Dr. Dympna Ugwu-Oju Visits Bullard High

Alexis Virgen, Staff Writer

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On Thursday, February 15th, Dr. Dympna Ugwu-Oju had made a visit to Bullard’s library to give a speech to many students about her early life and the many challenges she faced while growing up. She included all her hardships in a book she wrote called What Will My Mother Say? She originally is from Nigeria, but she came here to the United States about 25 years ago. Dr.Oju is a full-time instructor of Journalism at Fresno City College.

By the time Oju was born, her mother was homeless and unemployed with seven children. Oju’s father had died before she was born, and he didn’t have a will, so her mother didn’t have the right to own anything he had left behind. It is traditional for a woman to wear black when she is either divorced or a widow, so her mother had to wear her shame in the color black.

While growing up in Nigeria, Oju had a love for writing and wanted to become a writer. However, writing wasn’t an option for women back then, so her mother constantly told her, “Remember, you’re just a girl,” or “you’re only a girl Dymie.” Back then, females weren’t worth much, other than reproducing.

But this didn’t discourage Oju. In fact, it made her try even harder.

A couple years later, in 1974, she finally enrolled in college in the United States when she was only eighteen. When Oju came into the U.S, she did not know she was black. She didn’t know anything about the racism that took place during that era.

After Oju’s speech, she offered to answer any questions that students had for her. After asking her for her intake of the immigration situation in our country, she gave a biased answer.

“Our country is built by immigrants. Many people come here to actually help the immigrants. We find so much work here, there is no need to frown upon them.”

Another question asked was, “President Trump said some unfavorable things about people who come from African countries. How did it make you feel?”

Her response was, “I laugh. I laugh at his own unfair opinion and nasty words. He generalizes the whole country, which is wrong. I very much dislike the word (sh*thole) he used to describe where I come from.”

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