African Students Association Photo Project Debunks Stereotypes About Africa

By Yan Wang

(Feb. 26, 2015) — Students from the African Students Association (ASA) at the University of Kentucky recently gathered in the Student Center to participate in a photography project to raise awareness of stereotypes about Africa.

“We organize this event to help the UK community become aware that Africa is not a continent of just poverty,” said Bill Kofi Aboagye, president of UK African Students Association.

About 20 to 30 students participated in the event. Students were holding signs with quotes like "Africa is not a country," "I do not speak African," and "Africa is not filled with diseases."

Aboagye said a lot of students at UK have little knowledge about Africa.

“Many times when you run into people who do not have a lot of information about Africa, most of the things they say are basically stereotypes about the continent,” Aboagye said. “We’re just trying to help people understand what Africa really is.”

Aboagye said often people are only exposed to the negative side of Africa portrayed by the media. He said it is important to inform people about the positive aspects of Africa.

“Africa is a blessed continent,” Aboagye said. “Africa is not just about war, not just about poverty. It is a land blessed with a lot of natural resources and a very strong labor force. It’s a continent that is supporting the whole world with its resources.”

Yao Yu, a second year graduate student in journalism, who participated during the event, said she wanted to showcase African culture to people in China.

“I’m very interested in African culture,” Yu said. “I want to make some videos to introduce the lives of African students at UK and African culture to Chinese citizens through different Chinese social media platforms.”

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