We are a group of individuals of the younger generation of the Ethiopian diaspora in America. We are a part of this generation that has had to create an identity for itself which balances our roots with our American up-bringing. The personal journey of the creator of this project began by leaving Ethiopia as an asylum seeker with her family at age 4, conforming and adjusting to Dutch culture in the Netherlands for 5 years, and readjusting to American culture in the U.S. for another 20 years. Now as an adult, she sees how some may have similar cultural experiences, but are vastly different. And yet, their souls emit a vibration that is on the same wavelength as hers. Growing up away from other Ethiopians and Eritreans, she thought her unique vibration belonged to just her family. As she has gotten to know many other young people of similar heritage who arrived in the U.S. at different points of childhood, she noticed they too emit this vibration that felt Home.
On the surface we are all different. Despite all this variation, however, there is that wavelength that connects us all. That one heart located in East Africa that beats through each of us.
We, the members of this project, have each consciously and unconsciously explored what makes us a part of our original culture. Is blood enough to claim this label? Is it behavior or birthright? Is it a mentality? Even though we have thoroughly discussed this topic, we have yet to identify what is at the essence of our heritage. However, through exposure to the many different Ethiopians and Eritreans we realize we do not have to be the same to stay connected. Each of us gets to choose how we portray it to the rest of the world.
We fell in love with the wide expressions of life and living by the young Eritrean and Ethiopian community and this project was born.
We hope you will share your perspective with us creatively through your writing, photography and artwork for this book and help us to capture the diversity of the Eritrean and Ethiopian expressions by the young Eritrean and Ethiopian Diaspora.
The Ethiopian/Eritrean Book Project is officially closed for submissions. We are currently working with our reviewers to select the final pieces that will be included in the final product. Once selected all submitters will be notified as to the status of their submission.