I, Too, Sing America

How black immigrants can shape the country's future.

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Black immigrants are becoming citizens at higher rates than in past decades. What they must do next is get involved, really involved, and parlay their new activism into political results. They should form political action committees, embrace the American adage that "money talks," and hold fund-raisers for the candidates they support. They should attend political forums and invite candidates, or their representatives, to speak to their community groups. They should also get a fellow immigrant elected to Congress. For now, Sen. Barack Obama remains the closest symbol of one, and many black immigrants mistakenly believe he is an actual immigrant.

Above all, black immigrants should work diligently to ensure that their issues are addressed by politicians seeking black voter support, and in turn, to support those "black issues" that could ultimately benefit all of us, immigrant and native-born alike.

Marjorie Valbrun is a Washington, D.C. based journalist.