In my pre-departure journal, I spoke about race and racial stigmas or stereotypes that exist in the U.S. After reading it over again, I have realized that most of these feelings about race are due to guilt or blame. They happen because we dehumanize individuals by placing them into groups that can only have a […]Read More Afterward: Thoughts on Empathy
Chimamanda Adichie said, “The problem with stereotypes is not that they are inaccurate, but that they are incomplete.” First impressions are so important because people are prone to mistake part of something for the whole. Stereotyping even happens between cultures. This holds true for Americans and Ghanaians as well. Africa is often misrepresented, especially by […]Read More Gold Lenses: Ghanaians’ Perceptions of the U.S.
Over the past few days we have been traveling around different parts of Ghana. We visited Kakum National Park’s canopy park when we were in Cape Coast. The walk across the narrow plywood held up by ropes would have scared me if I were afraid of heights. Lucky for me, I’m not. I’m quite the […]Read More Ropes, Alligators, and Markets Oh My!
Today we learned all about kente cloth and adinkra symbols. Kente cloth originated in Kumasi, the capital of the Asanti people. Kente cloth used to be for royalty. The king and the chiefs used to wear it, but now anyone can wear it. However, the cloth does more than cover the body; it tells a […]Read More Kente and Adinkra
Both “China in Africa” and “The Case for Contamination” reflect on the changes that societies undergo. Change is not always bad, and often the bad, even when it’s minute, overshadows the good. The first article follows the writer’s discovery of the multitude of Chinese in Ghana and some of the views Ghanaians have towards them. […]Read More Culture and Authenticity
Today I experienced socialization at its finest. I saw and heard first hand how people learn gender roles and how language (especially in the media) can shape an entire culture. Ms. Esther Armah from Webster University gave us a lecture this morning on women in the media. She spoke about the importance of the radio […]Read More Patriarchy and Socialization: The Language We Use
“Ghana’s uneasy embrace of Slavery’s Diaspora” and “Ghana: Soft Control of the Press” both speak about some of the disconnects between law and reality. There are bound to be differences between the government and people because what is written might not always be what is thought, and what is politically beneficial might not be what […]Read More Disconnections Between Government and People
We used Krofu for social media and they used us for money. Krofu is a rural village that we visited for a few hours on our way back from Cape Coast. As we drove into their settlement, I was excited, nervous, and frustrated. I was told we would be doing community service for their community, […]Read More Krofu and Déjá Vu: The Feeling of Guilt
Both “How to Write About Africa” and “The Worst of Journalism” address the problems with how The West portrays Africa. Africa is not a country; it’s a continent filled with thousands of ethnicities and cultures. As I was preparing for my trip to Ghana, I would tell people I was traveling here for a study […]Read More Misperceptions of Africa in the Media
The past two days I have spent at Elmina and Cape Coast slave castles. I knew that these days were going to be emotionally hard going in, but experiencing it in person was far worse than I ever could have prepared myself for. Both castles were almost replicas of each other. They had pure white washed […]Read More Castles and Christianity