There’s a narrative about Africa told by the West that continues to leave out important details, at best, or misrepresent the continent and its people, at worst. Westerners seem to relish, to some extent, the pull at the heartstrings that comes when footage streams across the television of starving orphans wandering barefoot along the dirt roads of some remote village here. I say “relish” because seeing these images and then sending money, clothing, missionaries, or whatever makes many Westerners “feel good” because they are “doing something” to “help” those in need.
The Africa I know is strong enough to help itself.
-Gracie Smith, NYU Law
My friend Gracie has been here on a Law Internship from NYU and has some very honest and thought provoking insight about her time here in Uganda.
If you are a westerner who has never been to Africa, you don’t really know Africa. You’ve been misled by the media, sadly. The way Africa has been painted and treated by the west is so wrong on so many levels and Gracie very eloquently said what I have struggled to find the words to say since I have been living here.
There’s a narrative about Africa told by the West that continues to leave out important details, at best, or misrepresent the continent and its people, at worst. Westerners seem to relish, to some extent, the pull at the heartstrings that comes when footage streams across the television of starving orphans wandering barefoot along…
Lately I have been enjoying making food more than making music. I had to think about that and I realized a few things. Will you indulge me in my heart spilling in a stream of consciousness to whoever might take the time to read it?
Once upon a time, back when I first started to make music, it wasn’t the ‘norm’… there weren’t all the tools available to do it like there are now and basically only actual musicians could make records. Making those records was a really special thing to do and when you put a record out people enjoyed it. They didn’t (always) rip them apart like you were someone on American Idol to be ‘judged’. They just bought the record, enjoyed it and sometimes let you know if they liked a song and told you what it meant to them. That felt so good. Me giving a piece of my soul to strangers and them loving it, feeding from it to sustain thier souls. This is why I make music. To feed a soul. Today, when I bake something or make a meal and I share that food with someone I feel like they enjoy it. I feel like that food made a difference to them in their day and it gives me such immense pleasure to feed someone and know they have enjoyed it.
Yup, still down with that nasty cold, but I am steadily getting better.
So are you doing what you wanted to do when you are a kid? If no, why not and do you think you might ever try?
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