Coming to Africa: Should Black Americans Emigrate?

29 Pages Posted: 21 Jul 2009 Last revised: 8 Jun 2021

Date Written: November 17, 2007


The vision of emigrating to Africa has helped maintain the link between Blacks in America and in Africa since a group of free Blacks set sail for Liberia in the 1820s. The 20th century Pan-Africanist movements that were championed by Marcus Garvey, Elijah Muhammad, W.E.B. Dubois, Malcolm X, and Kwame Ture strengthened that link and even created legal provisions for American Blacks to return to the continent. Randall Robinson's recent work, Quitting America, opens the door to a renewed interest in emigrating to Africa, which several high profile American Blacks have actualized. At a time when the currency of Blacks is falling rapidly in the United States, this paper asks and answers the following pointed questions about prospects for a stronger and more persistent flow of Black Americans to Africa during the 21st century. Why should Blacks emigrate to Africa? Can emigrating to Africa serve as a reasonable response to the employment discrimination that Blacks face in America? Can a "back to the future" economic analysis of the 18th century Georgia and Australia Colonies provide solutions to Black incarceration in America and to African economic development? Is it not prudent for Black Americans to have a long-term strategic plan that reflects answers to these questions?.

Keywords: Africa, Discrimination, Economic Development, Emigration, European History, Human Resources, Labor, Prisons

JEL Classification: F22, J15, J61, N33, O15, O19, O55

Suggested Citation

Robinson, Brooks B., Coming to Africa: Should Black Americans Emigrate? (November 17, 2007). Available at SSRN: or

Brooks B. Robinson (Contact Author)


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Honolulu, HI 96830-8848
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