Anglophone West African women in the United States

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Olivia Erica Metzger Jones (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Kathleen Casey

Abstract: This study examines how Anglophone West African women construct their identities in the United States. As women originating from countries where the majority of people are black and where they do not have "a black identity" in their consciousness, they now face a new situation in America where they are considered primarily through the color of their skin. All other aspects of their identity, their race, gender, education, family and religion are subsumed in this black identity. The researcher who is also a woman from Anglophone West Africa and now living in the United States examines blackness in America and seeks to find out how Anglophone West African women reconsider and recreate aspects of their identity as black women in the United States. Using narrative research methodology, this researcher collected oral stories from five women from Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone. Narrative research methodology is suitable for this study as the tradition of storytelling and transmitting wisdom through oral methods has been acclaimed as having its roots in Africa. The researcher asked her study participants to tell her the story of their lives. After the women spoke without being interrupted, the researcher then asked the women questions on women, race, education, and friendships. She tape recorded these narratives, transcribed and analyzed them while noting the features of narrative research within the stories.The researcher found that the women in her study reject the stereotypes ascribed to black people in the United States and strive to differentiate themselves from black Americans by emphasizing their origins and the positives from their backgrounds. They use family, education and religion to buttress them against difficulties they encounter. Furthermore, they revise African gender expectations and remain connected with kith and kin back in their countries of origin

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2013
African American, Education, Ethnic Studies, Sierra Leone, West Africa, Women
Blacks $x Race identity $z Africa, West
Blacks $x Race identity $z United States
Women, Black $z United States $x Ethnic identity

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