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WATCH: Black Immigrants Share Their Stories of Coming to America | Black Excellence

Coming to America is not just a classic Eddie Murphy movie. It is also a life changing event experienced by hundreds of thousands of immigrants every year.

Among them are black immigrants, coming to America from Africa, the Caribbeans, South and Central America, and beyond.

Filmmaker Roman Debotch, an immigrant herself, has always been fascinated by the immigrant story. She enjoys speaking to her fellow immigrants about their stories of coming to America, and that is the conversation she captures in this episode of OURS.

Among the immigrants interviewed is Abdi Iftin. Abdi became famous among listeners of the popular podcast “This American Life” after being the subject of the episode, “Abdi and the Golden Ticket”.

Abdi was a Somalian refugee living in Kenya when he won a Diversity Lottery to come to America. The life changing news was one Abdi dreamed of for years (his nickname as a kid was “Abdi the American”), but actually realizing the dream would prove challenging. His journey to come to America turned into a radio documentary for “This American Life”.

Listen to “Abdi and the Golden Ticket” here: https://www.thisamericanlife.org/560/abdi-and-the-golden-ticket. 

RELATED: African American vs. Black and Why Some Actually Prefer Neither Term 

Facing and winning these challenges, Abdi arrived in Maine in 2014, with big dreams and even bigger assumptions of what America is like. 

Abdi shares his experiences as an immigrant after arriving in Maine in 2014 in this short documentary.

Alongside Abdi, the other immigrants interviewed for this short documentary include Laura Silva, a DACA recipient from Colombia currently working for Amazon and Justin Rayside, a business man originally from Barbados. 

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Roman Debotch is a filmmaker, photographer, and co-founder of blackexcellence.com. Through the platform that is Black Excellence, she has been able to marry her passion for story telling with her passion for issues affecting the black community. Roman earned her B.A. in Film and TV Studies and ventured into the world of video production after college. She produced music, corporate, and event videos for years before co-founding BlackExcellence.com. Since then, she has been working as a contributor to the platform as well as continuing her video production business. The very limited time Roman is away from either writing or shooting a video, she can be found hiking or enjoying one of Southern California's beautiful beaches.

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