Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cultural Challenges Facing Africans in the USA

The Pan African Organization of Minnesota will host a discussion on "Cultural Challenges Facing Africans in the USA," and has asked me to introduce the topic. The event, to be held at the Center for Families, June 18, is free and open to the public. Here is more information:

The Center for Families
3333 North 4th Street

Saturday, June 18, 2011. 12noon - 2:00pm

As someone whose consulting and outreach work revolves around issues related to cultural differences, I look forward to this event with eagerness.


Goodman Manyanya Phiri said...

Hey, Prof! Eat that topic with the gusto only Professor Mbele can have!

Personally, I do not think you have much to say except, so in many words, to repeat the oneness of us Waswahili.

Remember, hankering after what they lost back home in Africa due to slavery, the African Americans are only too eager to leearn from my Prof!

For me, if anyone goes to study in the Americas and wakes up one day with a cultural challenge, I will have a CHALLENGE UNDERSTANDING SUCH A ONE! Who doesn't know that America is not Africa despite the "" in both names?

Mbele said...

Thanks, Mr Phiri, for your reflections. The topic is particularly pertinent today, with the world increasingly becoming a global village. Wherever we are, we are now being pushed to deal with a world very different from what we were used to.

While the conversation on Saturday will focus on Africans in America, the truth is that Americans in Africa face equally numerous and complicated cultural challenges.

In fact the presence of foreigners in any culture is rife with such challenges for them as well as for the local people. Hence the need to educate ourselves.

One of the more interesting issues, which tends to easily lead to serious tensions, is the cultural gap between Africans and African Americans.

I would like to write a little report after the event, to share with you all on this blog.

Goodman Manyanya Phiri said...

"I would like to write a little report after the event, to share with you all on this blog."

That was a quotation from your response, Prof.

If you want my opinion, we're gratefully looking forward to getting your notes or your little report on the cultural interpersonal complexities you alluded to as some of us can't understand why an African (black or white) and a black African American wouldn't get along. Methinks arrogance would be standing at the centre of such a misunderstanding: The Tanzanian, for example, thinking "I'm thoroughbred African holier than thou, American Negro" while the African American says "I'm a citizen of the leading nation in the world and you Tanzanian are from the backwaters of the selfsame world."

As I said, Prof, good luck with your work; and take your time, but apprise us of the goings-on and deliberations in that cultural encounter. We will appreciate every dip of your pen in the ink!