Africans on the Move: Transnational, Intranational, and Metaphorical Migrations
States and thus are playing important economic roles in maintaining the family structure both for the family members who are still in Africa and those in the United States” is belied by research and documentation, particularly from the 1970s that demonstrate that African women have always participated in economic production, but their contributions are not acknowledged by predominantly male dominant societies. Their active
engagement in economic production probably explains why a significant number of African women come to the United States on their own account, not just to join a spouse, but to generate material resources that enable them to take care of their children and kinfolk.
Takougang also argues that remittances to Africa from immigrants are on the increase, as are economic and social institutions established by African immigrants to provide various forms of assistance to their membership. Becoming integrated into American society entails having to experience the stereotypes, racial and ethnic slurs directed against African Americans, as well as racial profiling, and police brutality, which may culminate in murder, as with Amadou Diallo, who was cut down in a hail of 41 gunshots by the Street Crime Unit of the New York Police in 1999. The reluctance of African immigrants to realistically assess the extent to which the full enjoyment of the benefits of American citizenship is mediated by the politics of race means that they continue to express shock and disappointment at their non-acceptance, but they are yet to sufficiently address the institutional inequities as political problems that ought to be confronted and challenged through organized political action.
In his paper titled: “Hegemony and Transnational Practices of Nigerian-Yorùbás in Toronto”, Charles Adéyanjú uses Gramsci’s concept of hegemony in an analysis of the transnational practices of Nigerian-Yorùbá immigrants in Toronto. He argues that these transnational practices emerge out of the combined influence of material experience in Canada, and the immigrants’ formation of a Yorùbá ethnic identity in post-colonial Nigerian society prior to migration. The feeling and articulation of social exclusion and inequality by this community in Toronto is an expression of common sense understandings of their lived experience. Within this community which itself experiences racial, class, and gender inequalities as normalized and naturalized aspects of Toronto social life, gender and class inequalities are naturalized and normalized by dominant elites to oppress those in subordinate positions. Adéyanjú concludes by suggesting the development of strategies forged by “trans-nationalism from below” to foster a bottom- up challenge to these established racial, gender and class inequalities.
Adéyanjú’s contribution is to show through the case of Nigerian- Yorùbá transnationals, the extent to which their practices contributes to the entrenchment of unequal social relations at global and local levels. Paradoxically, the transnationals’ actions emerge out
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