Should literature, film and television solely contribute to entertainment or do those with an audience have an obligation to do more than that? I personally hope we get to a place where before a creator creates a piece of media, they question their motive for that media within greater society and specifically think through what identity they are trying to represent with it. This is not to say that creators should be writing about identities that they do not themselves identity with, I believe people should write about what they know. For what is the purpose of a piece of fiction if not to more deeply understand an identity that we ourselves do not have? As I dove into this media regarding African immigration experiences, I learned about entire new ways of analyzing this work: through lenses such as Afropolitanism and critical race theory. I learned about how the process of immigration, for many people, develops their individual personhood because they are so far away from their family for the first time. I also learned that a lot of this personal development is attributed to America “changing” these people, as if America is a process that immigrants go through, coming out the other side “changed by America” rather by their own experiences and decisions. In studying an anthology novel, an anthology television series, a film and a novel, I discover just how much form affects the effectiveness and complexity of the representation of identities within a piece of media. I engage with all four creators to understand what themes are conveyed through visual versus written media, long versus short form media. This thesis is daring in analyzing four different texts but each text I chose was included for a reason and contributes a different overall argument to my project.


Hayward, Jennifer




African American Studies | Ethnic Studies | Literature in English, North America, Ethnic and Cultural Minority


literature, film, television, representation, intersectionality, Africa, immigration, Afropolitan

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2021 Abigail E. Everidge