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This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. Al’Amin Cissi has been writing poetry for the last 14 years that specifically focuses on the cultural, social, and historical identity issues many Americans face in trying to understand themselves and the world around them. His poetry is his way of expressing some of the conclusions that he has come to, and also some of the questions for which he continues to search for answers. Many of his poems are just his attempts to understand his own personal identity as a child of an African American and a Senegalese American. In studying the cultural and social context to which both of these cultures effected his own development, he looked to both West African history and East American history. The poem today is the medium through which he feels that he can clearly express what he’s discovered.

Al’Amin Cissi was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. He describes himself as “The child of a college dropout out who kept all the books she took out of the library and bought for classes, and an imam who became a tailor.” A graduate of Wheelock College, double majoring in Communications and American Studies, Al’Amin often uses poetry as a tool to spread his ideas. He believes that understanding history is an essential quality of a leader, because it has a heavy impact on their ability, to combat social norms and cultural narratives. He wishes to pursue a PH.d one day.


About the Speaker

Al’Amin Cissi

Al’Amin Cissi

Al’Amin Cissi was born and raised in the Bronx, New York City. He describes himself as “The child of a college dropout out who kept all the books she took out of the library and bought for classes, and an imam who became a tailor.” A graduate of Wheelock College, double majoring in Communications and American Studies, Al’Amin often uses poetry as a tool to spread his ideas and has come to the conclusion that his role as a social disrupter led to his passion for radical education reform. He believes that understanding history is an essential quality of a leader because it has a heavy impact on one’s ability to combat social norms and cultural narratives. He wishes to pursue a Ph.D. one day — for the robe. “They looked really cool on stage at graduation and most of them only come in color.”