Exploring Blackness in London

Academics: 7
Support: 8
Fun: 6
Housing: 4
Safety: 5

As a Black Africana Studies major, I was ecstatic to see IFSA at SOAS and immerse myself at a school where non-Western perspectives are the default. In my classes, Language in Africa and Contemporary African literature, we explored African voices and stories that have been severely lacking in my studies even as an Africana Studies major due to a US-centric approach. Connecting with such knowledgeable professors was invaluable and their lessons stick with me still as I casually bring up Africa’s incredible linguistic diversity and find lessons from African literature continue to follow me. I explored my Blackness further outside of the classroom as I traveled around South London after a 20 minute bus ride. It felt amazing to be surrounded by Black communities both long-established and newly formed as they create boisterous communities full of life and joy. I felt so seen walking around and felt so full after eating the amazing food there was to offer. An added bonus was that South London was much cheaper than King’s Cross where I lived. There were also a number of museums that featured work from artists of the African diaspora that left strong impressions both as a member of the Black community and as an artist that focuses greatly on identity. I have brought much of what I learned back to the classroom here and continue to de-center the US in discussions of Blackness because of my time in London.

Would you recommend this program?
Yes, I would
Year Completed