That African Girl: de-constructed…just a little

It’s amazing the conversations that happen once people find out that you write stuff andyou have a name for the place where you write. You can get a glimpse of the genesis of this project in the “About Us” Section, but here, I’ll give you the “college-essay” version to that question.

Why That African Girl?


My first year in school in America, I learned many things. One of those things is this:You don’t need to understand someone’s language to figure out whether they accept you or not. Middle School is hard for anybody; cultural and language barriers do notmake it any easier. Many students had questions for me like “why are your clothes so old?”, “why do you smell like fish?” and “why are you Black but you speak French?” That year, for most of them, I was that weird (I hated that word!) African Girl. I was just a label.

In High School, it was figuring out in which boxes I fit: was I African or African-American? Did it matter? Was this label important? I struggled between holding myAmerican Culture at school and my African Culture at home together. I wanted both, but both didn’t always go together.

In applying to colleges, one of the things that were important to me, was to go to a placewhere I wouldn’t just be ‘That African Girl’ that they would only bring out for the ‘diversity pictures’.

In college, I found a new appreciation for that label and realized that there are manydifferent ways to be “That African Girl”. Those four years, I met various “That AfricanGirl”s who were living out their hybrid experiences in various ways.
That African Girl is a place where I get to talk about the ways I view that hybridism, the things that inspire and challenge me and make me come alive. It’s the place where the world gets filtered through the lens of this African Girl.

P.S. And I love it when Adey gets to chime it and talk about when she lives that hybridism herself.

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