ABSTRACT

In the United States, the ‘ethnoracial pentagon’ has become a major tool to define identity. Its normative aspect contributes to the process of categorizing the social sphere into a fixed number of categories notwithstanding the tensions it triggers. Based on a qualitative study and in-depth interviews, this article focuses on how second-generation African college students interpret their racial and ethnic identities and navigate the American ethnoracial pentagon on campus. This article suggests that the norms and ambivalence of the ethnoracial pentagon incite the New African Diaspora to develop identification strategies as a way to distance themselves from stigmatized racial identities.