Africa Journal - Stereotypes

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Photo courtesy of james_michael_hill

In the process of getting ready to go to Africa I realize that I'm having to review some stereotypes that I have had but haven't really been aware of.

  • Myth 1: Africa is homogenous. In fact, I am realizing that Africa appears to be far more diverse than America, the continent. Just looking at the variety of races represented in Africa is a starting point to see that.
  • Myth 2: If someone is a black African then they understand other black African's cultures. In fact, I am realizing, from working with a black Nigerian colleague that he doesn't know any more about Zambia than I do.
  • Myth 3: There is an African "problem" to be solved. In fact, as I begin to grasp the diversity of the continent I am also beginning to realize that where there *are* problems, they can be very different in nature. Even the "orphan problem" is drastically different in Zambia than in Sierra Leone.

I am looking forward to working through more of these issues as the trip unfolds. I am also looking for what Africa has to teach Southern California, particularly in regards to technology.

Feeling a little naive today....

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