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Black Culture and Experience

Contemporary Issues

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Edited By Venise T. Berry, Anita Fleming-Rife and Ayo Dayo

Black Culture and Experience: Contemporary Issues offers a holistic look at Black culture in the twenty-first century. It is a collection of work that creates a synergy among authors and leads to a valuable resource on contemporary issues. Part One examines institutional, societal, and political issues like identity politics; the Rooney Rule; prosperity gospel; inequality in the criminal justice system; the American dream; the future of Black and Africana studies; and President Obama’s double consciousness. Part Two investigates social, cultural, and community issues such as the Affordable Care Act; Black women and obesity; Black men’s experience in marriage and relationships; sexual decision making; interracial relationships; and cultural racism. Part Three explores media, pop culture, and technology issues including the rise of urban fiction; hip hop and feminism; race in Super Bowl commercials; the construction of Black Diasporic identities; Whiteness in Black-oriented films; Black masculinity in Django Unchained; and the power of Black Twitter. This anthology contains work from leading scholars, authors, and other specialists who have been brought together to highlight key issues in black culture and experience today. The goal is to help readers understand where we are and where we still need to go, what is working and what we still need to work on, what is right and what is still wrong.
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Chapter Seventeen: The Construction of Black Diasporic Identities in News Discourse on Immigration in the U.S. Black Press

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CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

The Construction of Black Diasporic Identities in News Discourse on Immigration in the U.S. Black Press

ILIA RODRÍGUEZ

Recent mediated debates on immigration policy reform have constituted sites of discursive struggles over the meaning of national and diasporic identities. This chapter focuses on coverage of immigration in the U.S. Black press between 2006 and 2014 to examine how those discourses activated can construct positions of identification for members of the African diaspora.1 A central argument in this chapter is that U.S. newspapers produced for U.S.-born African Americans, as well as for African, Jamaican, Haitian, and other immigrant communities from the Caribbean, contribute to the enduring, historical legacy of the Black Atlantic. This is most evident in the ways the Black press gives visibility and voice to emigrants from Africa and the Caribbean, and provides common referents and solidarity among members of the African diaspora. By approaching contemporary Black newspapers in the English language as interpretive communities of publishers, editors, journalists, sources, and readers (Lindlof, 1988; Zelizer, 1993), this research explores their role as actors in a transnational circuit of ideas, activism, and political discourses on immigration. The analysis presented here highlights the ways in which news coverage of immigration inscribes certain identities onto social groups by constructing boundaries of inclusion and exclusion and by constituting discourses on interethnic relations in the United States. ← 235 | 236 →

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