BLACK REMOVAL AND INVISIBILITY: AT THE INTERSECTIONS OF RACE AND CITIZENSHIP IN THE 21st CENTURY
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This dissertation, Black Removal and Invisibility: At the Intersections of Race and Citizenship in the 21st Century, uses the experiences of Black immigrants as a lens to examine anti-Blackness and citizenship within the contemporary U.S. immigration system. I explore how Black immigrants sit at a unique intersection of Blackness and (un)documentation that produces significant vulnerabilities. Black undocumented immigrants occupy an ambiguous and often untenable position within the U.S. nation-state. They are simultaneously included in the broad category of “Black American” and excluded from the category of “American” by virtue of their lack of citizenship. Their exclusion, I contend, is based both on Blackness and status as unauthorized immigrants. I examine their exclusion by addressing the following questions: How does an emphasis on “invisibility” help us to better understand how immigrant rights organizations in the U.S. address and represent the needs of Black immigrants? In what ways have the experiences of Black immigrants been rendered marginal to social justice movements? What are the consequences of their marginalization for political representation? Lastly, how are Black immigrants responding and transforming the immigrants’ movement? I rely on qualitative methods, including participant observation and in-depth interviews to explore these questions.