On this page we direct you to a set of external resources related to African immigrants in the United States. We hope these supporting resources will help to place Africans in Chicago in the broader context of US and African history, as well as immigration trends. These resources offer a window into the diversity of the African immigrant and refugee community in the US.
- Timeline: African Immigration to the US
- African Immigrants and Refugees in Illinois: A Comprehensive Needs Assessment and Demographic Study (2009)
This study interviewed a sample of African immigrants and refugees in Illinois. It reported the demographic characteristics of African immigrants in Illinois and in the process illuminated their needs and challenges. Specifically, the narrative unearths forms of migration and resettlement in the United States, community organization and assimilation patterns among Africans, citizenship and civic participation, ties with country of origin, challenges encountered by African students in universities and colleges, entrepreneurship and business development, overcoming ethnic and national division with an African consciousness and shared vision for community empowerment, as well as attitudes toward Africa and the work of the UAO to organize African immigrants and refugees in Illinois.
- Retooling Systems: the Integration of African Refugees in Illinois (UAO Policy Brief, October 2009)
This report shares the results of original research, conducted by the United African Organization (UAO), assessing the conditions of refugee resettlement in Illinois.
- African Community Resource Guide
The UAO regularly updates the Community Resource Guide to reflect current listings and contact information for African (or affiliated) community organizations, businesses (including restaurants) and services in Illinois.
Other Resources: Websites, Reports & Videos
- ‘African Immigration’ – In Motion: The American-American Migration Experience: Website by the Schomburg Center for Black Culture at the New York Public Library. Some of the statistics on the site are a little outdated (the site was created in 2003). However, it is still the most comprehensive public education resource on African immigration to the United States.
- Rob Paral and Associates
A consulting firm that analyzes (predominantly Census) data. Most of their work relates to the Chicago area. This website contains maps showing, among other things, immigration patterns over the years. This map showing changes in the immigration population of Chicago is particularly useful.
- Migration Policy Institute (MPI) and Migration Information Source
MPI provides analysis, development, and evaluation of migration and refugee policies at the local, national, and international levels. MPI publishes the online journal The Migration Information Source, a resource providing current and accurate migration and refugee data and analysis. MPI Resources of particular relevance:
- Diverse Streams: African Migration to the United States (April 2012)
- Changing Demography and Circumstances for Young Black Children in African and Caribbean Immigrant Families (April 2012)
- African Immigrants in the United States (July 2011) (Overview article)
- US Historical Immigration Trends
- Immigrant Population by Region of Birth: Graph & Interactive Chart
- Annual Legal Immigration by Region or Country of Origin (up to 2010)
- New US Citizens by Region and Country of Origin (up to 2010)
- Refugee Admissions: Top Ten Sending Countries
- US Census: American Community Survey
Click on American Fact Finder to see figures by region, country of origin and other demographics. If you’re looking for more stats, the US Census website is also worth visiting.
- Northwestern University Department of Anthropology: ‘Peoples of Africa’ videos
Students taking Professor Kearsley Stewart’s Anthropology class, ‘Peoples of Africa’, have created a number of short videos over the years about African immigrants and refugees in Chicago.
- Northwestern University Medill SchoolReport on the difficulty of putting a figure to the African population in Cook County, IL.
- The Neo-African Americans
A feature-length documentary about how rapid, voluntary migration from Africa and the Caribbean is transforming the ‘African-American’ narrative.
- Ìrìnkèrindò: a Journal of African Migration
A peer-reviewed journal devoted to the study of African migration and immigration to other parts of the world.
Books & Articles
- Kwadwo Konadu-Agyemang, Baffour K. Takyi, and John Arthur (2006), The New African Diaspora in North America: Trends, Community Building, and Adaptation (Rowman & Littlefield)
- John. A. Arthur (2010), African Diaspora Identities: Negotiating Culture in Transnational Migration (Lexington Books)
- John A. Arthur (2009), African Women Immigrants in the United States: Crossing Transnational Borders (Palgrave Macmillan)
- John. A. Arthur (2000), Invisible Sojourners: African Immigrant Diaspora in the United States (Westport, Connecticut and London: Praeger)
- Isidore Okpewho & Nkiru Nzegwu (ed.s) (2009), The New African Diaspora (Indiana University Press)
- N.Diaye, Diana Baird (2001) ‘New African Diasporic Communities in the United States: Community Centered Approaches to Research and Presentation’ in Sheila S. Walker (ed.), African Roots/ American Cultures: Africa in the Creation of the Americas (Roman & Littlefield)
- Hugo A Kamya (1997), “African Immigrants in the United States: The Challenge for Research and Practice.” Social Work, 42(2): 154-65.
- Paul Stoler (2002), Money Has No Smell: The Africanization of New York City (University of Chicago Press)