An Interview with Jo Saxton

Jo Saxton 2

Interview with Jo Saxton

 

Today, I have a special treat for you. I’m doing an interview with Jo Saxton, a leader I’m honored to know. You might recall that I posted a review of her new book, “The Dream of You” recently on the blog. Now I’m digging into some of the questions I had while reading it. I pray this will encourage you.  

 

Natasha: Jo, you have quite an interesting story. You speak all over the country and have become known as the “Nigerian Brit,” can you share a little bit about that story, and how your name changed from Modupe to Jo?

 

I call myself a Nigerian Brit because both play a fundamental role in my identity. I’m a Yoruba Nigerian, and my parents moved to England in the 1960’s. Many of my formative years were spent growing up among a wide Nigerian community in London. Nigerian food, Nigerian sounds, Nigerian cultural practices. That was my norm.

 

Nonetheless, London is my hometown; and it’s a diverse and cosmopolitan city. Its where I grew up, made friends, had crushes on local boys; I walked its streets and loved it. I feel such a visceral connection to London because its shaped me too. Still the London I grew up in is eclectic, much more so than the pictures of England captured in shows like Downton Abbey or The Crown.

 

My London includes Buckingham palace with the royal family, and Big Ben and tourist attractions, but it’s also Brixton market with its Ankara materials and meats and fruit. My London is fish and chips, and chicken tikka masala and jolloff rice. Its hanging out at the local pub and the local hair salon, knowing they house two different cultural worlds. Its reading Shakespeare, Ben Okri and Zadie Smith. Its Wham & Shalamar, soul music and Seal, as my elders dance to Sunny Ade again. All of that is the London I called my home.

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#RacialRec: Voice # 3: Asian American ~ Helen Lee

Our first snapshot of the Asian American voice is author of Missional Mom, Helen Lee. Helen is a fellow Redbud writer and you can find out more through her official website. Helen’s interview:

When people say Asian American, What does that mean?

To be honest, I think the term “Asian American” is misleading. It seems to imply that all those with Asian heritage are similar; think of how odd it would be to refer to people as “European American”! Yet, I understand the need for demographic purposes to try to make these kinds of distinctions.

The official Census Bureau definition groups those with heritage from East Asia (i.e. Korea, Japan, China) with those from South Asia (i.e. India, Pakistan). Anyone from any of those countries would have strong arguments for why their particular culture is different from others in that grouping.

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