George Bamu, founder of Denver-based nonprofit Africa Agenda, writes about African News. He can be reached by email: Office at AfricaAgenda dot org
People from the African continent, especially from sub-Saharan Africa, have been coming to the United States of America for decades, if not centuries. Some, like the slaves that were forced to come to the U.S. because of the harsh practices of the time, came because they were captured and brought in to work for their masters. Others came and continue to come because they want a new life, a new place to live and to experience new things.
With globalization, capitalism, the quest for education, family reunification, and sometimes through our shared humanity, others have travelled to the U.S. for the benefit it brings.
Yet with migration from one place to another comes challenges–the quest for money, the need to learn a new skill, experiences with the pressures of the culture and traditions of a new society, encounters with crime, dealings with the immigration procedures of a new place, and all the things, good or bad, which that new place offers.
At a book signing ceremony Saturday, May 20, at the Interfaith Center of Light Church in Aurora, Colorado, author Emma Eminash recounted many of her experiences as an African living in the United States. These offerings are available in her book FROM AFRICA TO AMERICA: A COAT OF MANY COLORS, which she said she started writing in 2008 and had published earlier this year by iUniverse.
“There is a story in here for everyone; its inspirational, humorous, its catchy, its eye-opening,” she told the audience that gathered for the commencement of her national book tour. She said the story-line is about those things about us which we never get to say for one reason or another but which “eat away” at us because they are sometimes overlooked.
Eminash read passages from the book, including the story about pedestrians in the U.S. who take drivers for granted because, as is U.S. culture, drivers are supposed to stop even when pedestrians knowingly stroll on the streets in the face of dangerous traffic. “Many times as pedestrians we never notice that we also put drivers at risk,” she said. “So many people are dying just because they think in America as a pedestrian you have to be protected.”
The occasion featured the works of singer, story-teller and cultural drummer Santemu Aakhu.
Born in Kampala, Uganda, Eminash migrated to the U.S. to pursue her dream of becoming a journalist and writer.
“My story about America ended up being a long tale about this amazing nation, the United States of America. I found myself pondering the things we share as human beings in America and around the world. Whether it’s fear, guilt, anger, depression, anxiety, loneliness—you name it—most people have experienced one or many. Finding solutions from an African perspective can be vastly different from the American way. And solving issues doesn’t mean they won’t come back. But being aware will help us know what to tap into when they sneak up on us,” she says in the introduction to the book.
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