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