This study contributes to recent discussions about the ethics of identity among migrant black scholars in Europe, Africa and the United States. It advances our understating of the politics of African-born academics and their perspectives on participation in transnational social and religious movements. This is an intellectual genealogy of African-born academic exiles in the United States. The focus is on the impact of migration on the migrants’ identities. How do these academic migrants cope with the challenge of relocation and displacement? What impact does racism have on their identities? Do they consider themselves black? How do they relate to other black scholars in the United States?