Black immigrants and their significance to domestic work

Black immigrants and their significance to domestic work

Black History and Black Futures Month symbolize the resiliency of Black communities in the United States with the essence and acknowledgment of the beauty and connectedness of the African diaspora. Due to global capitalism and the exploitation of Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America, there are a lot of factors that push people away from their home countries, like extreme poverty and state violence.

The contemporary African diaspora is composed of millions of African descent residing in diverse societies and countries around the globe. We are linked by a history shaped by racial oppression, or anti-blackness, and our collective acts for resiliency to overcome.

Despite differences in culture, politics, and other aspects, people from the African diaspora share deep ancestral connections. Additionally, regardless of our geographical location, despite the histories of the different regions and ethnic groups we encounter similar challenges in shaping and fulfilling our identities.

Black History Month is a celebration and moment for us to reflect on the experiences and contributions of Black immigrants. Black immigrants are a significant part of the US population, according to the Pew Research Center, 1 out of every 10 Black Americans are immigrants.

The domestic work industry accounts for a large percentage of Black immigrants. Being an immigrant adds layers of complexity and vulnerability to the already challenging circumstances faced by domestic workers. In the workplace Black immigrant domestic workers are subjected to exploitation and abuse based on their immigration status.

In 2020 NDWA/We Dream in Black and the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) surveyed Black immigrant domestic workers in New York City, Massachusetts, and Miami-Dade, FL, and released Notes from the Storm. More than 70% of workers surveyed dealt with job loss, more than 65% dealt with housing insecurity and almost 50% had no safety net and fear seeking assistance. Black immigrant domestic workers are at the backbone of the domestic work industry.

Since the early 1900’s the stories of Black immigrant domestic workers have been an integral part of the American narrative. By acknowledging their contributions, advocating for their rights, and amplifying their voices, we can build a more inclusive and equitable future for generations to come. We Dream in Black uplifts and celebrates the stories of Black immigrant domestic workers who enrich our communities and inspire positive changes in society. We Dream in Black, believe in a Black community with no borders, and aim for the kind of community and world we want to live in.

We Dream in Black - New York Organizers and member leaders

We Dream in Black – Houston Organizers and member leaders

We Dream in Black - Houston Organizers and member leaders

We Dream in Black – Pennsylvania Organizers and member leaders




We Dream in Black: We Dream in Black (WeDiB) is an initiative of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and is the organizing home that centers the voices and experiences of Black, Afro-Latinx, and Afro-descendant domestic workers.

Unbossed Agenda: The ‘Unbossed Agenda’ is We Dream in Black’s organizing directive to give power back to the visions of Black domestic workers, who are U.S. born and immigrants, of multiple gender identities and sexualities, and of varied class backgrounds and abilities—some of the most invisible, essential and unprotected workers in our country.