Living Life as an African in America: Five Tips For the “New” African Woman

By Aminata Jalloh, Author and OSOW Community Member 

  1. SPEAK UP!

    Often, women like myself from a conservative African background can be reserved, always wanting to make sure everyone has a chance to speak first. While this thoughtfulness and humility are valuable traits, there is nothing wrong with being the first to offer your opinion!


    Sometimes, it is easy to rely on parents and elder family members to maintain and continue traditions and connections to family abroad or in other cities. However, I have found it worthwhile to be actively involved in this process. As our parents age, it’s important that we begin to take some of the responsibility of staying connected to family.


    No matter if you were born in North America, South America, Australia, Europe, Asia, or another African country, investing back home is worth it. The continent is booming, and we all have unique skills and talents that we can draw from to be a part of the continent’s growth.


    Even after you finish your studies and settle into your career, nothing is wrong with learning a new skill or picking up a new hobby. It need not be linked to your career or even for a specific purpose; it can just be to explore an interest, for example, a musical instrument, kayaking, gardening, graphic design, or book writing.


    It is easy to forget how remarkable your experience and journey have been, or how valuable your experience can be for another young woman. If you can, find time to mentor, even if it is someone in your family.


3 thoughts on “Living Life as an African in America: Five Tips For the “New” African Woman

  1. Feza says:

    These are invaluable lessons! I especially connected with your tip to speak up. It’s easy to assume others in the room have more valuable insight to share, or that you need to fully develop your thoughts or arguments before sharing your perspective. It’s a lesson I’m still learning. Thanks for these reminders!

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