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The Colorado Dream Podcast

Newcomers Welcome: Identity

The Black immigrant population in Colorado is growing faster than anywhere else in the U.S. They come from Africa, the Caribbean and beyond and many settle in Aurora, where about one in five residents is foreign born. What does it mean for these immigrants, and their kids, to be Black in America?

Salwa Mourtada Bamba, a Black woman with straightened, black hair, poses in front of a tree on a walking trail, greenery behind her. She is wearing a short doctor's coat and a stethoscope.
Stephanie Daniel
Salwa Mourtada Bamba is a family nurse practitioner and an Assistant Professor of Clinical Practice at the University of Colorado College of Nursing

“There's a tension between the African immigrant and the Black community. Why? Because of misconception and assumption from both (parties).” said Papa Dai, founder and president of African Leadership Group. “So for me, coming together, being united as Black, as African immigrant, as African in the Diaspora, however you want to identify yourself, it's a must and it's time.”

The Colorado Dream: Newcomers Welcome episode four examines the relationship between Black African immigrants and African Americans. It also shares how Salwa Mourtada Bamba and other Black immigrants in Aurora identify themselves.

“I am Black and proud,” Bamba said. “Yes, it's undeniable.”

Links and credits

Salwa on social media:

Also in this episode:

The Colorado Dream: Newcomers Welcome is a production from KUNC. It was written and reported by Stephanie Daniel. Editing by Johanna Zorn. Fact-checking by Cat Jaffee with additional help from Adam Rayes. This season's theme song was composed by Jason Paton, who also sound designed and mixed the episode. Additional music was composed by Matthew Simonson. Ashley Jefcoat is the digital editor. Special thanks to Chandra Whitfield, Robert Leja, Kyle Cunningham and Kim Rais. Sean Corcoran is KUNC’s news director. Tammy Terwelp is KUNC’s president and CEO.

The “American Dream” was coined in 1931 and since then the phrase has inspired people to work hard and dream big. But is it achievable today? Graduating from college is challenging, jobs are changing, and health care and basic rights can be a luxury. I report on the barriers people face and overcome to succeed and create a better life for themselves and their families.