Black and hispanic: The racial identification of Afro-Cuban immigrants in the southwest

C. Alison Newby, Julie A. Dowling

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although studies document the successful adaptation of Cuban exiles in Miami, little research has examined the settlement experiences of recent Afro-Cuban immigrants. Many of these Afro-Cubans have settled in relocation sites throughout the United States, including the Southwest. The adjustment of these immigrants in areas with mostly White and Mexican-origin populations, and a smaller African American group, creates identity conflicts as these immigrants struggle to find their place in this largely white/black/brown triracial system. Drawing on interviews with forty-five Afro-Cubans in Austin, Texas, and Albuquerque, New Mexico, this study employs a constructionist approach, exploring the ways in which racial and ethnic identities are formed in dialogue with both self-appraisal and external classification from others. Findings reveal the complicated identification processes involved as Afro-Cubans attempt to maintain identification as both "Cuban" and "Black" in the face of external classification as either "Black" or "Hispanic.".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)343-366
Number of pages24
JournalSociological Perspectives
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2007


  • Blackness
  • Cubans
  • Immigration
  • Latinos
  • Racial/ethnic identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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