All Articles Tagged "black immigrants"
(The Root) — On March 11, at a press conference on Capitol Hill, Tolu Olubunmi came out publicly as an undocumented immigrant for the first time. ”It’s been nerve-racking because it puts me at a risk,” the 30-year-old told The Root about her speech supporting Illinois Sen. package Durbin’s (D-Ill.) reintroduction of the DREAM Act. The bill, which passed in the House last year but failed to clear the Senate, would provide a path to citizenship for undocumented youths like her, brought to the United States as children. “But I think you have to focus on the individuals to get away from the politics of an issue that’s so divisive. Once you know that there are real people attached to the statistics, then you have to start working on real solutions.” Olubunmi, who was born in Nigeria, is also one of 3 million black immigrants in this country. Despite moving from Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America at a remarkable rate — and despite an estimated 400,000 having undocumented status — they are barely footnotes in an immigration-reform conversation that is usually framed as a Mexican-border issue. But in light of newer, smaller-but-growing communities, as well as recently granted protected status for Haitians in particular, black immigrants are becoming stronger voices, advocating for reform from their diverse perspectives.
(The Grio) — It’s like karmic cash. You get as good as you give. And Marie Lumen Clersaint is Brooklyn’s reigning queen of sou-sous — an informal savings club popular among Caribbean and African immigrants. When anyone in her tight knit circle of savers needs a large sum of money, they come to her. At any given time, Clersaint runs two sou-sous where people come together and make regular contributions to a common fund, which is then disbursed as a lump sum to one member of the group every cycle. The payouts for her current sou-sous are $20,000 and $10,000. They have 40 and 20 members, respectively. Each member puts in $500 bi-weekly. Every two weeks one member of each sou-sou will receive their group’s entire payout, until each person gets a turn. The $20,000 sou-sou runs or 18 months, the $10,000 saving club lasts 10 months. For the person who gets the first disbursement, it’s an interest-free cash advance and for the last payee it’s a no-interest savings plan. And for those in the middle, it’s a combination of both. There are no checks or money orders involved. It’s all cash all the time.