Representation of Immigrants in URM Categories

(BLS, URM status, non-traditional, GLBT)

What is your family immigration history?

Born in US (both parents native born)
Born in US (one or more parents is an immigrant)
Immigrated to US (now a citizen)
Immigrated to US (not yet a citizen, but let's hope I still can be now that Trump is president)
Foreign National (just came here for the education)
Total votes: 55


Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2014 6:04 pm

Re: Representation of Immigrants in URM Categories

Postby Mjvance2 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 4:02 pm

OP here.

Thanks for the discussion guys and gals. I appreciate everyone's candor in expressing their views. I knew this topic had the potential to be kind of controversial and that wasn't my aim, so I'm glad everyone was able to express themselves without this turning into a feud.

My initial post was not to criticize immigrants or imply some sort of jealousy, but I do feel a bit of disappointment when I don't see more American blacks represented in higher education. I don't feel grad/law school admissions has to be looked at as a zero sum game. I want to see more representation all around.

We need more people like Mr Chukes who are using their experience to encourage and inspire others, even those who don't have the same background as him, that's the whole point. Sadly, I know that some immigrant families raise their kids to look down on or not associate with American blacks. A many black kids are raised to believe that immigrants think they are better than them, or that they're profiting off the sacrifices made by their ancestors. Neither mindset is helpful. We've all got to look at what we can do to uplift all minorities, regardless of background.

I know many people were sharing their backgrounds, so I'll give mine as well.

Black American. My dad was the eighth of ten kids. He moved back and forth from Arkansas to California growing up. Went to almost 20 different schools before he graduated high school. He is the first male in his family to graduate from high school and the first person in his family to get any type of college degree (an Associate's degree in music). He joined the military for six years, and started a career as an insurance salesman. My mom grew up in a stable two-parent home. Neither of her parents went to college, but they expressed the importance of education to their kids. My mom got a Bachelors degree in education and eventually a Masters. She was an elementary school teacher for 20 years until she retired.

I was never told I had to go to college, but my dad did sit me down at 12 years old and say, at 18 I needed a plan. I could go to college, join the military, or get a job and move out. I decided on college, and the thought of grad school came to mind at some point, but I eventually passed on it because I felt it was too expensive for the career I wanted (journalist). 10 years later, I've decided to go back and get a law degree. I know for a fact that right after college I wasn't prepared or ready to take on law school.


Posts: 6
Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 11:16 am

Re: Representation of Immigrants in URM Categories

Postby dabomb905 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:10 pm

Nigerian immigrants are disproportionately represented in professional school because of the cultural value Nigerians put on education and credentials and the fact that despite the anecdotes offered upthread, they are wealthier on average than the average black american and wealth correlates with educational achievement. This does mean that in many cases Nigerians have it better. If your dad had an engineering degree in Nigeria, even if it isnt recognized in the US, educated parents much more likely to instill those values in their children than non-college educated parents. So even if the hypothetical dad comes to the US and works minimum wage beside an african american who on average hasnt attended college, the former's kids are much more likely to do so. Yes, experiences of racism are largely the same but the upbringing of the average child of Nigerian parents is very different from that of the average black american. For this reason, we do have it easier.

This article, although annoyingly named, hits a lot of the points. ... -diversity

"The statistics are striking: Though African immigrants, many of them from Nigeria and Ghana, make up less than 1 percent of America's total population, first- and second-generation black immigrants comprise 41 percent of all black students at Ivy League schools, according to 2007 research from teams at Princeton and Penn. Another study, this one published in Sociology of Education in 2009, found that immigrant blacks attended select colleges at almost four times the rate of native-born African Americans. Outside of the Ivy League, almost 44 percent of African immigrants graduated from a four-year college, compared to just 18 percent of native blacks."

"In 2000, when the median household income for African Americans was about $30,000, the median income for Nigerian immigrant families was more than $45,000 (PDF). "

“When we compare immigrant blacks to African Americans from similar family socioeconomic backgrounds, we find no significant differences between them in their chances of attending college,”

“Our findings indicate that [African immigrants] have greater resources, in the form of family structure and private school attendance, that are universally helpful in providing opportunities to go to college.” (“Family structure” means that African immigrants are less likely to live in single-parent households than native blacks.)"

The reason for AA is largely that because of America's history, in a merit-only system, you would have very few POC accepted into educational institutions because they dont have the resources that lead to things like high gpa's, good test scores and cool extra curriculars. If we got to some post racial society where the vestiges of slavery and discrimination were gone and we still had AA, we would have an overrepresentation of people of color in schools. African immigrants are largely free from a lot of those vestiges(not all) and are a subgroup of black people that do as well as the around as well as the average white American. Since they still count as black for AA purposes, you get an overrepresentation. It makes sense. Its not like black people are biologically predisposed to do worse. Also not arguing the merits of AA, just pointing it out so say that its ridiculous to act like the average African immigrant is in the same position as the average black American.

Im a Nigerian born American, i dont think we should be dividing into subgroups for warfare purposes but we can acknowledge differences in experiences and be okay.

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