The New African Americans

360_africa_smoking_0721Saving Black Lives includes those of our African immigrant brothers and sisters.  Though African immigrants and their American born children are often folded into the greater African American community they are diverse and distinct from each other and their African-American descendants.

Religion, language, ethnic background, culture, and social status are the main pillars that define the diversity of African immigrants in the United States. When it comes to religion, African immigrants and refugees are Muslim, Jewish (especially the Beta Israel community of Ethiopia), practitioners of native pre-Christian religious traditions, as well as adherents of various Christian faiths such as Coptic Christianity, Roman Catholicism, the Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Churches , and Protestant faiths such as the Nazarene, Anglican and Methodist Churches. Religious diversity is much more extensive then the faiths mentioned above.

Linguistically, an estimated 1000 -2000 languages are currently spoken on the African continent, with at least 75 languages having more than 1 million speakers per language.  In 1960 an estimated 35,355 immigrants arrived in the United States up to an estimated 1.4 million by 2007.  Most of the African-born immigrants and refugees who arrived in the United States did so since 1990 with Nigeria, Egypt, Somalia, Ethiopia, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya being the top countries of origin for African-born immigrants and refugees.

African immigrants tend to bring the smoking patterns and habits from their countries of origin, with East Africans having the highest smoking prevalence

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