Loss of African History and Culture

GRAD Lab: Loss of African History and Culture
Thursday, August 6, 2015, 3:10 PM – 4:10 PM
Presenter: Victor Williamson
Location: Newbury


One challenge facing the African diaspora in the midst of Westernization and modernization is loss of African history and culture. The strategy employed herein is to integrate history, African languages, folklore and multimedia to find new and engaging ways  for people of African descent to tell their own stories and to make original contributions to the arts and sciences. Particularly of interest is documentation of African languages, history, folklore and proverbs. These include integrating African language orthography  on the Web, documenting lullabies and nursery rhymes and representing story lines within cartoons that introduce science and  technology within an African context, while equally portraying the beauty of black heritage. Current research centers around a  Web platform to document the Yoruba and Igbo languages of West Africa, and providing Web interfaces that support reading  and writing in African languages and that crowd source content for African stories, proverbs, songs, histories and culture.

Presenter Bio

Victor is currently a PhD student in computer science at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee with a particular focus on integrating black culture into computer science via multimedia on the Web. He graduated from MIT with a Master’s degree in Computer Science as a GEM fellow in 2010 with a focus on Network security and Web interfaces. He traveled to Ibadan, Nigerian in the summer of 2014  to study the Yoruba language of West Africa and is interested in multi-disciplinary approaches to promote and preserve African and  African American heritage.

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