When I look at the picture at the top of this website, I wonder what the future will look like for these four Ghanaian boys from Putubiw. I know that in all likelihood, they will not have the same opportunities that I have in life. They will not have access to the same quality of education or healthcare. They will not have power and influence equal to mine. My mission is to ask why.
The "Winning Lottery Ticket"
Why have I been blessed, through an accident of birth and a lot of good luck? I know that I have every opportunity in the world. I have enough social and cultural capital to do anything with my future. I have power and thus I have opportunity. Why is this my reality?
I once heard a classmate describe his birth certificate as a "winning lottery ticket." That phrase has always stuck with me. In so many ways, because of my nationality, my skin color, my education, my family, and my friends, I have a winning lottery ticket in life. But what of those who are not so lucky? How many people have the opportunities and power that I have? How do I make sense of this inequality of opportunity?
In order to process and understand these questions, I provide background information on Ghana and New Orleans, and then focus on the following themes:
Here I discuss questions of power and opportunity (in both Ghana and the United States) in the context of social and cultural capital. I also highlight my lingering questions on power, inequality, and prospects for change.
I conclude with my thoughts on the prospects for social change. What is the relationship between power, structural violence, and cultural difference? Can the unfortunate reality of inequality be combated? What can be done?