How Young African Leaders Are Changing The Narrative (or, Do Africans Live in the Forest?)

America is a country where you can find incredible diversity, but also racial and cultural prejudices.  In their time as international students, our bloggers have confronted stereotypes about their own country and had their own preconceptions about other countries challenged.

Like we did last year, and earlier this year, a bunch of us hopped on the phone over the weekend to chat about whatever was on our mind about studying in the U.S.  But this time, the conversation turned in particular to racial and ethnic issues, driven by this question that we received on our Facebook page:

What is your view to the relationship between Asian students and black American students?

We ended up having a wide-ranging discussion about stereotypes and prejudices – both the ones we’ve encountered and the ones we hold ourselves.  In particular, Simba and Alex discussed the negative or uninformed perception of Africans in America, and the responsibility of African students to help change the narrative.

Take a listen and then share your own opinion.  What stereotypes have you had to confront about people from your country? Have you ever had your own misconceptions about another culture challenged?

Or listen to the mp3


  1. It’s because for a long time Africa has been misrepresented but other people. A single sided story of famine, poverty, hunger and disease has been told over and over again. Which is true and has been true but that’s not the reality. For instance it’s only today that a story is being told that by 2009 out of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world, 6 of them are African, and by 2014, 7 of them will be African economies. Poverty has and is drastically reducing. Africa has the youngest polulation and still has resources untapped. In Uganda and Kenya they recently just discovered oil. This is happening because the Billion Africans are becoming more democratic, educated and skilled.

    I picked this from a report I read –

    “What took the UK centuries can now be a matter of decades, or even years.
    By 2050 Africa will produce more GDP than the US and Eurozone combined do today, and its basic social, demographic and political realities will also be transformed, says Mr. Robertson.

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