BY KATHERINE NEWMAN
Felicia Apprey is a first generation Ghanaian American, born on the south side of Chicago, and the co-founder of The African LIFE. Through The African LIFE and her work as a public relations professional, Apprey is able to foster a learning environment for children and adults to reconnect with their African history and culture.
After being born in Chicago, Apprey’s Ghanaian parents sent her to live in Ghana while they worked to stabilize their life in America.
Apprey lived there until she was eight and remembers being made fun of by her peers for being from America.
When she finally returned to live with her parents in Chicago, she was again picked on by her American peers for being from Ghana.
“I came back to America because there was a civil war going on in Ghana. When I was in Ghana people, knew that I was from America and I got teased for that. Then, when I got to America, the same thing happened. I got teased by black Americans because I was African and I looked different and spoke different and that’s just how life was until I got to college.
When I got to college I realized that I wasn’t going to be treated like that anymore. There were students from all different countries and everyone was proud. That’s when I realized that I could be proud of who I am too,” said Apprey.
After struggling for most of her adolescent life with her identity, Apprey set out to show others that African culture is something to be cherished and she co-founded of The African LIFE with Cornelia Annorh Harris who is also from Ghana.
“I went to school for communications and I wanted to do something with my work that would let people know where I was from so I decided to found The African LIFE.
LIFE is an acronym for Living, Inspiration, Fashion, and Entertainment and I wanted to use that acronym to not only teach my kids but also my friend’s kids about Africa,” said Apprey.
The African LIFE is an organization that focuses on representing life as a first generation African American. Apprey’s goal with this organization is to strengthen people’s connection to Africa through sharing ways of African living, experiences that provide inspiration, showcasing African fashion, and providing entertainment through news, photos, videos, and blogging.
“Whatever I do, I want to incorporate the culture into it,” said Apprey. “The African LIFE began when I was trying to find out who I was and I’m still trying to get acclimated. I’m not 100% comfortable sometimes when I go into an all Ghanaian traditional setting. I am comfortable in a sense, but there is so much more that I need to learn and I want to be able to use my organization to help others learn too.”
To learn more about The African LIFE you can follow them on Facebook or visit www.theafricanlife.org.