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.
- AML 137: Meet Leyla Konjo, Africa’s Music Industry Top Booking Agent (Interview)
- AML 136: Interview with Cherie Hu, Music Journalist
- AML 135: Artist Manager Bond Stanley Ebigbo on New Book, ‘Grounded Ways to the Music Business.’
- Kenya Music Industry Talks: Life After COVID, What do African Creatives Need to Weather the Impact?
- Nigerian Music Industry Talks: Opportunities for Young Lawyers in the Entertainment Industry