African American Studies
Interviewee: Raymond Kogolo Jr.
Interviewers: Ogonetojoh Okoh, Brian Purnell
Summarized By: Eddie Mikus
Raymond Kogolo Jr. is a Bronx resident who came to the borough from Lagos, Nigeria, in order to attend Fordham University. In his interview, he discussed his experience at a Nigerian boarding school as well as his life in the Bronx as a Nigerian immigrant.
As a child, Kogolo’s mother came to the Bronx due to her job as an airline pilot and split the family’s time between the borough and Nigeria. Kogolo said that many of the children he played in the Bronx were either African-American or Hispanic. Kogolo’s trips to Nigeria often occurred around Christmastime due to a mandate from his grandmother. However, Kogolo eventually obtained his high school education at a boarding school in Nigeria. He said that this experience prepared him for life in the Bronx due to the fact that he frequently had to endure periods of time being broke and was the mercy of school bullies.
Kogolo also talked about his experience living in the Bronx, both as a child and a student. He said that many of his childhood friends would often presume he was Puerto Rican due to his complexion. Additionally, he was unique amongst his friends in that his sport of choice was soccer, which he aspired to play professionally. However, Kogolo also said that he felt safer walking around in the Bronx than in other boroughs of New York City.
Kogolo, Raymond, Jr. November 7, 2005. Interview with the Bronx African American History Project. BAAHP Digital Archive at Fordham University.
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