and successful. It is challenging enough for upwardly mobile African American women to find men from their culture who are in their socioeconomic league. So it doesn't surprise me that a random African woman living in Detroit has decided to save her flirtatious ways on demographics that are more skewed towards upward mobility than what you find in the Detroit branch of African American Malehood. It is very possible if these young women were living in, say, Atlanta or DC, they would have a different mate-selection hierarchy since those cities are pretty dang buppified.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:43 PM
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......People are jerks.
Agreed. I'm considering having t-shirts made up to this effect.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:45 PM
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since those cities are pretty dang buppified.
Google didn't help me on this one... I'm guessing it means "black yuppies"?
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:54 PM
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Google didn't help me on this one... I'm guessing it means "black yuppies"?
Black Urban Professionals
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Old 11-09-2019, 10:40 PM
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Even worse off are mixed-race folk from some Caribbean islands. The racism is not just more apparent, but since they grew up in cultures where racism was not significant and it was an entirely new and unexpected experience.
My ex brother-in-law is black Guyanese. He and his family didn't really identify with African-Americans. As immigrants, they perceived themselves as being more ambitious and motivated than black Americans. He and other members of his family all, I think, married white Americans. On the other hand, I think my niece and nephew identify to some extent with black American culture, simply because they are shoehorned into it. (However, my niece's boyfriend, who she met in college, is Dutch.)

My brother's partner is from Trinidad, and is of South Asian ancestry. In my experience, Trinidadians from South Asia can be very prejudiced against West Indians of African descent.
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:38 PM
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There are divisions within expat communities all over the world. A lot of Westerners in Asia prefer local partners over fellow Westerners, so Iím not surprised that Africans in America could have certain specific choices. monstroís explanation makes sense.
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:21 AM
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+1 to cultural bias/preference. Replace the nationality with any other and the results will likely be the same. Relationship preferences are largely built upon common interests. I don't see any hostility at all.
If you'd asked my female immigrant friends to Miami for their preferences in dating, those who'd just arrived would have very little racial preference. After a while, we realized that "WAPs" and us were from different planets: White, Anglosaxon, Protestant person, often but not always from "the heartland", were the ones most likely to have wifely expectations which were in direct contradiction of our own lifely plans. So we preferred... anybody else! And within "anybody else", someone from your own country and preferably from your own region was most likely to involve the smallest amount of cultural shock, arguments about food, etc.

This includes women from multiple Spanish-speaking countries, multiple European countries, India, China, Taiwan, Vietnam and several African countries. Religions included several brands of Christianity, Islam and Buddhism, along with atheists and agnostics.
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Last edited by Nava; 11-10-2019 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 11-10-2019, 03:05 AM
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in high school a kid in class had African relatives and said most Africans didn't like American blacks.... they saw them as lazy shiftless welfare thugs with no class or manners ..... and that was some the nice descriptions ...
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:02 AM
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I don't know about the Caucasus and Caucasians, but I do know that Acadians who were put into service as translators during WWII were sometimes looked down upon by the French. This may have been cultural or linguistic. Louisiana Creole isn't exactly the French of Parisian universities, but most random Cajuns drafted during WWII weren't university student materiel, either. In any case, the epithet connasse was used and Anglo soldiers heard "coon ass", which entered into Acadiana's vocabulary thereafter.

Anyway, people are tribal and insecure and if they don't have a claim to superiority, they are likely to invent one. But, that's just the opinion of this Coonass.
That's... very weird and feels a lot like folk etymology to this snooty Parisian university type dude.
Namely because "connasse" is feminine - an insulting term for women that wouldn't be used on men - much less soldier men, no matter how wrong they talked. The masculine version is "connard" (the d is silent), which obviously wouldn't be derived into coon ass or even coon arse. But in any event "connard" isn't particularly linked to people perceived as stupid or uneducated, it's about being an asshole, more or less. There are plenty French epithets that would have been more suited or suitable for y'alls transatlantic moonspeaking ploucs .

("plouc" itself is derived from the Breton "ploug" meaning village. Because rural manual labourers from Brittany going up to the big cities to find job in the factories after their main line of work on sailing ships declined, and who wouldn't speak "proper French" because that only really became a nation-wide thing after WW1, would answer questions like "where are you from ?" with "from my ploug" or the actual name of their village, which naturally most are called "Ploug Something")
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:13 AM
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in high school a kid in class had African relatives and said most Africans didn't like American blacks.... they saw them as lazy shiftless welfare thugs with no class or manners ..... and that was some the nice descriptions ...
And these sorts of prejudices on the part of black Africans tend to get a disproportionate amount of attention from American whites, because it makes them feel better about their own racist prejudices. "See, other black people think of African-Americans as lazy shiftless welfare thugs same as we do, so the problem must be African-Americans, not us!"
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:52 AM
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From my admittedly limited knowledge, I have the impression that Nigerians aren't universally popular with people from other African countries either.
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