Student Research Paper
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How does going abroad impact Black/African Americans’ conceptualization of self? To assess the answer to this question I analyzed and reflected on mine and the international experiences of my participants, conducted thirteen interviews, and had participants answer survey questions. I argue that identity has two parts: your external and internal parts. The external identity I attributed to international experiences. My findings showed there are three impacts international travel has on Black/ African American identity constructions: the reinforcement, creation of something new, and added new dimension. There is little scholarship that studies the impact of international travel as it pertains to the diverse identity constructions within the Black community (Black vs African American). The impact of international travel on Black people’s identity construction is great, but especially for African Americans due to their unique identity constructions. I argue there is a divide between the impact of international travel on Black people (those who identify with Caribbean and or African roots) and African Americans (those with ancestors a part of the Transatlantic Slave Trade and with multi-generational history in the US). Black participants had international experiences that reaffirmed their identity constructions, while African Americans experienced identity fatigue, the unsettling challenge of their identity constructions. To better understand the modern Black/African American experience we must analyze the relationship between identity construction and external experiences. To do this we must consider African American’s unique identity constructions and its impacts on their modern experiences, international travel being one example.
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Knox, Jordan K., "International Travel and Its Impacts on Black/African American Identity Construction" (2021). Student Publications. 917.