Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education



Lydiah Kananu Kiramba

Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Language, Identity & Education 22:1 (2023), pp. 83-98.



Copyright © 2020 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Used by permission.


Discourses of African immigrant children are rare in educational research. As such, African immigrant educational experiences are often obscured (in part, owing to the model minority myth about Africans based on higher education degrees received by African immigrants), as well as the actual experiences and realities for African immigrant K-12 students. This qualitative study examines cross-cultural educational experiences of 30 Black African immigrant youth in U.S. schools. The findings reveal multiple participants’ struggles with cultural and linguistic differences, stereotypes and marginalization in the school environment, low expectations from teachers, and adjusting to new schooling practices. The African youths’ voices exhibited development of resilience and navigation skills. Drawing on Alim and Paris’ culturally sustaining model, we propose recommendations and pedagogical implications for preparing globally competent teachers and teacher educators enabled and empowered to teach all twenty-first-century citizens, including African immigrants.