Christian Dwirantwi ’25 Reflects on His Identity and Practices Cultural Curiosity During Black History Month

4 min read

Aiden Hebert ’25

Contributing Writer 

Throughout Christian Dwirantwi’s life, his father repeatedly retold his experience of immigrating to this country with nothing but one bag. Dwirantwi is now a 20-year-old student-athlete at Trinity. He believes the values his father instilled in him throughout his childhood, especially the importance of ambition and culture, has fostered his strong work ethic. 

In an interview with Dwirantwi, he said, “[My dad] is always doing something. My dad is a grinder, he loves to learn, that’s why he got me into my sciences. Where do you think my passion for this science comes from? My father.” 

These philosophies have allowed him to succeed in many areas of his life, even when faced with obstacles such as the academic rigor as a neuroscience major, or the discipline required for wrestling. There is nothing his dad hasn’t prepared him for. Throughout Dwirantwi’s years in school, he has learned what it’s like to be in both predominantly Black and white settings. When Dwirantwi got to highschool, he started to learn the value of these experiences, and what it felt like to be defined by the color of his skin. As Dwirantwi matured, he understood that because of this difference he would have to work harder than his peers. Although he was never frightened by this responsibility, he remembered a clear moment he shared with his father that has stayed with him to this day. 

“It wasn’t till one day, at a soccer field, and we were training. My dad is looking at me, and tells me the kids you sit in class with are not your friends,” Dwirantwi said. “At the end of the day it is you vs. him, not only academically but by the color of your skin. You have something to prove, you have to be better.” 

Dwirantwi explains that many African-Americans don’t even know where their lineage starts, or where they come from. His parents are a perfect example of this; his mother is unaware of her lineage, and has even taken genealogy tests to try and find out. On the other hand, being that Dwirantwi’s father immigrated from Ghana, he is very in touch with his lineage. Dwirantwi is still in a constant pursuit to discover and meet other family members. There was even a moment he recalled concerning the death of his grandmother. Due to immigration and loss of relationships, Dwirantwi was unaware of who his grandmother even was. Speaking to this experience, Dwirantwi said, “I didn’t understand why he was crying so much, I had never known who this woman was and what she meant to him.” 

Despite all of this, Dwirantwi ended up being named after his grandmother, and always places an emphasis on never forgetting where he comes from. He even has the adinkra symbol of his father’s tribe tattooed on his right shoulder. Dwirantwi conveyed how fortunate he is to know where he comes from and his culture; however, he feels that America diminishes the value of people’s culture through the various names used to label people of color. To this point, he stated that, “It’s not just a label to say I’m one category, but what it means to that person. It’s not to define the color of our skin, but to emphasize the culture which I come from.” 

The history of America is something that should never be overlooked, but remembered, Dwirantwi says. He expressed his belief that Black culture has not only constructed the foundation which this country thrives on, but has remained one of the main influences on American culture. 

“We shouldn’t just be honoring Black people in one month of the year,” said Dwirantwi. “Injustices are always being done to a group of people…There has to be a minority, there has to be a majority, someone has to work for other people to thrive, it’s just a matter of who.” 

Dwirantwi feels that it should be understood by all that every month is dedicated to the cultures and innocent lives lost which founded and directed the success of this country. In his beliefs, everyone should strive to become a more globally aware individual and be curious about other cultures. He believes that this is one solution for combating racism in this country and calls on others to “Go learn about your culture. Go learn about others’ culture, you will have an appreciation for the world you could never imagine.” 

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