Which immigrant is more likely to succeed in the United States
At the family gathering of the Oniedzhekve family, wherever you spit, you will get into the master's. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, professors - all family members have a university degree and a bread profession, and many also earn good money on the side. Children boast red diplomas, adults - promotions.
Today, 29% of Americans of Nigerian descent at the age of 25 have a higher education - among the American population as a whole, this figure is only 11%. Among the professionals of Nigerian origin, 45% work in the field of education, and many of them teach at leading universities.
Nigerians are increasingly found in the health sector: many leave their home country for work in American clinics, where you can get much more.
There are quite a few Nigerians among entrepreneurs and directors. Many are creating technology companies in the US to help their fellow citizens in Nigeria.
They have a hard time: racist stereotypes have not gone away. Last year, President Donald Trump let it slip that Nigerians would never return "to their huts" when they saw America.
But racism does not prevent Americans of Nigerian descent from creating jobs, treating patients, teaching students and making contributions to the development of their new homeland. Today, Nigerians are the most successful immigrant group in the United States with a median income of $ 62 351 per household (the national average is $ 57 617).
At the same time, the Nigerian community appeared relatively recently in the United States. In 2015, 376 000 Nigerians lived in America. This roughly corresponds to the number of Indians in 1980, before they became a significant force in areas such as economics and technology.
But Nigerians have already achieved a lot. Forensic scientist Dr. Bennett Omalu, for example, helps to treat head injuries. 49-year-old Omalu was the first to discover and describe chronic traumatic encephalopathy in American football.
Imelme Umana, the first black woman elected last year as president of the law journal at Harvard University, also has Nigerian roots. In 2016, Perlena Ibboque, born in Nigeria, became president of Universal Television, becoming the first African in history to head an American television station.
And the size of the community is growing rapidly - in 1980, there were only 25 000.
Education has traditionally been the main engine of Nigerian success. But lately, Nigerians are becoming more and more visible in areas such as sports, entertainment and cooking - for example, the famous Nigerian chef Tunde Wei from New Orleans, who recently became the hero of the news, showing racial and property inequality in America using dishes.
It was education that attracted the first wave of Nigerians in the USA in the 1970. After the war with the Biathra separatists in 1960, the Nigerian government granted scholarships to study abroad. English-speaking students from Nigeria have achieved excellent results in American and British universities, and many have remained to complete their education or work in a host country.
Since then, education has played a huge role in the life of the Nigerian community. However, many express a desire to return to their homeland and help its development.
But it is easier said than done: few people will agree to exchange the comfortable life of a highly paid American professional for a life in a state that, although it is Africa’s largest economy, is still riddled with corruption and political instability.
In 1970 and 1980, some Nigerians returned to their homeland, having received education abroad, but the post-war country met them with chaos and lack of prospects. In 1966, the military overthrew the regime of the first prime minister of independent Nigeria, Abubakar Tafavi Balevy. It was only the first of a series of military coups - the next happened in the same 1966, and then - in 1975, 1976, 1983, 1985 and 1993 - which did not leave the country any chance democracy up to the year 1999.
“My parents were going to study in Britain or the States, and then return to Nigeria,” says Dr. Nnenna Kalu Makanjuola, who grew up in Nigeria and lives in Atlanta.
Her parents still returned to their homeland, but the economic decline of 1980's meant that it was very difficult to find a job. Having rushed around for several years, the parents of Makanjuola decided that you cannot build a normal life in Nigeria.
Any member of the Nigerian diaspora will tell you that his parents gave him only three careers to choose from: a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer. For most, this is true, but many today are learning a second or even a third profession.
And what about those Nigerians who do not succeed in America?
According to cook Wei, Nigerians are very conservative and require certain things from their children. Choosing a career is not the only limitation:
“It is necessary to be heterosexual, it is necessary to have children, to get a scientific degree. The possibilities of the Nigerians in this regard are very limited. ”
However, this did not prevent him from becoming a cook. Most likely, the new generation will be very different from previous ones ...
By the way, the first millionaire of America was a dark-skinned CJ Walker. She was born in California in 1867 and became the first member of her family, born free from slavery, not free slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation was signed by Lincoln for 4 of the year before her birth, and before that the whole family belonged to the planter Robert Burney.
However, Sarah’s freedom did not last long. At the age of seven she lost both her parents and remained in the care of her sister and her husband. For four years, Sarah worked as a maid in the house until she met her first spouse. They had a daughter, Leila, but after 5 years, Sarah was widowed and in 1888, she was forced to move to St. Louis (Missouri).
In 1894, she remarried, but after 10 years she left her husband and moved to Denver (Colorado). Sarah worked as a laundress for one dollar a day to pay for her daughter's tuition.
During this period, she began to notice that many women workers suffer from dandruff and scalp diseases due to the harsh chemicals used to wash their hair and wash clothes.
Sarah asked her brothers, hairdressers in St. Louis, and they introduced her to Annie Turnbo Malone, a black businesswoman who introduced Sara to hair care products. Sarah has learned a lot of information from her to create her own product line specifically for African-American women.
At 1905, Sarah started her business. Soon, she met her third husband, Charles Walker, and became known as Madame CJ Walker. When they divorced 6 for years, Sarah retained his name and made it her brand. She actively sold her products through targeted delivery and trained women to use them.
Things went very well, the business began to grow, and Sarah was already selling her products by mail. Soon she opened Leyla College, named after her daughter, where Sarah was teaching professionals how to properly care for her hair. Then shops opened in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and Harlem.
In 1911-1919, CJ Walker brought thousands of women to work as sales agents, selling goods from the store, as well as door-to-door. It was a really powerful sales network.
In addition to product development, Sarah also focused on business development, while simultaneously teaching women financial independence and budget allocation. In 1917, she organized a conference, inviting women to discuss the basics of business. The event was attended by about 200 people, and it was the first national meeting of women entrepreneurs.
Later, Sarah’s daughter took over the business, while she herself took up charity work, donating more than 100 thousand dollars to orphanages. After Sarah’s death in 1919, her will stated that two thirds of all subsequent profits would be donated to charity. In 1993, the name CJ Walker is inscribed in the National Women's Hall of Fame of the USA.
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