“You’re a Different Kind of Black—Where You From?”: The Qualifying Role of Place in the Construction of Black Racial and Ethnic Identities among Louisiana Creole Migrants
Sociology of Race and Ethnicity
Much of the contemporary scholarship on Black identities focuses on how multiraciality, immigrant status, class, and neighborhood characteristics shape how social actors negotiate identities. In contrast, little analysis exists of how internal migration and regional origin or ancestry shape such negotiations. The study addresses this gap using interview data to examine how U.S.-born Black Louisianans with Creole heritage, who moved to Los Angeles along with their children during the Great Migration, actively negotiate racial/ethnic identities. The results show that participants negotiate identities situationally, especially when ambiguous appearances or surnames trigger interactional encounters in which they are mis-placed as “foreign” to the United States. Specifically, as migrants from one internal U.S. region to another, they use geographical references to situate Black racial and Creole ethnic identities (e.g., they refer to Louisiana or New Orleans) when interacting with non-Creole African Americans and non-Black people in Los Angeles. The study extends prior research on heterogeneous Black identities by demonstrating how internal migration, mixed racial/ethnic ancestry, and region of origin influence native-born Black American identities.
University of California
Black identities, ethnic identity, internal migration, Louisiana Creoles, racial identity, region
Sociology and Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
Faustina M. DuCros. "“You’re a Different Kind of Black—Where You From?”: The Qualifying Role of Place in the Construction of Black Racial and Ethnic Identities among Louisiana Creole Migrants" Sociology of Race and Ethnicity (2021): 41-55. https://doi.org/10.1177/2332649220949903