Are You African American?

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At 6 p.m tonight in Harrison Auditorium, senior public relations major Kanetra Washington will present “Are You African American?” a program that aims to open the minds of North Carolina A&T students in regards to racial identity.

The program will feature spoken word from Mr. & Miss A&T, the E. Gwynn Dancers, Washington’s documentary on her trip to Malawi, and a special presentation by the National Pan Hellenic Council.

“This program is not to question whether you are African American or not,” said Washington.

“It is to question your role in society and ask if you embrace your culture.”

Washington went to Malawi last summer to study abroad, and was one of only two undergraduates of the four students to attend. She was teaching children while in Africa, and became inspired to produce this program based on her experience. Washington would have between 80-100 students in her class at a time.

The documentary highlights her experiences; the way the media portrays the African people, family and cultural life, as well as reasons for polygamy. 

“The one thing I want students to take with them from this is appreciation for resources that we have, and the portrayal of people in African countries,” Washington said.

Washington says that her travel experience has forever changed her life. Dr. Eleanor Gwynn, creator of the E. Gwynn Dance Company, takes students out of the country every year to experience different cultures.

“People who have travelled understand,” Gwynn said. “But we need to do more, professors need to actually take their students out of the country and be with them so they can reflect with someone who is trained. I think African American identity has a long way to go.”

Gwynn thinks that the program will help students broaden their minds, and the dance company will be performing an African dance to help draw emphasis to the understanding of identity.

The program is free of charge, and C.A.S.E. hours will be offered to students who attend.

  • Dexter R. Mullins & Kelcie McCrae