Episode 8: Chiponda Chimbelu - "Afropolitan."

Very recently, Chiponda Chimbelu was featured on The Black Expat.  Chiponda, who is a Berlin-based journalist, shared his experiences about the multiple identities he holds as a Zambian, an American, Black man, gay man living in Europe.  As you can imagine there was a lot to unpack and we didn’t get it all. So he’s back.

In this episode, we decided to take a closer look at everything we just couldn’t get to in the first time. We talk the concept of European identity, the idea of global citizenship, being a Black journalist in white media spaces, the racial dynamics of African passports. And that’s just for starters.

Below are some excerpts from Amanda’s conversation with Chiponda.  

You can listen to the full episode wherever you get your podcasts. You can also listen on the  The Black Expat YouTube Channel . 

For Chiponda’s original interview, you can read The Journalist: Chiponda Chimbelu.

The concept of Global Citizenship

The problem with a term like global citizen is that it can obviously be taken and used by different types of people to imply an elitist group of people that excludes people of certain social classes or people of a certain education. I think initially the term global citizen was of very encouraging in a way, because obviously it meant you were from everywhere, it was someone like me, but I feel like these days, I'm less willing to use the term.

The Lack of Diversity in Media

This year has been an exception because this is the one year I could say that I've been able to probably speak about my experiences as a Black person. Starting with the killing of George Floyd, I think in general, the willingness to listen became more apparent. Whereas before that, I think it just wasn't there, because the discussion on racism in news rooms isn't something that has been very obvious as a societal problem. I think that sort of shifting gradually, but it's still not a comfortable space to say the least.

Telling the Story

And I know, it sounds horrible coming from a journalist, but we are not arbiters of truth. What we can do though, is we can provide nuance, we can provide analysis and we can provide context. Of course, sometimes we do provide facts generally, but I think facts are generally not the story. Facts are just facts. The story, something else.

To hear the full episode, click below or listen wherever you get your podcasts.

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