Introducing our Board: Nzinga Metzger
Nzinga and Shanna met while members of the African Dance troupe Manga in Atlanta. Their friendship has stood the test of time, lasting over 20 years.
Dr. Nzinga Metzger was educated in the United States, receiving her B.A. in history from Florida State University and her M.A. in history from Temple University. Dr. Metzger completed her Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology at Florida State University.
Over her years of study, Nzinga's holistic approach to acquiring knowledge has led to her development as a scholar, folklorist and artist. Nzinga's anthropological work focuses on Africa, the African diaspora, ritual, religion and identity.
Both her master’s level and doctoral work address themes including West African notions of personhood, the historical context and the socio-cultural politics of identity in relation to colonial power, and issues of diaspora and identity formation,
Also of interest to her is the fluidity with which individual,and group identities ebb and flow through history as they confront changing socio-political climates. This idea re-emerges in her dissertation which encompasses West Africa and Afro Atlantica, and addresses topics such as identity, Africanity, African and African based religions, aesthetics, and the histories of the African diaspora with special reference to African American practitioners of Yorùbá based religion in Philadelphia.
Ms. Metzger’s investigation of these topics has lead to both national and international field research wherein she has observed communities of devotees of orìsà traditions: Internationally, she has traveled to Cuba and Nigeria to investigate òrìsà tradition, while domestically she has obtained a decade of exposure and access to and study of òrìsà communities in New York, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Tallahassee, and Atlanta.
Through this work, she has been able to collect personal oral histories and also observe, study, and contextualize the processes of identity formation, cultural reinterpretation and adaptation amongst community members from both individual and groups perspectives. Her work strives to situate these within the larger socio-historical context within in which these processes take place.
In addition to her scholarly work, Dr. Metzger is also the founder and director of The DuniaForé Foundation which is a philanthropic, non profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to working in the African Diaspora. The organization launched a successful summer school for traditionalist children in Osogbo, Nigeria last year. The summer school, called “Asalaye Academy,” will also be running this year.
She's also co-curated a fantastic Cultural Ambassador Trip to Cuba this August.
Follow her on IG.