Master of Arts
Peterson, James B.
For this Thesis project I interviewed seven women of West African descent and documented their unique stories about identity and the tensions they have experienced between their West African and American cultural heritage(s). One important charge of the film is to engage the influx of immigrants that are moving to metropolitan areas in America and those that return to the home country, intermittently and permanently. Responses from the subjects in this study, especially their migrations back and forth in the African Diaspora, inform transnational identities in West Africans communities, particularly amongst Sierra Leoneans, Nigerians, and Senegalese. In my research and documentation I also explore the preservation efforts made by generational immigrants in order to unveil some of the tensions made accessible via the stories of those participants interviewed in the film. This film generates qualitative insights into the fusion of US and African experiences as well as several critical suggestions for new identity formations among those immigrants beyond the first generation. Respondents in the film are especially poignant when it comes personal conflicts with identifying culturally, racially, ethnically, religiously, politically, socially, and creatively via media. This film also shows how the women experience their transnational identities via language, culture and acclimation. Lastly, the viewer will witness the tension inherent in simultaneously having a global and local mindset that are sometimes at odds with each other - a fact that often sets each of these women apart from their peers.
Sasso, Nadia Marie, "Am I: The Film" (2014). Theses and Dissertations. 1615.