People of Color in Predominantly White Institutions

 

Date of this Version

October 2001

Abstract

We are two African scholars, from Nigeria and Tanzania, who have extensive experience in Canada and the United States. Issues such as race and color, which are so central to the lives of people in North America do not seem to matter to us as much. This often creates misunderstandings between us as Africans and the people of North America. In the United States, for example, we Africans find ourselves in a situation where there are categories ready made, such as "people of color" and we wonder whether those categories are supposed to apply to us. We wonder whether the people of the United States are aware of our right as Africans to define and categorize ourselves. In a word, we are not people of color. In this session, we question the very premises of the conference theme and discuss our own unique experiences in Canada and the United States.