chapter  12
17 Pages

In Search of Success: Where School and Marriage Meet in the Educational Lives of Immigrant African Girls with Limited Formal Schooling


On the African continent, the story of African girls and their schooling has been an evolving one. However, the stories of their schooling once they emigrate are less often told. According to the 2010 US Census, 1.5 million Africans are living in the US, making up 4% of the immigrant population (Capps et al. 2005; Capps, McCabe, and Fix 2011). Although Africans have migrated extensively between countries on the African continent and to former colonizing powers such as England and France, migration to the US is relatively recent, spurred initially by the 1965 Immigration Act, which abolished national quotas and made it legal to migrate to the US from the Global South, and more recently by family reunifi cation visas and refugee visas for confl ict areas and the Diversity Visa program. The US is now the third most likely emigration destination, after England and France, for Africans (Capps, McCabe, and Fix 2011). Forty percent of these Africans live in just four states: New York, California, Texas, and Maryland (Wilson 2003). Washington, DC, Maryland, and Rhode Island have the highest proportions of Africans. For example, in Silver Spring, Maryland, 35.2% of the foreign-born population is African immigrants. Given the rapid growth of these communities and the limited research about African populations, it is becoming essential for educators to learn more about how best to serve the children of these immigrants.