Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Study Explores Anti-Black Prejudice among Latino Immigrants

Magazine article Diverse Issues in Higher Education

Study Explores Anti-Black Prejudice among Latino Immigrants

Article excerpt

New study suggests immigrants bring negative views with them from home countries.

Latino immigrants often hold negative views of African-Americans, which they most likely bring with them from their more-segregated Latin American countries, a new Duke University study shows.

The study also found that sharing neighborhoods with Blacks reinforces Latinos' negatives views, and reinforces their feelings that they have "more in common with Whites" - although Whites did not feel the same connection with Latinos.

"We were actually quite depressed by what we found. The presence of these attitudes doesn't augur well for relations between these two groups," says lead author Dr. Paula D. McClain, a Duke political science professor.

The study, "Racial Distancing in a Southern City: Latino Immigrants' Views of Black Americans," is based on a 2003 survey of 500 Latino, Black and White residents in Durham, N.C., a city with one of the fastest-growing Latino populations, mostly Mexican. Latinos represented 8.6 percent of Durham's population in 2001, up from 1 percent in 1990.

Duke's study found that Blacks did not reciprocate the negative feelings. And highly educated Hispanic respondents who socialize with Blacks were not as likely to harbor negative stereotypes.

McClain focused her study on the South because she wanted to examine what impact the Hispanic population explosion in the region was going to make on the Black/White dynamic.

"No section of the country has been more rigidly defined along a Black-White racial divide [than the South]. …

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