On October 9, Penn IUR and the Department of Africana Studies hosted an Urban Book talk with Onoso Imoagene, Assistant Professor of Sociology, on her book, Beyond Expectations: Second-Generation Nigerians in the United States and Britain. The book examines the multifaceted identities of second-generation Nigerian adults in the United State and Britain. After interviewing over 150 people, Imoagene argues that second-generation Nigerians compose an alternative notion of “black” identity that is different from an African American or Black Caribbean notion. These apprehensible distinctions represent both group’s complex relationships on questions of self-identity, as well as ethnic and class consciousness.
Imoagene recited two chapters from the book and discussed the differences of the cultural and ethnic behaviors that second generation Nigerians experience. Recognizing that there are clear distinctions between feeling “American” in America, but not in Britain, Imoagene acknowledged America’s efforts in assimilating its immigrant population into society. After the reading, discussion around the aspirational statues attributed to immigrant groups in the United States accentuated the high expectations of second-generation immigrants’ experience. Strict immigration laws that create a hyper-selective system of entry into the United States, greatly alter the American-Nigerian social and cultural networks, reshaping social and cultural environments that these groups face in the period of transnationalism and globalization.