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“Not the one we think we should be using.”


April 1, 2022 by pearsonkl

In this clip from The Education of Auma Obama, Auma is instructing her class to create name tags for themselves. She specifically tells them to put down the name they go by and not the name they think they have to go by. With this, she is referring to “westernized” names people adopt in order to fit in. Auma herself was given a westernized name as a child by her father and stepmother. They called her Rita. Once she went to school in Germany, she realized her African identity more clearly, so she went back to her birth name Auma. It took her leaving Africa to truly understand and embrace her African background.

Auma wants to instill this acceptance of one’s name early in this group of students. African names hold meaning about when and where a person was born and stands for a lot in terms of African identity.

The edit zooms in on Auma’s own name tag with her birth given African name that she has learned to own and accept.


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