In this essay, I argue that Somali identities exist within a long history of immigrant aspirations toward what scholars call “whiteness” and their resistance to being identified within identities associated with Blackness. There are two main frames of my argument. First, I show that Somali-Americans’ resistance to Blackness seems to be informed by intricate anti-Black racial understandings rooted in Somali society. Secondly, I argue that the tendency for Somalis to de-identify as Black denies them access to claim Blackness as a response to white anti-Black oppression. By using two autoethnographic incidents, I theorize that at least one aspect of Somali identity is continuously fleeing from Black identity and attempting to gain access to something to which bodies with Black skin have not had access - whiteness. This has implications for Somali-Americans navigating social justice in Trump-era and beyond.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education|
|State||Published - Feb 7 2020|
- Black immigrant