Black Mosaic: The Politics of Black Pan-Ethnic Diversity

Black Mosaic: The Politics of Black Pan-Ethnic Diversity

by Candis Watts Smith

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Historically, Black Americans have easily found common ground on political, social, and economic goals. Yet, there are signs of increasing variety of opinion among Blacks in the United States, due in large part to the influx of Afro-Latino, Afro-Caribbean, and African immigrants to the United States. In fact, the very definition of “African American” as well as who can self-identity as Black is becoming more ambiguous. Should we expect African Americans’ shared sense of group identity and high sense of group consciousness to endure as ethnic diversity among the population increases? In Black Mosaic , Candis Watts Smith addresses the effects of this dynamic demographic change on Black identity and Black politics.

Smith explores the numerous ways in which the expanding and rapidly changing demographics of Black communities in the United States call into question the very foundations of political identity that has united African Americans for generations. African Americans’ political attitudes and behaviors have evolved due to their historical experiences with American Politics and American racism. Will Black newcomers recognize the inconsistencies between the American creed and American reality in the same way as those who have been in the U.S. for several generations? If so, how might this recognition influence Black immigrants’ political attitudes and behaviors? Will race be a site of coalition between Black immigrants and African Americans-including In addition to face-to-face interviews with African Americans and Black immigrants, Smith employs nationally representative survey data to examine these shifts in the attitudes of Black Americans. Filling a significant gap in the political science literature to date, Black Mosaic is a groundbreaking study about the state of race, identity, and politics in an ever-changing America.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781479805310
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 10/24/2014
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Candis Watts Smith is Assistant Professor of Political Science at Williams College. She received her PhD from Duke University and was awarded the 2013 Best Dissertation Award from the Race, Ethnicity and Politics Section of the American Political Science Association.

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments ix

Introduction 1

1 Black on Black History 19

2 Diasporic Consciousness: Theorizing Black Pan-Ethnic Identity and Intraracial Politics 45

3 From Group Membership to Group Identification 69

4 Broadening Black Identity: Evidence in National Data 110

5 Politicizing Identities: Linking Identity to Politics 133

6 Perspectives on Intraracial Coalition and Conflict 175

Conclusion: My President Is Black? 197

Appendix A: Presentation of Survey Items and Variable Measures 206

Appendix B: Interview Respondent Characteristics 210

Appendix C: Semistructured Interview Guide 214

Notes 219

Bibliography 249

Index 267

About the Author 277

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