The Conflicted Role of First-Generation Nigerian American Women Experiencing Domestic Violence

Dr. Umo Ntekim


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Unhappily ever after... Clint Eastwood once said, “All marriages are made in heaven, but so are thunder and lightning.” This is especially true in Nigerian culture, where thunder and lightning rule many marriages. The shocking truth is that many Nigerian women in the United States experience domestic violence every day. Mostly unseen, unheard, and unknown, they exist in a kind of shadow world, holding very little hope of escape. Fifteen Nigerian American women were interviewed for this book. They did everything the way they were “supposed” to, including receiving good educations and marrying the “right” men. Once they moved to America, they should have been in heaven, yet because of the stress of acculturation, they often find themselves in a stormy situation of dependency and abuse, unable to break free. Secrets reveal the conflicted roles of these first-generation Nigerian women in Southern California who try to live the heaven of the American Dream but end up drawn back to the lightning and thunder of their roots.