• African Immigrants in Low-Wage Direct Health Care: Motivations, Job Satisfaction, and Occupational Mobility. 2016. Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health.

    This study explores motivations, job satisfaction, and overall perceived occupational mobility for African immigrants working in low-wage direct health care occupations. The study uses qualitative semi-structured interviews with a sample of thirty African immigrant workers in the greater Pittsburgh metropolitan area. Results show that four major themes captured the motivations of interviewees for doing direct care work: passion for care work, quick money, easily obtained employment, and direct care work as a pathway to other health occupations. Read More
  • Carlos Siordia and Yolanda Covington-Ward. 2016. “Association Between Perceived Ethnic Discrimination and Health: Evidence from the National Latino & Asian American Study.” Journal of Frailty and Aging 5 (2): 111-117.

    Using data from the National Latino and Asian American Study, this article shows that there is an association between high levels of perceived ethnic discrimination and lower levels of self-rated mental and physical health.
  • “Your Name is Written in the Sky”: Unearthing the Stories of Kongo Female Prophets in Colonial Belgian Congo, 1921-1960” 2014. Journal of Africana Religions 2(3):317-346.

    While most scholarly research has focused on male prophets, this article explores the many female prophets who were also engaged in the kingunza (prophetic) movements that rocked the Belgian Congo from 1921 to independence in 1960. Focusing on the embodiment of spiritual power through trembling (zakama), I argue that the Holy Spirit manifested in men and women alike, echoing the gender-neutral allocation of power among banganga (traditional healers/ritual priests) during the pre-colonial era.

  • Transforming Communities, Recreating Selves: Interconnected Diasporas, Performance, and the Shaping of Liberian Identity. 2013. Africa Today 60(1): 28-53.

    This paper examines the role of European ballroom dances such as the grand march in the shaping of group identity, both in Liberia and for Liberians in the United States. I use participant-observation, interviews, and historical documentation to trace transformations in the grand march from the performance of an exclusive, educated Americo-Liberian elite in the nineteenth century to a more inclusive practice, open to Liberians of all backgrounds who immigrated to the United States in the twentieth century. In both cases of these interconnected diasporas, collective performance is used reflexively, to perform group identity for others, and transformatively, to redefine the group itself. This study suggests the need for further attention to performance in studies of ethnic group identity formation. Read More
  • Fighting Phantoms: Mammy, Matriarch, and other Ghosts Haunting Black Mothers in the Academy. 2013.

    2013. InLaboring Positions: Black Women, Mothering, and the Academy. Sekile Nzinga-Johnson, editor. Ontario: Demeter Press.

    Using performance theorist Marvin Carlson’s concept of “ghosting,” I look at past stereotypes of Black mothers in the United States as “ghosts” that continue to be present in everyday life, including in the academy. In particular, I examine the ghosts of the Mammy, the Matriarch, the Superwoman, and the Welfare Mother. Using personal experiences and published accounts, I explore how being in the academy doesn’t shield Black mothers from having to actively combat these ghosts, which continue to affect not only how peers and students view and judge Black academic mothers, but also how people outside of the academy interact with them as well.

  • Vive l’ABAKO! Vive l’Independance! Joseph Kasa-Vubu, ABAKO, and Performances of Kongo Nationalism in the Congolese Independence Movement. 2012. Journal of Black Studies 41 (1):71-93.

    2012.Journal of Black StudiesVol. 41, No. 1: 71-93.

    This essay argues that the Kongo ethnic association–turned–political party, ABAKO (Association des BaKongo), and its leader Joseph Kasa-Vubu, were the driving force behind the independence movement in colonial Belgian Congo. Through the application of a performative analysis to three key events—the ABAKO countermanifesto of 1956; the Léopoldville rebellion of January, 1959; and the civil disobedience campaign advocating for an autonomous Kongo state in mid-1959—the author shows that members of ABAKO and its leadership effectively used performances of ethnic and territorial nationalism to greatly impact and lead the movement for Congolese independence.

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  • The Socio-Demographic Characteristics of Recent Liberian Immigrants to the United States: An Update. 2011. Liberian Studies Journal 36 (1):25-52.

    2011. Co-authored with Siatta Dennis, Katie Reding, Anthony Simpson, and Megan Willison. Liberian Studies Journal Vol. 36(1): 25-52.

    In this article, we explore the socio-demographic characteristics of Liberians who migrated to the United States within the past few decades. Using aggregate data from the Public Use Microdata Sample of the American Community Survey over three years (2008-2010), along with information from the Yearbook of Immigration Statistics and the Office of Refugee Resettlement, we analyze various trends and general characteristics such as age, gender, occupation, settlement patterns, educational attainment, and marital status.

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  • Danced Nations, Performed Identities: Ethnographic Perspectives on Power and Performance in Africa

    October 2010. Transforming Anthropology Vol. 18(2):207-210.

    This is a book review essay of Performance and Politics in Tanzania by Laura Edmondson and Choreographies of African Identities by Francesca Castaldi.

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  • Book Review of White Men's God

    2009. Book Review of “White Men’s God: The Extraordinary Story of Missionaries in Africa.” Journal of Religion in Africa. Vol. 39, No. 4:462-464.

    This is a review of Martin Ballard's book.

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  • A Guide to Africanist Research in the Archive of the American Baptist Historical Society. 2009. African Research and Documentation.

    2009. African Research and Documentation. No. 111:21-29.

    This article explores the holdings of the American Baptist Historical Society and their relevance for Africanist scholars.

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  • Book Review of Prayer Has Spoiled Everything

    2008.  Book Review of “Prayer has Spoiled Everything: Possession, Power, and Identity in an Islamic Town in Niger.”  Transforming Anthropology Vol. 16, No. 1:83-84.

    This is a book review of Adeline Masquelier's ethnography.

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  • Threatening Gestures, Immoral Bodies: The Intersection of Church, State, and Kongo Performance in the Belgian Congo

    2007. In Missions, States, and European Expansion in Africa. Chima Korieh and Raphael Njoku, eds. New York: Routledge Press. Pg 73-100.

    Using historical documentation and personal interviews, this essay investigates the shifting interpretations of political and moral significances of Kongo performances by both European missionaries and colonial agents, and the BaKongo population’s varying reactions of resistance, accommodation, and even collaboration from 1921-1960.

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  • South Bronx Performances: The Reciprocal Relationship between Hip-Hop and Black Girls' Musical Play

    2006. Women and Performance: A Journal of Feminist Theory. Volume 16, No. 1: 117-132.

    Black girls’ musical play and hip-hop exist in a reciprocal relationship. Hip-hop has influenced the performance style of battlin’ cheers: improvisation, competition, confrontation, and a general ‘bad’ attitude, while conversely, the musical play of Black girls has influenced the lyrics, rhythms, and melodies of hip-hop songs. Thus, females have significantly shaped this genre of music generally seen as male dominated and defined.

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  • Book Review of Performing Africa

    2004. African Studies Quarterly. Spring:50-51.

    This is a book review of Paulla Ebron's book Performing Africa.

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