Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Why Study Africa?

Today I celebrated the Department of African Studies 60th Anniversary 1953-2013 of the establishment of the graduate programs in African Studies at Howard University. It was amazing to hear stories of those that went before me. I was so inspired that it makes me want to enroll in a Ph.D program. However, there comes a time when you have to put what you already know into action.  I know you're wondering what made me choose African Studies. My initial choice was African American studies, but Howard University did not offer a graduate program in African American studies. Therefore, I chose African Studies. I chose African Studies, because as an African American I barely knew a thing about Africa. As I have said before, my history did not begin with slavery. My ancestors were brought involuntarily from Africa to America, therefore I identify with my African heritage.

I'm very grateful because there was a time when a black person, not to mention a woman could not obtain an education. So yes,  I'm very fortunate to possess a master's degree in African Studies as black woman. Who wouldn't want to know the history of the people that paved the way for you. People who allowed you to be where you are today. I have so much respect for my professors. I look forward to the day, when other scholars and students can say how they were influenced by me.

My concentration was Language, Literature, and Arts. I decided to study the film industry in Nigeria. My thesis was "Representations of Nigerian Women in Nollywood Films." I analyzed the role of women in relation to sexual objectification, social constructions of gender, modernity, religion/morality, beauty and love. I found many similarities between Nollywood film and Hollywood film. Presently, my desire to pursue film has increased. When you're born to do something (write, create films) you really can't run from that gift.

 Rather than embracing a history that leaves you out, you should a embrace a history that includes you in it.
What I learned in my studies is that Africa is not what you see on TV. Africa is a unique continent with unique people. Now that I am equipped with knowledge it is my responsibility to share the real Africa with the rest of the world. Especially those that have a genuine interest in the people and the culture of Africa.

*My love of African studies and my love for film may not guarantee me a big paycheck but I'm fine with that.*

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  1. Well as I said before " Only a fool focuses on race, but a Bigger fool ignores it" and you sure aren't ignoring it so the opposite of being a fool is wise. Anyone who does not want tp know their history is like not wanting to know your parents even though you have never met them, and all that you do know is what you have heard about them. If I know what happen yesterday it might help me to better understand what is going on today.

    More power to you young lady.
    God Bless you, MUCH LOVE,Dad

    1. Thanks Father, I'll have to take you to Africa with me one day :-)


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