Did you know that more Africans have migrated to America since 1990 than were brought here during the slave trade? This means the third and fourth waves of the African diaspora were being born and raised outside of Africa at the same time. And that means we are coming to age, entering the workforce and already disrupting the status quo.
We are a curious sort: too Africans for the African-Americans, too Black for the Whites, too American for our relatives ‘back home’, and too American for our parents as well. We don’t have enough eyes to roll at people who ask us if we live in huts or institutions trying to guilt us into saving some anonymous symbolic child in Africa City. Tired of trying to get people to accept us into their preconceived knowledge of who we are, we’re taking our (often) highly-educated selves to each other, comparing notes and finding out we are not alone. We have ideas about Africa that are deeply rooted in our sense of self, and we know the Africas from which we come from are inherently able to create the futures they want to see.
At least that’s how I felt when Solome Lemma first contacted me about her non profit, Africans in the Diaspora, last spring. Little did I know I was going to be a part of something huge. I could feel Solome’s passion through the phone – our conversation was contagious.
Solome built the team that is building platform for Africans in the Diapsora to connect to each other and to organizations in Africa, run by Africans, working for Africans to create a better world. There’s no ‘rebrand Africa’ gimmick here. Africa isn’t ‘rising’ from any assumed pit of despair. Africa just is.
Africa is the Synapse Center in Senegal and its impressive number of entrepreneurs and businesses it supports. Africa is Physicians for Social Justice, working in rural Nigeria to bring healthcare to communities at the margins. Africa is WEM Integrated Health Services, bringing innovate financial solutions to women in Mwingi, Kenya.
If you want to see the narrative about Africa change, start investing (not ‘donating’) in the human capital that’s already on the ground doing the work. Africans at home and in diaspora have been doing the work of investing in our communities since the dawn of time. Are you listening?
Africans in the Diaspora has raised over $25,000 for Synapse Center, WEM Integrated Health Services and Physicians for Social Justice. Help us get to $5,000 by investing today!