Each week we highlight one person or group as the Drop the I-Word Friday Friend. Our Friends are special advocates who take a stand for undocumented immigrants and against the i-word.

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This week's Drop the I-Word Friday Friend is BAJI, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration.

The Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI) is an education and advocacy group comprised of African Americans and black immigrants from Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. BAJI's analysis emphasizes the impact of racism and economic globalization on African American and immigrant communities as a basis for forging alliances across these communities. BAJI is an endorser and great supporter of the Drop the I-Word Campaign. 

Read Along with BAJI and Drop the I-Word
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From December through February, Drop the I-Word will partner with BAJI and invite members of
our communities to read Isabel Wilkerson's monumental book, The Warmth of Other Suns. The book, newly available in paperback, chronicles the Great Migration, in which some six million black people migrated to cities in the north and west from the south's Jim Crow caste system between 1915 and 1970. Ms. Wilkerson told Colorlines.com:

"This book is not just about black people leaving the South, it's about the yearning of anybody who wants to make a life-altering change for something better, for which there's no guarantee of the outcome. I'm hoping that if nothing else, people take that from this book--that they will see that we're all, in this case, Americans seeking the American dream, and African Americans are no different from that. They all shared the desire, when they were participants in the Great Migration, of the immigrant heart--of someone leaving the only place they've ever known, for a place they've never seen, with no guarantees."

Current anti-immigrant rhetoric hinges upon dividing communities of color and explicitly pitting African Americans with roots in the south, against migrants today. It's important that we build bridges and continue to foster respect and knowledge about one another's experiences.

This is an exciting way to get involved in Drop the I-Word. Start now by buying The Warmth of Other Suns on Amazon or Indiebound for yourself and as a gift for loved ones. Then in January and February join Drop the I-Word and BAJI in the conversation on immigration. We will be offering opportunities on our website, blog, Facebook and Twitter to discuss. 

We are looking forward to this project and are grateful to our Friday Friend BAJI for supporting Drop the I-Word and elevating the conversation about migration.

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Do you know someone who'd make a good Drop the I-Word Friday Friend? Let us know at droptheiword@colorlines.com.