I come from a place where ethnic dynamics are so important, and ethnicity plays a large part in all politics, even here in the United States.1 You cannot get to the White House without appealing to the Irish Americans, the Jewish Americans, the African Americans, the Latino.2 So, ethnicity is important in all politics.

 

My brother was, if I might use this rather overworked expression, a man of the people. He crossed cultural boundaries. And my mother was also very good at that. She never traveled out of the African continent. She only went to Guinea Conakry once and when I was teaching in Nigeria, she came to see me there. But she saw to it that — whereas we were in the house listening to my father play Handel and J.S. Bach, she saw to it that we’re exposed to non-Western idioms and images in traditional folklore on the street, and that was an interpretation of other people’s idea of cultural dynamics.3 And I enjoyed that. And so, I would say my mother and my late brother were similarly inclined, the difference being that I was the one who traveled a lot.

  1. Cultural Differences []
  2. Speak Of India []
  3. Traditional Arts []
Return to Index