Listen to (de)CIPHERED: Sylvia Arthur on Diaspora Kids Standing as a Legacy to Our Parents
Sylvia Arthur, the founder of The Library of Africa and the African Diaspora (LOATAD), based in the heart of Accra reflected on her identity as a Black British woman, and how claiming that honours the work of the ancestors who came before us.
It’s a gnarly subject for some because claiming Britishness, feels like claiming a culture that doesn’t see you and subjugated your people. It’s the reason why so many people want to turn their backs on it. But the reality is, when you’re the child of immigrants, you DO come from two worlds. In some ways, you ARE more familiar with the culture you’re born in, than the culture held in your DNA. It can feel like you’re walking on a double-edged sword sometimes (or stuck between a rock and a hard place.) Some people call that being lost, but Sylvia Arthur seems to have found a way to be at peace with this dual identity. Listen to her break it down.
Arthur created LOATAD in 2017. The library holds thousands of books written by writers from the African Diaspora. Events are also held there — and you can even stay overnight at the grounds. Part of its mission is to help address the literacy challenges some communities across the continent face,
but, as the conversation reveals, their approach is decolonized and inclusive.
This conversation was originally taped in the summer of 2020, yet still feels SO relevant. I’m excited for you to listen to it.