African-American Expats

May 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

Here’s a book that I’d like to read . . . as soon as it’s written.

The Center for Intercultural Dialogue is calling for chapters and chapter proposals for a proposed book with the working title The Hidden Lives of African Americans Living Abroad Series, Book 1: Articulating the Opportunities and Challenges of Living Internationally. The overview of the book includes the following:

While anecdotal data indicate that the experiences of African Americans living abroad qualitatively differs from those of European Americans, there is a substantial lack of scholarship that investigates the ways in which national and ethnic identities are expressed (and experienced) cross culturally by Black Americans living overseas. In many ways, the everyday lived experiences of African American expatriates living abroad remain unknown—and largely neglected by mainstream media and academic research. This series seeks to examine and highlight what life is like for African Americans living abroad.

And here are some of the suggested chapter topics that look particularly interesting to me:

  • What it’s like to be the only African American in the country
  • “But you don’t have blonde hair or blue eyes”: Encountering and overcoming stereotypes of the “All American” image abroad
  •  “How do they treat Black people there?” Addressing the pre-departure fears of friends
  • Perceptions of African Americans abroad
  • African American Image in Overseas Advertising
  • Returning to the U.S. and Readjusting to Home

As a White American, I’ve often wondered what it is like for Black Americans living overseas, with the extra challenges of facing stereotypes and prejudices . . . layered on top of and intertwined with the other difficulties of cross-cultural living. Hopefully this book—and the whole series—will draw together some good stories and research and create a meaningful discussion.

Go to “CFP African Americans Living Abroad” for more information and submission guidelines.

[illustration: “Blank Open Book,” by DonkeyHotey, used under a Creative Commons license]

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