Journalist Casey Parks on Africa

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Casey Parks grew up poor in Mississippi. Skipped meals, pawn shop, repo man taking the cars. She never saw France or London. But now she's seen Africa — and she's here to tell you her childhood poverty was nothing next to what she's seen.

Casey Parks is 23 now and an aspiring journalist. She was picked out of nearly four thousand applicants to go reporting in Africa with New York Times columnist Nick Kristof.

She got a passport and a plane ticket and a slingshot journey into Africa's back roads and villages — an overnight education in gunmen and dying women and the facts of a different life. Now she's back to tell her story, and Africa's.

Hear a conversation with Casey Parks and Nicholas Kristof about their fresh eyes on Africa.

Quotes from the Show:

"The first place I visited outside the United States was Equatorial Guinea." Casey Parks

"I decided that I shouldn't report only on the sad things I saw." Casey Parks

"A lot of people have been interested about my stories [from Africa] but it's easier to write about them than talk about them." Casey Parks

"The most important thing I learned from the trip is to keep asking questions." Casey Parks

"It's important for young Americans to not only travel to places like Europe but also to the developing world like Africa." Nick Kristof

"We are always vulnerable to stereotypes of places we don't know." Nick Kristof

"Attitudes toward Africa are changing." Nick Kristof


Casey Parks. She won an essay contest to accompany New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof on a trip to Africa for two weeks in September.

Nicholas Kristof, Pulitzer-Prize winning op-ed columnist for the New York Times.;
Djibril Diallo, native of Senegal who lives in the United States. He is co-Chair of a World Affairs Task Force for the National Association of Black Journalists.

This program aired on October 24, 2006.


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