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Former Ph.D. student, Dr. Josephine Amoakoh co-authors an article with Dr. William Smith

Amoakoh, J. & Smith, W. A. (2020). “Diamonds on the Sole of Their Boots”: The Experiences of African Immigrant Men in STEM Careers in the USA. Spectrum: A Journal on Black Men, 8(1). doi:10.2979/spectrum.8.1.03

Josephine Amoakoh & William Smith


This qualitative study offers insights into the experiences of racial microaggression among 11 African immigrant men working in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) careers in the USA. Through a narrative analysis framed on racial microaggressions and racial battle fatigue, these men were found to navigate workspaces that were rift with race-related microinsults and microinvalidations. They used ambipunitive coping strategies that were agentively punitive, self-preserving, and self-enhancing. At the core of their ambipunitive coping strategies were their families and their transnational identities. The implications of these findings point to the importance of educating management and staff to examine their unconscious and conscious biases and understand how they can result in exclusionary practices and racial microaggressions in the workplace. Further research is necessary to increase our understanding of complexities that are enacted when African immigrants draw on the multiplicity of their contexts, values, and racialization identities in response to racial microaggressions.

To access the full article, click HERE.

Last Updated: 11/24/20