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Dear Ms. Tippett,

It is good to hear your interview with the journalist who has done much to help with Africa's calamities and many others like him. The help is truly appreciated and certainly in order for moral responsibility. On the other hand we must also take a look at the other side of the African story by bringing African history to bear. There is so much more to Africa than just her catastrophes perpetually sensationalized by the western media. Of the 54 African nations the majority has never seen war before. Pre-colonial Africa contains great history to tell about the continent, her empires and past leadership and the enormously rich resources endowed to the continent until the explosive force of disruption caused single-handedly by the west for their greed and power. The benefits of that oppression built the foundations of western riches. Unfortunately, this process still continues with unfair trade rules of Africa's raw materials needed by western industrialized countries. So, Afric a continues to remain poor, ironically, even though she has the richest land mass on earth. These facts are never communicated by the press and the average American is clueless, except for Africa's sad and pitiful situation. The African Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade from the 16th-19th centuries and shortly afterwards brutal colonization by Europe truly brought the entire continent to her massive destruction. Yet African has done well in her development and efforts to rebounce from the down-falls. During colonial rule only 1% of Africans received formal education, but since independence, Ghana for instance, has as high as 75% literacy rate, Botswana as much as 86%, and many Africans come to America and Europe with scholarships and great academic preparedness. Why do American media not discuss some of these positive attributes? I am truly grateful for how Africa raised me and so do millions of African people. It truly breaks my heart to hear all the horrible things everyday of a c ontinent, which otherwise has so much to be admired for their rich heritage, contributions to the world as we see it today, good community living, extended family system for emotional stability, great self-esteem and a sense of belonging. African young people are among the most stable, emotionally. Therefore if I have anything at all to suggest, it is that your Being program make a commitment to discuss that side of the African life story as well with African intellectuals, putting things into their proper cultural context for a balancing view of Africa, her people and her affairs. Thank you.

Nana Akomaa