Understanding acts of citizenship: Stories of Black activism in Greece

Costas Gousis, Aisha K Gill *

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


The Greek citizenship regime in the first decade of the 21st century has been described as one of the most restrictive in Europe. The campaign ‘No to racism from the baby’s cot’ was created in mid-2000s and called for legislative changes that would allow second-generation immigrants born and/or raised in Greece the right to acquire Greek citizenship. Building on critical studies of citizenship and using life-history interviews, the article explores the political formation of two leading activists who were involved in the campaign, charting the evolution of their experiences and struggles. This way , it shows that citizenship is more than a formal legal entitlement and citizenship struggles are part of the process of making and being a citizen. The story of Loretta Macauley, president of the United African Women’s Organization (UAWO), focuses on the African women’s contribution to the campaign and situates this within a broader practice of sisterhood and struggle in line with Black feminist intersectionality. The story of Michael Afolayan, a young second-generation activist involved in the campaign, provides a view of black youth involvement in specific forms of political participation, drawing attention to the ‘hybrid’ identity behind the term ‘second-generation immigrant’ and the serious implications this identity has for collective action. With its focus on Black activism in relation to citizenship struggles, feminism and migrant youth participation, this article adds a much needed, and largely unexplored, dimension to migration scholarship in Greece.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-622
Number of pages18
JournalCitizenship Studies
Issue number5
Early online date18 Jul 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Jul 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Structured keywords

  • SPS Centre for Gender and Violence Research
  • Black Lives Matter
  • Feminist organizing
  • Collective action
  • Life history interviews
  • Fanon
  • Intersectionality


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