Roba Djalleta: Could you shed a little light on what it’s like navigating through everyday life while being an African woman?
Tolu Adewumi: In America in general, Africans are a minority. In our small school in Georgia, it makes my situation especially complicated. Where I grew up, in New Jersey, I had many family members there and my school was diverse. That is completely different from here because many people are ignorant of African culture and insensitive when it comes to asking questions. During my first year living here, the questions came often and were things that were offensive. I have grown in more in love with my Nigerian Culture and embracing the questions as I have gotten older. I realize that the LORD has put me here so that I may educate those around me even when I feel discouraged or judged.
Roba Djalleta: Have any of these things you’ve experienced(regarding the color of your skin) caused anxiety or stress, if so how are ways you’ve overcome it?
Tolu Adewumi: I wouldn’t particularly say that they have caused me stress, however, it depleted my self-confidence because I am so different from the people in my environment. Many of the situations that I have been in are uncomfortable and leave me in an afflicted state of mind. It has definitely gotten me down sometimes, but I try my best to roll with the punches.
There was one incident where I was walking in my neighborhood after I had recently moved and one of the neighbors was asking me questions about where I live and who my parents are. They were asking me as if I had lied and wasn’t actually from the neighborhood. That was not a welcoming way for me in my new home and that was definitely a stressful situation because of my age and confusion.
Roba Djalleta: If given the opportunity to change America, would you erase all the stress, anxiety, prejudice, and hatred from our society? Why or why not?
Tolu Adewumi: I would love to just see what life would be like if our population was truly diverse. To just see how that would feel. I’m not going to deny that my situations have grown me as a person but it would be nice to live without any judgment so that I can feel completely free.