Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Gilman Scholar explores issues of identity in South Africa

Atiya McGhee 1Atiya McGhee ’14 spent the fall in South Africa, studying issues of identity that arise from racial segregation.

The senior won an award from the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program to support a semester-long exploration of South African society, from Cape Town and its Langa Township to the predominantly Afrikaans city of Stellenbosch.

“My experience was exhilarating,” said McGhee, who is a Wheaton Posse Scholar. “Between my first home stay in Langa to my final home stay in Bo-Kaap, I was overwhelmed with how much this journey did for me, particularly for my spirituality and growth as a person.”

A major in creative writing and literature, McGhee has been deeply interested in the ways in which segregation shapes identity, and how these perspectives are reflected and influenced by literature. Her interest in the narratives of segregated communities arises from her childhood, growing up in a creative community in the Bronx.

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