Pan-African Association

Today’s photo is from an event held by the Pan-African Association. I was a volunteer serving food that night and I was really surprised, surprised by a lot of different things.

I was surprised by the amount of African refugees and immigrants in Chicago (where the PAA is located). I was surprised that such an organization existed. An organization that focuses on bringing together people from Africa as a supportive group and help each other adapt and flourish in the United States. I was surprised by the stories that some of them had to tell. I was surprised by how much Americans, myself included, do not know about life in the rest of the world and the world that our neighbors all around us come from.

I’ve been lucky to have any experiences that have exposed me to the cultures of Africa. I attended this event by the PAA and took African Dance for a few years in high school. But besides reading the book Things Fall Apart in high school I had learned nothing about Africa in school up until my senior thesis in college on the African Union. So I encourage you to take a moment and look at PAA’s website (www.panafricanassociation.org) or look for African restaurants in your area.

Africa is an amazing continent filled with an abundance of interesting stories, people, cultures, and history. It’s unfortunate that we too often neglect to learn anything about such a culture rich area of the world.

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