Independent Minds, Working Together


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Being Young and African in the 21st Century

(33) Being Young and African in the 21st Century - Ibra Sene, Department of History

Africa is the youngest continent on the planet.  Two out of every three Africans are younger than 35.  By 2020, the average age of three-fourths of Africans will be 20 years old.  This seminar will examine the explosion of young people and its impact on the African continent and the rest of the world.  We will study popular culture and youth identities; youth movements in religion and politics; and examine closely the work of a generation of emerging young intellectual figures, writers, musicians, and business professionals.  We will also take a look at the various ways in which the use of social media networks and the Internet is transforming what it means to be young in Africa.  Of course, persistent issues of warfare (including the use of child soldiers), poverty, lack of equitable access to education, unemployment, and the legacies of colonialism play their part in the matrix that this generation and the next will negotiate as they come of age in a globalized world.  Drawing on a variety of sources including film, literature, art, digital media, memoirs, and scholarly writing, we will explore together what it means to be young and African in the 21st century.