African Immigrants in the New York Labor Movement
New York City is home to the largest African community in North America. Over half of all African immigrants to the United States reside in New York, California, Texas, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. According to US Census figures, in 2000, New York had the largest number of African immigrants (151,697, or 10.7 percent), followed by California (145,335, or 10.2 percent), Texas (119,116, or 8.4 percent), Maryland (111,698, or 7.9 percent), Virginia (79,661, or 5.6 percent), New Jersey (74,031, or 5.2 percent), and Massachusetts (70,231, or 4.9 percent) receptively. For more information, you may visit this site
This short documentary focuses on the roles African immigrants are playing in the United States and the impact they have on organized labor in New York City. Produced by Sergey Kadinsky for his Master’s thesis project in Journalism at the City University of New York (CUNY), the short film pays homage to the deep impact African immigrants are making in the communities they now call home.
Harlem is a favorite destination for many new arrivals, thereby leading to distinct economic and social activities that leave deep impact the various neighborhoods in Harlem. African restaurants, food markets, convenience and beauty shops are creating clusters of economic revival in the neighborhoods that they settle in, such as is the case in the Little Senegal on 116th Street in Harlem. Many of the city’s African immigrants reside in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island but the Bronx, because of abundance space and affordability, has the highest number of African residents. Perhaps, in recognition of this and of the impact of these new African are making, the Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. recently announced the creation of an African Advisory Council (their Facebook page), which will work with the Bronx African community to resolve its emerging issues and make recommendations on strategies to improve the quality of life of this growing population.