Beans & Rice for the Soul

teaching, learning and living around the world

Speaking Out about Misunderstanding Africa

A brilliant speech, written by my 6th graders and delivered with fiery passion!  I love my students!!

We the people of Africa are starting to realize that the other continents are not really trying to UNDERSTAND US! Whenever we watch the news, we see good things about the other continents but horrible things about our own- like killing, dying and war. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO US?! We really want this to STOP!

People ask us questions like,

“Do you live in a hut?”

And we have to answer, “No we have normal homes.”

“Is malaria a food?”

“No, of course not! It’s a sickness.”

“Do you take baths in rivers?”

“No! We take showers in our houses!”

“So… does that mean Congo is in Europe?”

“No it’s in Africa.”

“Oh, okay… so do you ride wild animals to school?”

“NO! UGGGHHH!!!!”

People always want to hear the extremes and never our ordinary and daily life. We know that Africa has schools, shops, big cities, small villages, jungles, and deserts. We have restaurants that are very good, some of them are expensive and some are less expensive. We also know the bad stuff and there’s also the in between stuff. Some people live in normal houses, go to normal schools and live a normal life like a lot of other people in the world. We have good cars and big roads. Some people have jobs, and some people don’t. You can see both joy and sadness in peoples eyes here. People just don’t understand that Africa has the ordinary.

We know how interesting and big this continent is. We should express ourselves. And one of the best ways to do that is to write. Put all your anger and sadness on one paper and you can change many people’s minds. No matter how, if it’s a speech, letter, a presentation, a poster, a book or an article… we should help. One piece of writing can change the way people think. And that is our goal isn’t it? So don’t sit around and just think about what we know and how cool our continent is… we can share our ideas through writing.

We can post comments on facebook, myspace or twitter. We can send emails to people in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. We can post videos on youtube or facebook. We could even send a video to President Obama or the Queen of England so that THEY can help change the thoughts of other people. We could make a documentary and send it to CNN or BBC or SkyNews.  We could even make a website that’s called, “AFRICA IS NOT ALL BAD!”

We need to tell them that our land isn’t a place that only has war, famine and poverty. As one continent, we need to stand up and say something. As the people of Africa, we need to demand respect. We have a heart! Africa has 54 countries and the second largest total population in the world. Being yelled at by 840 million people should raise their eyebrows, open their eyes and maybe then they will say SORRY!!  But whatever we do, we have to do something. More people, more understanding, more change, more respect.

So you see people misjudge our home a lot. This needs to stop. We know the truth. This land is beautiful and exciting. People will never get the point of what this diverse continent is really like, unless we help them get the point. When we go home tonight we should remember this, and not just go home and say, “Oh that was a lovely speech.” We need to talk, write and show people what we know about this great continent. Africa has its ups and downs but if we all work together we can change people’s point of view.

We need to be respected. Africa needs to be respected.


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This entry was posted on April 20, 2010 by in humanities, teaching.
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