Now What
Now What
Aug 1, 2020
22 Think you Know Ethiopia and Her People? Think Again: Hermen Wegayehu shares her story
Play • 36 min

Host: Diane Gil

Co-Host: Antonio Moore

Guest: Hermen Wegayehu

Listen to other episodes: https:// us/podcast/now-what/ id1439125172 

Episode Introduction:

In today’s episode of the Now What podcast, Diane and her co host KeKey Huessein are accompanied by Hermen Wegayehu who talks about her homeland and the Ethiopian culture. Hermen shares the struggles of her people, and provide inspiration to Be Black and Be Proud #BLM

Episode Summary:

Hermen talks about her experience as a child who moved from her home in Ethiopia to America. She shares her experience where she felt like an outsider and was often judged on basis of the colour of her skin and her accent. She also talks about her current life as a corporate leader and how she’s trying to teach the Ethiopian values and culture to her children. The episode talks about everything from the unique Ethiopian culture to great movements in the history of black people and how they’re still facing the same problems as people of color.

Call to Action

  • As a nation confront the division and supremacy to bring healing and unity.  

  • We should all challenge our biases on the issues we are facing

Notable Facts & Statistics:

  • Ethiopia’s Flag served as a symbol of African independence and is a source of great pride.

  • In 1935, Ethiopian flag evoked sentiments of the black community in America.

  • Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in the world.

  • ~600,000 undocumented black immigrants live in the US.

  • One out of every ten blacks in America are immigrants.

  • Most African countries gained their political independence in the 1960s.


(Credits: FutureLearn)


Donating to causes fighting to help improve the lives of black people in the community – as well as in the penal system – is a good way to contribute. 

Sign petitions

If you’re unable to donate, signing a petition might be the next best thing. We’ve highlighted petitions calling for justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor (murdered by a police officer in her sleep in Louisville), and Belly Mujinga, a transport worker who died of COVID-19 after being spat at in London.

Black Lives Matter also collects new petitions on their site. Read the BLM statement on George Floyd and why black people have a right to not live in fear.

Educate yourself

Whether you want to learn more about the rich history and culture of black people, or you’re looking to learn more about the history of oppression black people have suffered – and the inspirational opposition to it through the ages – there’s a wealth of books, films, and courses that can expand your understanding. 


Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge

This book on the reality of structural racism in Britain has shot to the top of the best-seller charts  – making Eddo-Lodge the first black author to top the charts in the UK. 

Natives: Race and Class in the Ruins of Empire by Akala

Musician, activist, and academic Akala charts the historical legacy of British racism and colonial oppression.

Between The World And Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Author Coates explores American racism in the form of a letter to his 14-year-old son.

Women, Race & Class by Angela Davis

A groundbreaking exploration of the intersection of related oppressions – how the system works to keep down women, blacks, and workers, all at once.

Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements by Charlene Carruthers

Exploring the history of black liberation back to the Haitian Revolution, Carruthers appeals to her readers to make black liberation more queer, more feminist, and more radical.


13th by Ava DuVernay

In this documentary, director DuVernay contends that slavery in the United States was replaced by systemic oppression of black people – through the prison system, the war on drugs, and longstanding police and public violence.

The Black Power Mixtape 1967–1975 by Göran Olsson

A collection of news footage – shot in the late 1960s and early 70s by Swedish national television – that acts as a unique portrait of the black activists at the forefront of the radical civil rights movement. Featuring interviews with Angela Davis, Stokely Carmichael, and Huey P. Newton.

I Am Not Your Negro by Raoul Peck

This documentary collects author James Baldwin’s observations on American history and racial injustice, including his thoughts on civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr.


Understanding Diversity and Inclusion from Purdue University

Unconscious bias is as much a factor in discrimination as overt racism. On this course, you can learn to tackle ethnocentric mindsets and create inclusive environments.

Cultural Diversity and the City from the European University Institute

This course explores the importance of racial and cultural diversity in shaping the identity of a thriving city.

Empire: the Controversies of British Imperialism from the University of Exeter

The University of Exeter’s short, free course examines the British Empire, including how it exploited race, religion, and propaganda to hold sway over a third of the Earth’s population.

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Instagram/Twitter: @dianegil_cwc 

Join us at:

YouTube: Cultivate With Courage 

This episode was executive produced by: LG Media

Episode show notes by: Tanishka Kherajani

Music by: Alex Maldonado


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