Blaxit Chronicles: Black Expatriates and the Transnational Search for Belonging


ACLS HBCU Faculty Grants


Sociology and Anthropology


The United States is often framed as the “greatest nation in the world” where people can fulfill the “American Dream.” However, due to high rates of inflation, rampant gun violence, and anti-Black police violence in the United States, many Black Americans have fled this country in search of other places to call home. This mass exodus of Black Americans leaving the United States is what some call the “Blaxit” movement. This hybrid, multi-sited, digital ethnographic project is the first to study Black expatriates from an ethnographic lens. This study asks: What are the factors that influence Black Americans’ decision to move abroad? How do notions of diasporic solidarity impact their chosen destinations? How are Black expatriates’ lives transformed by living abroad? What are the gendered dynamics of their experiences? How do they build community in a new country, and how does their presence impact the local community, economy, and culture of their adopted country? This study uses digital ethnographic methods to recruit participants from Black expatriate groups on social media to participate in surveys and remote interviews. It also involves ethnographic site visits to Mexico, Colombia, and Portugal—three countries that are popular destinations for Black expatriates.