BBC Focus On Africa to hold debates around African-American identity

July 10, 2009 2:39 pmComments OffViews:

bbc_focus_on_africaBBC World Service’s quarterly print magazine, BBC Focus On Africa, is taking its July-September issue on the road across the United States – from Monday 13 to Friday 24 July, the magazine will be holding debates around African-American identity.

In addition, the magazine will be looking to connect with key businesses and audiences across five key US cities with large Afro-American communities through meetings and media interviews.

Editor of BBC Focus On Africa magazine, Nick Ericsson, and Managing Editor, Alison Kingsley-Hall, will be in New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Columbus (Ohio) and Washington DC, hosting debates at universities about the identity of African-Americans and what makes an African-American African.

The team will also be discussing the efficacy of DNA testing to prove people’s African ancestry – a cover story on the magazine’s current issue.

On Tuesday 14 July, BBC Focus On Africa magazine will be joining forces with the BBC’s flagship interactive programme, Africa Have Your Say, for a live debate on the issue of ancestry and identity from the BBC office at the UN headquarters in New York.

Regular contributor to BBC Focus On Africa magazine, journalist and author Mukoma Wa Ngugi, will be a guest on the programme (BBC World Service 16.00-17.00 GMT).

On Tuesday 21 July, in the town hall of Columbus, Ohio, BBC Focus On Africa will hold a public debate on African-American identity.

Organised in association with Columbus University, the debate will feature African-American professors from the university as well as Nick Ericsson and Mukoma Wa Ngugi.

Further discussions are being planned with universities in Washington DC and Atlanta.

Nick Ericsson says: “It’s a great opportunity to meet our readers in the United States – both those from the diaspora, and those who historically have very strong links to Africa and who rely on the BBC for up-to-date news and analysis on the continent. Of course, we also hope to find a number of new readers as well.”

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