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Crowdfunding to champion black history

FOCUSED: Stephanie is poised for success.

WEST LONDON student Stephanie Offei-Ntow is crowdfunding for tuition fees to study International History (MA) at the prestigious Columbia University and LSE.

The 23-year-old recently launched her #TakeSteph2Columbia campaign which will hopefully reach its £60,000 target by 1st July 2018.

Stephanie, who’s of Ghanaian descent, has long nurtured a deep interest in African history.

However, she views it as a discipline which is ‘congested with European historians, narrating African history, reinforcing the saying that the “winner writes the history books - books which glorify their own cause and disparage the conquered foe”.

In addressing this issue, Steph wants to help document African history from an introspective angle.

She said: “As a revisionist historian, I will challenge 'truths' and hopefully give a voice to my work by pursuing this masters programme.”

The Notting Hill resident’s aspires to see her work published, adding to the current literature on the history of her continent.

According to Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) data, there are around 350 black female professors in the UK, out of a total number of 18,000 professors across the UK, meaning that black women make up less than 2% of the professoriate in Higher Education.

Following her master’s degree, Stephanie intends to pursue a PhD and also begin a higher education teaching career.

Of this decision, she said; “There is an evident lack of black female professors within top universities in the UK and I hope to be one of the many to change this.”

This academic journey also promises personal enhancement for Stephanie.

“For me, just perfecting my craft, in terms of writing, researching and arguing, is something I’m really keen to do. I realise that takes a lot of writing, reading, studying and dedication.

“If I’m able to hopefully get a really high GPA, and get a distinction for my masters, I would feel like I’ve done something worthwhile and added to the discussion. History is such an interdisciplinary field. It doesn’t just cover analysing what dead people did, it’s looking at the economic, cultural and religious histories; it’s intertwines so many different fields.”

“So, by doing this, I feel like I’ll be able to figure out how I can add to African history but also write something new and add to Ghana’s history in general.

“Sometimes it is a bit counterproductive to always focus on the problem but not try to figure out solutions. So that’s one thing I really want to do; take all the stuff that’s happened in the past and say ‘how can we move forward?’.”

To contribute to the #TakeSteph2Columbia crowd-fund, click here.

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