African Language Initiative

The From Slavery to Freedom Lab is pleased to announce its African Language Initiative. In series of one-month modules, open to all community members aged 12 and above, instructors will teach the basic vocabulary and fundamentals of Kiswahili, Wolof, and Yoruba.

“One of the goals of the lab is to study the rich linguistic tradition of the African diaspora and promote the study of African languages at Duke,” said From Slavery to Freedom Lab co-director Lamonte Aidoo. “Faculty have done lots of great work in African history and anthropology, but less in languages. We aim to extend this work by exposing Duke students, faculty, staff, and the Durham community to African cultures through language learning, and to think collectively about how to integrate these languages into the Duke curriculum. We see our lab and the FHI as uniquely positioned to launch this exciting initiative.”

Yoruba will be the first language offered through the African Language Initiative. “We will learn the tones of the language and how to communicate simple things, like greetings, talking about family, and objects in the home,” said instructor Samuel Ma’at, a professional educator and translator.

The hour-long classes will be offered from 5:30-6:30pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, beginning Tuesday, March 19 and ending Thursday, April 11. All classes will take place in the From Slavery to Freedom Lab in the Franklin Humanities Institute (C106, Bay 4, Smith Warehouse, 114 S. Buchanan Blvd, Durham, NC, 27708). Classes are free, but the organizers ask that participants commit to attending at least six out of eight classes. No outside work will be assigned, and Ma’at will provide links to resources for additional study.

Space is limited. To register, please click here.