African American Studies


Interviewers: Brian Purnell and Oghentoja Okoh

Interviewee: Veronica Buapin

Date Of Interview: October 5, 2004

Summarized By Eddie Mikus

Veronica Buapim is a Bronx resident who was born to Ghanaian immigrant families. Her life story depicts the experiences of a Ghanaian growing up in New York City as well as the evolution of the city’s community.

Buapim was born on March 10, 1983, at Our Lady of Mercy Hospital. Her parents came from different Ghanaian tribes and had 9 other children (seven of which were full siblings to Buapim). Buapim grew up in a residence called Academy Gardens, which was across the street from the Soundview projects. As a child, her father attempted to maintain some Ghanaian cultural practices within the family home; however, her mother focused more on religion than on culture and Buapim never learned how to speak Twi. During her high school days, Buapim made friends with a few other Ghanaian students and took part in after-school activities such as student government and tennis.

During her childhood, Buapim witnessed several demographic and lifestyle changes that occurred in the Bronx. For example, she said that in the 1980’s there were more blacks in the building where she lived, while the present population is more Hispanic. Furthermore, Buapim said that the building had a vibrant sense of community and a well-attended summer camp prior to a takeover by new management when Buapim was 12 years old. She also noticed increases in street violence and use of marijuana in the years after the new management took over—even relating an anecdote about how her brother was hurt in the ankle due to a gunshot.

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Buapim, Veronica.mp3 (112387 kB)