MaryAnne Borelli

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Somali refugee resettlement in the United States is examined through narratives and case studies from Somali enclaves in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Lewiston, Maine. Through an analysis of cultural trauma, collective memory, agency, and resistance, the stories and lived experiences of thousands of resettled Somalis present unique narratives and representations of refugee resettlement across U.S. communities. The racist histories, societal beliefs, and anti-immigration sentiments inherent within the U.S. identity continues to compound the effects of cultural trauma and the collective memories of Somali refugees. I advance these sentiments through normative and empirical arguments, as well as through case studies about the resistance and creation of counternarratives in Minneapolis and Lewiston. If racism, nativism, Islamophobia, and global anti-Blackness persist across the United States, Somali refugees will continue to negotiate their racial and cultural identities and will subsequently develop and embody elements of agency, resistance, and the creation of counternarratives in response to their lived experiences in the context of the United States.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.