The Somali Bantu people are a group with an extraordinary story. After a history of persecution and violence, the Somali Bantu people have made a remarkable journey which has taken them out of their country, through refugee camps, and eventually to the United States. The US has provided Somali Bantus with a home, stability, and most importantly, a new life. However, this new life is totally different from the one that they led in the Jubba Valley in Somalia. From sweltering heat to powerful blizzards, sandy camel paths to four lane highways, and camel's milk to Nesquick, the changes in Somali Bantus' lives have been significant. Before coming to America, most Somali Bantu had never had access to running water and electricity, had never watched TV, and had only seen a handful of white people. Few knew any English and most were illiterate in their own language. Most children had never attended school. As Somali Bantu refugees adjust to their new lives in America, they find themselves to be strangers in a distant land and face issues of race, religion and a language barrier. Despite these difficulties, the Somali Bantu are thankful to be alive and are grateful to once again discover peace after their grueling journey.
The future of the Somali Bantu community in America remains a question. Can the Somali Bantu elders preserve their culture in this distant land? How will an American education adjust the lives of the young Somali Bantu? What will happen to the upcoming generation? What will they do with their lives? Further information on some significant questions about education, culture, and socio-economic status can be found by clicking on the links below. Additionally, some of the Somali Bantu teenagers discuss some of these questions about their future, including Shobow Saban, who is featured in the video below.