Michael Rain: What it's like to be the child of immigrants
TED Resident Michael Rain communicates ideas through written and visual stories. Full bio
Double-click the English transcript below to play the video.
when I was in the third grade,
with a Ghanaian staple dish called "fufu."
made of cassava,
which is a dark orange color,
would keep me warm on a cold day.
and I opened my thermos,
What's a fufu?" they asked.
send me to school with fufu again.
or chicken noodle soup
that my friends were eating.
between what was unique to my family
came to the US almost 50 years ago.
in a northern region of Ghana,
his bachelor's degree in accounting
joined him years later.
in lower Manhattan,
her own women's clothing store.
around the world
these different classifications.
or Korean-Americans or Nigerian-Brits.
and experiences different
in a country different than our parents,
to the largest number of immigrants
in a place like New York,
person to find their place.
that formed my understanding
a student asked me
that his parents told him
who come to the US
and they laughed a bit,
but because it was a generalization.
enough to eat in Ghana
more complex as I got older.
of black American students,
why I sounded differently than they did
different than theirs.
and he shared his own confusion
when he first came to the US.
when he was in Ghana, everyone was black,
would only consider me to be
and complex cultural issues
in the United States,
tell me it's Latinos,
but it's actually African immigrants.
out of the eight countries
Muslims only live in the Middle East,
banned people are Africans.
and policy and religion,
about immigrants are incorrect.
like workplace diversity and inclusion,
to senior managerial positions,
least likely to be promoted.
is part of my work
for people to find these stories.
of portraits and firsthand accounts
first-generation immigrants just like me
for the countries we grew up in,
for many of us who are misunderstood
their countries of origin
you might know are Enodi.
States, Barack Obama,
or Caribbean immigrants.
of first-generation folks.
in North America and Europe,
how critical we are
smells new or different to you --
ABOUT THE SPEAKERMichael Rain - Digital storyteller
TED Resident Michael Rain communicates ideas through written and visual stories.
Why you should listen
Michael Rain communicates ideas through written and visual stories. He is the creator of ENODI, a digital gallery that chronicles the lives of first-generation Black immigrants of African, Caribbean and Latinx descent, and the co-founder of the emerging tech startup ZNews Africa, a Google, Facebook and Microsoft accelerator member that builds mobile app, email and web products.
Rain's creative and commercial work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, NBC News, Upscale Magazine and the Harlem Arts Festival. He has moderated panels and delivered remarks on entrepreneurship and digital media at major events and conferences at the US Department of State, Harvard Business School, The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Columbia University and the NYU Stern School of Business.
Rain earned a BA in Political Science with a concentration in International Relations from Columbia University. He is a 2017 TED Resident and a fellow at the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. He is Ghanaian-American, a lifelong New Yorker and Brooklyn native.
Michael Rain | Speaker | TED.com