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Alumnae Stories

Professor Dorian Brown Crosby Pens First Book on Somalis in the Neo-South

February 2021

Spelman Professor Dorian Brown Crosby Pens New BookDorian Brown Crosby, Ph.D., C'91, assistant professor of political science at Spelman College, published her first book,  "Somalis in the Neo-South: African Immigration, Politics and Race," in December 2020. Her work chronicles three years of research that she conducted with Somali communities in Clarkston, Georgia and Nashville, Tennessee, and offers a balanced and insightful look at Somalis in the southern United States. Recipient of Spelman's 2017 Vulcan Teaching Award, Dr. Crosby skillfully analyzes Somali political and community engagement, entrepreneurship and discrimination challenges as they settle into their respective communities.


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This is the most objective portrayal of our community by an outsider that I have seen/read. This book will be an immensely helpful guide to all who wish to study the Somali Diaspora in the United States. Dr. Crosby’s insights, through her rigorous research and communications with our community, illustrate a deep understanding of our story. The root causes for fleeing the motherland, the sheer determination to seek better lives, the obstacles as well as achievement in End of Quoteeducation, business and participation in politics, viewed by many Somalis as the ‘ultimate integration’.” ― Zahra A. Shirwa, Former Executive Director, Global Somali Diaspora

Spelman Professor Dorian Brown Crosby Pens New BookA teacher and scholar-activist dedicated to bridging cultures through education, Dr. Crosby's global and local activities infuse her teaching and research. Her recent work rests on her more than 20 years of experience of working with and advocating on behalf of resettled African refugees in the United States. Her book is currently available as a textbook, but she is in conversation with the publisher to provide a paperback version at a more affordable cost to those outside academia  who are interested in her work.

Start of QuoteThis nuanced and fine-grained qualitative study of Somali refugee migration to the United States, grounded in political sociology, the sociology of race and ethnicity, intersectionality, and transnational feminism is an important contribution to the literature on the Somali diaspora and forced migration studies more generally. This book’s engagement with race, racism, and discrimination, in the southern United States, broadens its reach and makes it a particularly timely and End of Quotecompelling work that helps us to understand not only migration, but the ever-changing fabric of U.S. society. ― Dianna Shandy, Professor of Anthropology, Macalester College, USA

Politically centered, Dr. Crosby's book, which is available in most U.S. and global bookselling outlets including Amazon and Barnes and Noble, is "a thought-provoking work that presents an essential and positive alternative to the familiar portrayal of Somalis in the United States as terrorists," according to her publisher Peter Lang Inc.

Start of QuoteDorian Brown Crosby’s groundbreaking book departs from much of the contemporary research that interprets immigration politics through the lens of the Latin American Diaspora. The book demonstrates that Somali refugees have contested American exceptionalism and nativism, while enriching the cultural, social and political milieu of the U.S. It offers unique perspectives on how gender, small-town politics, voter and political participation have defined the experiences of Somalis who now call Tennessee and Georgia their homes. This book is a must-read for researchers, politicians, and advocates seeking to understand African immigrants, and specifically Somali refugees, in the U.S. southern context.End of QuoteSekou Franklin, Associate Professor of Political Science at Middle Tennessee State University, USA, and co-author of Losing Power: African Americans and Racial Polarization in Tennessee Politics