Humans of Grandview: Orezi Ogbe


“Basically every other culture other than America has a huge emphasis on respect. My parents will go ballistic even if I don’t like greet someone when they [someone] enters a house. I will have to move and stop what I’m doing to say ‘hi’ to them. I will also have to say it in Nigerian if they are Nigerian. Race is a huge part of your identity. It’s the first thing you can see about someone. Growing up in America, race is super important, but in Nigeria, race isn’t super important because everyone is the same race. I grew up in Parker, so people were always pointing out my race but no one told me it was an important thing except for my parents. My parents bring a lot of culture into growing up. We went to Nigerian parties. And in the past we had culture days. I’d have to dress in Nigerian clothes and represent Nigeria. But I don’t do that as much anymore. It’s just not really me. I’ve been assimilating myself. I’m Nigerian, but I’m more American than I am Nigerian. My parents always say I need to start eating more Nigerian food and know all this stuff, but honestly, I don’t really care. It’s not my top priority or even close. I grew up in Parker, surrounded by white people. I think that’s a lot of the reason why I don’t care as much and it’s not a huge part of myself even though my parents want it to be a huge part of my identity. It didn’t feel like a choice. I’m American. I’m not super Nigerian.”

Interview and photo by Jori O’Grady