Dede Mansro: "It felt like it was my place to shut down assumptions about Africa"
The model compares her life in Ghana to the USA.
Dede’s story originally appeared in up + rising, a celebration of extraordinary Black voices, and is the first chapter of i-D's 40th anniversary issue (1980-2020).
i-D chronicled over 100 activists and artists, musicians and writers, photographers and creatives, in Atlanta, Baltimore, Minneapolis, LA, London, New York, Paris and Toronto.
"Living and growing up in Ghana, I had no idea racism was still a thing simply because of how everyone in my home country is treated; fair and equal. Police brutality is rare. Teenagers and adults can travel or roam without the fear of being stopped by the police for wearing a hoodie or just being themselves. This freedom was something I thought I’d be able to feel forever but when I got to America I felt the shift.
Being an immigrant, I thought people would love me and where I came from because of the amount of love my country shows towards immigrants and visitors at home. However, I have witnessed the negative connotation some Americans have towards immigrants and Africans. I want to insert a positive outlook and make a change to this perception. It felt like it was my place to shut down assumptions about Africa.
So, I have made it my personal mission to spread my culture primarily through African music. Despite some Americans hating people that have similar backgrounds to me, I will forever cherish my experience and opportunities that I have received in the US and will continue to move forward to educate others to understand my heritage."
Photography Justin French
Styling Edward Bowleg III
Hair Suhailah Wali using JASS Products by Janel Sealy Smith.
Make-up Raisa Flowers using Pat McGrath Labs.
Digital technician Tim Hoffman.
Styling assistance DeVante Rollins.
Make-up assistance Ashley Brignolle.
Production Casey Murphy.
Casting director Samuel Ellis Scheinman for DMCASTING.
Casting assistance Alexandra Antonova.