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Race and School Enrollment among the Children of African Immigrants in the United States

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Abstract

This study examines whether previous findings of an immigrant schooling advantage among Blacks in the United States reflect a declining significance of race in the enrollment patterns of immigrants’ children. Using data from the 2000 US census, the study finds that, despite their advantage within the Black population, the children of Black Africans are collectively disadvantaged relative to the children of White Africans. Disparate enrollment trajectories are found among children in Black and White African families. Specifically, between the first and second generations, enrollment outcomes improved among the children of White Africans but declined among Black Africans’ children. The results also suggest that among immigrants from African multi-racial societies, pre-migration racial schooling disparities do not necessarily disappear after immigration to the United States. Additionally, the children of Black Africans from these contexts have worse outcomes than the children of other Black African immigrants and their relative disadvantage persists even after other factors are controlled.

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