While conducting our research, we came across the below quotation from Haile Selassie, and we believe Selassie’s guidance was embodied by the majority of Ethiopian immigrants who came to the United States in the late-twentieth century. Please keep this quotation in mind while you read our thesis and subsequent research findings.

We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community.”  (Haile Selassie, UN Speech, October 6, 1963 – Video courtesy of YouTube)


Our overall thesis is that changes in American immigration law, coupled with the Ethiopian civil war, prompted the mass migration of Ethiopian immigrants and refugees to the Washington, DC metropolitan area throughout the late twentieth-century. High population density and difficulties caused by blocked mobility resulted in many of these individuals dispersing within the region, including to Alexandria, Virginia. Despite their lack of enclaving, Ethiopian immigrants have managed to create a distinct community within Alexandria and their individual perseverance and ingenuity has led to their collective success in America.