Afua Ansong is Ghanaian American writer and artist who teaches contemporary and traditional West African dance. She recently completed her MFA in Creative Writing & Literature at Stony Brook University. Her work interrogates the challenges of the African immigrant in the United States, exploring themes of transition, citizenship, and blackness. Her chapbook American Mercy is forthcoming with Finishing Line Press and her other works can be seen in Prairie Schooner, Frontier, Newfound and elsewhere.
African (American) explores the meaning of being a Black African and Black American in the United States. The questions driving this manuscript is why do people or animals move and why is there a certain ache or necessity to locate one central place as home and to always “return” to it? Ansong is interested in investigating how an undocumented or refugee status complicates this act of return. In answering these questions, she is looking specifically at the African female subject and her immigration to the United States. Because identity becomes vital in answering this question, Ansong wants to know how to call herself: black or African or African American, and what this naming of self has to do with her relation to the country she’s from and the one she is currently living in.