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There are always a conversations on college campuses within Black circles about how African and African-Americans relate to each other but did you know that these same conversations were being had in the 1960s?

We have come across a documentary about Black college life that was created in the early 1960s at Fisk University. In the video the narrator meets up with a group of students who are from newly independent former British colonies throughout Africa and the West Indies.

These students open up about their first interactions with African-American students on their campus and highlight the many stereotypes and misconceptions they face:

“Even back home if you see somebody who is a negro you really admire the person,” one student tells the interviewer. “And when I came to be truthful, I ran into a number of [American Negros] who gave me a cold shoulder… simply because they did not understand the African.”

The same student opens up about another African-American student he came it contact with who approached him with a very “memorable” question:

“The first question he asked me was, ‘Do you see the lions roaming around on the street?’ Then he told me, ‘You see this is what the white man has made me to believe, that Africa is full of jungles and it is only when [the african] comes here that they put on clothes. When the go back the put down their clothes and just go back and roam about in the bush.'”

“I’ve ran into a couple who didn’t want to accept the fact that they are native of Africa because they thought Africa was jungle,” the student finishes.

Skip to the 20:00 minute mark in the video to watch the interview.

Are you an African student who has faced situations like this? Leave a brief story in the comment section below.

FISK 1960s from christopherfranklin on Vimeo.

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