Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 16, Issue 2, pp 181–199 | Cite as

Challenging Americanism and Europeanism: African-Americans and Roma in the American South and European Union ‘South’

  • Sunnie Rucker-ChangEmail author


In this piece, I illustrate how a number of the successes of the Civil Rights movement in the United States have travelled to Europe to advance the cause of Roma Rights, and question if Roma inclusion initiatives in Central and Southeast Europe can bring forth a more inclusive notion of Europeanism in the same way that the Civil Rights movement changed the narrative of Americanism to include marginalised African-Americans. In employing an ethno-symbolist approach, I interrogate the fluid concepts of Americanism and Europeanism to analyse myth, memory, symbol, and cultural imaginaries of ‘North’ and ‘South’ in the United States and Europe. Through careful comparisons of similarities and differences between African-American and Central and Southeast European Roma communities and their quest for equality, this piece details how dominant discourses of the nation distance minority populations, rendering inclusion possible only with great narrative shifts in the ideal of the nation, the passage of time, and, most importantly, the enforcement of laws to support equality measures.


African-Americans Roma Americanism Europeanism other 


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Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.German Studies DepartmentUniversity of CincinnatiCincinnatiUSA

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