Versia Hodges II, an Eastern New Mexico graduate, recently discussed the concept of “diaspora” as one of the events for ENMU’s Black History Month. Hodges was asked to present on diaspora, and his personal attachment and knowledge of it. Diaspora refers to the migration of people during the transatlantic slave trade, predominantly to Europe, Asia and the Americas. Diaspora may not initially have a positive connotation, but Hodges believes it now benefits the African American community.

“The African diaspora not only informs, but affirms that African Americans need to know their history.”

Hodges was approached to present by Diana Cordova, the Multicultural Affairs Director at ENMU. Hodges had taken a DNA test to find his ancestors origin. The test results had an impact on him that he did not anticipate.

“The DNA test inspired me to be proactive in my search for history and cultural diversity,” said Hodges.

After discovering that he was from South African and North West Germany, Hodges took it as an opportunity to learn about and interact with other cultures.

“For me the diaspora provides exposure, enrichment, and knowledge. I truly gained a connection with the diaspora from a global perspective. This was because Africans were not the only ones that suffered from inferiority and colonialism,” said Hodges.

The presentation was meant to inspire people to embrace their cultures and educate one another, so we can better comprehend different cultures and ethnicities. After the presentation, Hodges interacted with the audience and answered questions. The questions ranged from topics about Hodges’ personal discovery of his history to his thoughts on major world events.

For more information on DNA and how to acquire your own DNA test, please visit DNAtribes.com.

Versia Hodges II presenting on African Diaspora, Photo taken by Emiliana Walker

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