No. That’s not a grammatical error. That is a phrase Ajoku
created to describe those such as himself. American Born
African (ABA), the more nationally specific American Born
Nigerian (ABN) or Liberian African American (LAA) for instance
are interesting phrases but what do they mean?
They are phrases invented by first generation American born
offspring of African parents to identify themselves. They
resemble phrases like New Yoricans and Jamericans used by some
Puerto Rican and Jamaican American youth. A voice for a
formerly invisible segment of the American population that is
rapidly expanding and now coming of age is forthcoming in
Continental Drift: The African-African American Experience.
Chronicling Ajoku’s journey of self discovery, this book is a
vivid narrative that recounts his growing up as the son of
Nigerian immigrants in New York. It will enlighten the
reader about pressing issues with a sense of urgency, yet dazzle
them with a sprinkle of humor and satire.
FitzGerald Chinemerem Ajoku holds a bachelor’s degree in Health
and Society from State University of New York (SUNY), College at
Old Westbury. He is also a former chairperson of the
African Students Union at SUNY Stony Brook. He became
interested in writing about this subject when he returned from a
trip to Nigeria in 2007. Feeling that he had completed a
full circle in self realization, he also realized that another
circle in self actualization would begin and overlap the
previous as it is a lifelong process of development. There
were always issues that interested him about his environment.
He grew up in New York City and the surrounding suburbs.
Therefore, he was exposed to both black American life as well
African life through his family background. Throughout his
life there were always Americans who did not fully embrace him
and Africans who did not do so either. He struggled with
his identity for much of his young life and likened it to having
middle child syndrome. He felt left out because he was not
part of either extreme. He eventually decided in his early
teens that he would not let others define him and he frequently
had dialogue with his peers regarding the matter of their self
perception. Being black and American while having a
tangible African heritage is uniquely awesome. So much so
that it compelled him to write about it.