FEATURE: Clarissa Bannor

Clarissa Bannor is a passionate Ghanian-American afropolitan who credits motherhood, "the big chop", and veganism for guiding her mission to curate a liberated life that weaves African culture, black consciousness, and a compassionate palate with everyday life & style. 

Clarissa's mission and blog, This Afropolitan Life, is inspired by a quote from her favorite novel, Zenzele: A Letter for My Daughter by J. Nozpio Maraire:

"How could I allow you to grow up reading Greek classics, and watch you devour The Merchant of Venice and Romeo and Juliet, yet be ignorant of the lyrical, the romantic, and the tragic that have shaped us as Africans?"

Clarissa was born and raised in the U.S. and from a very early age, she understood what it meant to be black. At 11 years old, her family moved to Ghana and spending her formative years there gave her depth and context for understanding what it means to be African. 

She credits this time in Ghana illuminating the duality of her existence as a Ghanaian-American woman and she uses this cultural understanding of the parallels of blackness and African-ness to navigate her world as an African woman living in the West. She hopes to inspire others to do the same.

This Afropolitan Life is a blog that weaves African culture, history, and style with everyday life. What we eat, who we spend our time with, what we fill our minds with, what we wear, how we go about our everyday lives, in every arena of our lives. It’s a blog about understanding what shapes us as Africans, and finding simple ways to curate lives we love.

Clarissa Bannor is a community educator who is dedicated to to inspiring others through her thoughts and her writing. Clarissa sits on the board of the West African Community Collaborative, a civil association of community organizations; nonprofit, faith-based and direct-service organizations that provide services to the African community in Northern Virginia. She resides in the Washington DC metro area with her husband, and is mom to two energetic little girls.

Links to Clarissa's work:

Africans—Natural Vegans? 

African & Vegan: Making the Transition

Black Vegan Voices: resources for black vegans

Vegan In NYC