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“I know who I am and where I am from. Shrinking myself is not an option”

IJEOMA UMEBINYUO

Author of Questions for Ada, is a well of wisdom and affirmation for Black Women all over the world. Ijeoma Umebinyuo was born in Lagos, Nigeria. Her ancestral home sits between two states, a border town somewhere in Southeastern Nigeria. In 2016, Ijeoma was named one of the top contemporary poets emerging from Africa by Writivism. She is considered among Sub-Saharan Africa’s best modern poets .

Her short stories and poems have appeared in The Stockholm Review of Literature, The Wildness, The Rising Phoenix Review, Doll Hospital Journal, The Renaissance Noire, The Gordon Square Review and The MacGuffin. Her poem “Diaspora Blues” is a part of Dr. Rosalba Icaza’s contribution to Routledge Handbook of Postcolonial Politics.

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Questions for ada

“So, here you are
too foreign for home
too foreign for here.
Never enough for both.”

In 2017, Ijeoma was invited to speak at The Cooper Union, her talk Dismantling the Culture of Silence seeks to challenge the culture where silence is seen as a virtue in marginalized communities and how such affect women. Dismantling the Culture of Silence has been used by some teachers to teach students in high school the importance of using their voices.

Ijeoma Umebinyuo tackles the Culture of Silence in this thought provoking and articulate TEDx talk which explores how remaining silent trivalizes our struggles whether it be with mental health, sexual harrassment, or another topic deemed taboo by the society in which we live. She divides the Culture of Silence into the three C's: culture, code, and cage.