Continued misrepresentation of culture

Again I see that East Africa is the source of information about African culture for African-American and other students in this country. I saw an ACTFL smartbrief about a school bringing in a speaker from the Masai tribe. Probably only the Watusi have been more photographed and filmed. There’s only one problem: if African-American students are looking for some connection to Africa and some will they will not find it in the appearance, speech & language, dress, bodily kinaesthetics, music and song or dance of these East African people. It’s fine to bring in people of other cultures, but you could just as well bring in someone from Japan or Norway, there’s about as much cultural connection.
Why can’t people go on YouTube and type in Watusi or Masai and Yoruba or Ashanti? You can see and hear the difference right there. The manner of self-presentation, of movement, of conversational style, and, most clearly, of dance and song and playing of instruments have obvious parallels in African-American cultures. Again, now you can go to YouTube and click on thousands of clips showing conversation styles, dancing, even cooking, in these different cultures.
Are Nigerians or Ghanaians or Sierra Leoneans or Cameroonians available in the U.S.? By the thousands. Just look for “Nigerian wedding” and see how many take place in the U.S., in every city, with the full panoply of culture, incl. dress and dance and song and music as well as food. The only thing you may not see is any traditional religion since most of the immigrants are practicing Christians or Muslims.

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