On a Sunday stroll up 16th Street in Washington, D.C., years ago, Lonnie Bunch got a hug and a gentle talking-to from an African American woman.
Mr. Bunch — who at the time was the director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, which was still under construction, and now heads the entire Smithsonian Institution — had been very visible in the media discussing the newest of the Smithsonian museums. Read more
LONDON: Dr. Ayoade Alakija, an infectious disease specialist based in Nigeria, is co-chair of the African Union’s Vaccine Delivery Alliance (AVDA). In December 2021, Dr. Alakija, nicknamed Yodi, was put in charge of accelerating equitable access to Covid-19 tests, treatments and vaccines for the World Health Organization’s global initiative known as the Access to Covid-19 Tools Accelerator. She uses the term “global north” to describe high-income countries and “global south” to describe low- and middle-income countries. Read more
LONDON: Two decades ago, I got a tattoo of an Akua’ba statuette on my inner right ankle. A female fertility symbol in Ghana, the disc-headed figure comes from the Akan legend of Akua, a woman who went to a priest for advice because she was having trouble conceiving. He instructed her to have a small wooden statuette of a child carved and to care for that surrogate baby as though it were her own. She was soon pregnant. Years later, as I was struggling to conceive, the irony was not lost on me that not only did I carry my infertility permanently around on my ankle but that I too needed a surrogate, albeit of a different kind, to help me become a mother. Read more
LONDON—When Adelaide Tsogo Masenya was six, she switched primary schools. Her local school, Dr Knak Primary School, in the poor Johannesburg township of Alexandra, only taught in her native language of Sepedi. Her new school, Marlboro Gardens Secondary School, had an English-only curriculum. Years later when she asked her mother, a cashier who only had a primary school education, why they had moved her, her mother replied, “You actually asked me to take you to an English school.” Even at such a young age, Masenya, who is now 30, had enough agency to understand the importance of education for her future. Read more
SALZBURG, Austria — From central Salzburg, it is a short but scenic bike ride — with the Eastern Alps as a breathtaking backdrop — to the 18th-century rococo palace of Schloss Leopoldskron. While it may not look very notable from the road, from the lakeside it is a spectacular vision of manicured lawns, hedges and giant trees. Read more