(Image: Desiree Venn Frederic by Bessie Akuba)
Study hard. Go to college. Become a doctor. Don’t forget where you came from. These four mantras have been drilled into the hearts and minds of first and second generation Africans since childhood. For a majority of African immigrants, their life savings was used to make the trip to America, so their hope for the future and light at the end of the tunnel are their children. As a result, their children became their golden egg. An egg that would hatch in the future and bring them comfort and a sense that all of their labor had a purpose. While this sense of duty weighed on the minds of their children, it also served as fuel and drove them to success.
What does this success look like? How are these children of African immigrants navigating the careers their parents pushed them to attain? How are they thriving? How are they staying the course? How are they handling a competitive job market? And did they heed their parents advice – never forget where you came from? How are they intertwining their African culture with their American experience? Who are they now? Where are they now?
The children of African immigrants are adulting. They are AfriGens —first and second generation Africans in the West. Zora Neale Hurston said, “There are years that ask questions and years that answers.” For decades African immigrants have been wondering and questioning how their children will turn out in this foreign land. The years of answers are upon us. We can now search for the answers to those questions as their children have become adults. AfriGens@Work docu-series will be answering those questions of AfriGens from various African countries and in an array of career choices. Our goal is to dig into their career trajectory, the path they took, their challenges, successes, how their immigrant history shaped their career and life. We want answers on how they are thriving.
Introducing AfriGens @Work docu-series
AfriGens@Work is a docu-series focused on documenting the lives of children of immigrants and answering these questions by digging into their career trajectories, understanding the paths they took–their challenges, successes, and how their immigrant history shaped their career and life. Our hope is to learn from this catalog of stories and provide a roadmap for the next generation. We feature AfriGens from various African countries and in an array of career choices.
We invite you to keep on eye on this page for answers on some of these questions as we document in the documentary, AfriGens @ Work. If you are interested in sharing your story and being part of our docu-series, contact us!
How are you thriving as an AfriGen? Comment below.