Arts & Entertainment

“Am I Too African To Be American? Too American To Be African?”

“Am I: Too African to be American or Too American to be African?” is a documentary film that explores the complex identity formations of young African women living in America and West Africa who identify bi-culturally. It specifically looks at how they wrestle with concepts of race, complexion, gender, and heritage among other issues.

First time film director and producer Nadia Sasso, who is a Sierra Leonean-American, says ”

I created Am I: The Film as a way to not only explore how immigrants and their offspring engage with the issue of bicultural identity politics on the American and African landscapes, but to create a dialogue between the generations. Cultural dualism is a reality that affects everyone, from our President of the United States, Barack Obama to everyday citizens like myself

.”

The film started out as Sasso’s master’s thesis film documentary, while she was working on her M.A in American Studies from Lehigh University. Inspired by her family, friends and mother, Sasso—of Sierra Leone—was inspired to push the boundaries in conversations on educating people about ethnic and cultural identities.

The film explores 7 women’s stories, including Awkward Black Girl star and creator Issa Rae, who is half-Senegalese, with their bi-cultural identity, and looks into how these women wrestle with concepts of race, complexion, gender and heritage among other issues.The difficlty of navigating between our bi-cultural spaces is not something that is often spoken about, but the struggle is real and affects everyday life from dating, parenting and the internalized prejudices personally within our own communities and outside in the day to day world.

There is a long and short version of the film and available to watch online for a small donation of $10 for continued research.