Past scholarship on immigrant racial and ethnic identity construction tends to ignore the processes by which social context influences identity at the individual level. In this qualitative study, Janet T. Awokoya presents a complex understanding of 1.5- and second-generation African immigrant youths’ identities. Awokoya explores how three major contexts—family, school, and peer groups—affect the ways in which African immigrant youth construct and negotiate their racial and ethnic identities. Further, she contends that the ways in which African immigrant youth are expected to conform to ideals of what it means to be African, Nigerian, African American, and Black, which dramatically shift across contexts, significantly confound the racial and ethnic identity constructions and negotiations for these youth. The article concludes with a discussion of practical and theoretical implications for identity development among Black immigrant youth.
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