Podcast: A Journey of Self Discovery for the Son of African Immigrants

This story comes from Phillip Kisubika, a journalist from Atlanta, Ga. It was produced as part of a radio journalism class at Boston University that focused on immigrant stories. 

Listen to Phillip’s story:

 

For an assignment in my graduate narrative radio class, my colleagues and I had to report an issue in immigrant life. For me, the subject was equal parts coincidence and circumstance.

On a random night after being out with friends, I took a cab home. When my friends conversed with our cab driver, I noticed the driver’s accent sounded a little familar. I was surprised to find out that the driver, Ronald Mwebe, was Ugandan, just like my parents. He gave me his card and we set up an interview.

I met up with Ronald in Waltham, Mass., a suburb of Boston where there is a substantial Ugandan population. I actually had to interview him while he drove his young son to the doctor. We talked about politics, the immigration transition and how he is raising his children in America.

The conversation we had sounded like a talk I could have had with my parents. So I did that. I talked to my mother, Alice, over Skype, and it really made me think about what my parents’ lives have been like since they came to the U.S. around 30 years ago.

This was a pretty personal essay for me, but I think it has a lot in common with other stories of American-born children of immigrants. We all have our own ways of understanding where our families come from, and this was my way.

Phillip Kisubika earned an MS in Journalism from Boston University and BAs in Newspapers and Sociology from the University of Georgia. His background is mainly in sports journalism.

Feet in 2 Worlds is supported by the David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation and the Ralph E. Ogden Foundation.  Fi2W podcasts are produced with the support of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and CUNY TV.

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