Legal Drama

Who You Calling a “Gorilla Monkey?” African Immigrant Settles for $210,000 Against NYU Boss

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Two key ways to re-brand Africa in the West (which most of you who follow my work know I am gun ho about); you do so through media and the law/legal system.If you study history, you will see that, ultimately, for substantial change to occur for disenfranchised or marginalized groups in America, the law had to step in.

It’s a new day and era and Africans in the West should not be content  with the status quo, where the status quo is a problem.

Raise your hands if you are an African in the West who, at some point, been subjected to backward and at times emotionally damaging comments on your appearance, accent, looks etc. What are most Africans, culturally, told to do when such derogatory statements or acts are hurled at them? You shut up and put up with the mess. Do nothing, except of course pray.

But what is prayer i.e. faith without works? With millions of prayers over decades, Africans are not any better off with the stigma and stereotypes of who Africans are that has been brainwashed to all corners of the world.

One African (Ghanaian) man in New York was not putting up with the mess. His boss at the prestigious New York University (NYU) had resorted to name calling, “Gorilla Monkey,” among the many derogatory psychological and emotionally abusive language he hurled at this Ghanaian man. The Ghanaian man said, “it ain’t dat kind of party homie. We ain’t having dat. You cannot and will not create a hostile working environment for me!”

He sued through the EEOC. Smart folks at NYU. They engaged their intellect and did what any Defendant would do in that situation, they settled.

MORAL OF THE STORY:  The stereotypes of Africans having HIV/AIDS, looking or sounding  like Chimpanzees/ Gorilla Monkeys, starved and naked people etc. might very well continue in the media, but when it comes to America’s teaching institutions, among other places, the buck stops there. 

I’d love to see more lawsuits like this. I think the silence has gone on for too long. The impact has been African children bullied in American schools and stripped of their self esteem. These children grow into adults that are ashamed of their cultural identity. Not a good thing, at all.

“Osei Agyemang, who worked in New York University’s (NYU) Bobst Library, was asked ‘do you want a banana?’ in a series of racist remarks made by his abusive mailroom supervisor.

The Ghanian national’s accent was mocked, labelled as ‘gibberish’, and – according to a lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) – he was told: ‘Go back to your cage’.

 Osei Agyemang, who worked at NYU’s Bobst Library, seen here, was asked ‘do you want a banana?’ in a series of racist remarks made by his abusive mailroom supervisor

The campaign of abuse lasted from between July 2007 and January 2009, it was reported. . . “

Daily Mail UK has the full story.


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Africa Music Law™

AFRICA MUSIC LAW™ (AML) is a pioneering music business and entertainment law blog and podcast show by Fashion and Entertainment Lawyer Ms. Uduak Oduok empowering the African artist and Africa's rapidly evolving entertainment industry through brilliant music business and entertainment law commentary and analysis, industry news, and exclusive interviews.

Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Ms. Uduak is also a Partner and Co-Founder of Ebitu Law Group, P.C. where she handles her law firm’s intellectual property law, media, business, fashion, and entertainment law practice areas. She has litigated a wide variety of cases in California courts and handled a variety of entertainment deals for clients in the USA, Africa, and Asia.

Her work and contributions to the creative industry have been recognized by numerous organizations including the National Bar Association, The American University School of Law and featured in prestigious legal publications in the USA including ABA Journal and The California Lawyer Magazine. She is also an Adjunct Professor at the prestigious Academy of Arts University in San Francisco.
For legal representation inquiries, please email ( For blog related inquiries i.e. advertising, licensing, or guest interview requests, please email ( Thank you for visiting Africa Music Law™.

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