Gender, Radicalization and Precarious Belongings: The 'new' African Diaspora in Vancouver across Two Generations

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 15:56
Oral Presentation
Gillian CREESE, University of British Columbia, Canada
Unlike earlier cohorts of immigrants to Canada, it has been well documented that the majority of those migrating since the 1980s are more highly educated than other Canadians but experience long-term downward social and economic mobility. Those who migrate to Vancouver from sub-Saharan Africa – the ‘new African diaspora’ – provide a good example of this trend. African immigrants express disappointment at local employers’ failure to recognize their educational credentials, credit their overseas work experience, or accept their African English accents, and encounter gendered forms of everyday racism, resilience and community building. However hard migration to Canada has been, however, most parents have dreams of a better future for their children. Indeed, their own sacrifices may be considered worthwhile if their Canadian-raised children have better opportunities and do not experience the marginalization that has marked their parents’ lives. This begs the question: are the first generations’ dreams of better opportunities and belonging for their offspring born out for the second generation of African-Canadians in Vancouver? This paper addresses this critical question of long-term migrant integration, taking a multi-generational, gendered and anti-racist lens to assess whether or not optimistic expectations for the second generation are fulfilled.