Charlotte Walker-Said is a historian of Africa who specializes in the history of Christianity and Law in West Africa. She is a professor at CUNY-John Jay College in New York City and has also taught at Harvard University, the University of Chicago, and Webster University. She has lived and traveled in Cameroon as well as Mozambique, Tanzania, and South Africa. She is completing a book on Christianity and the history of the African family during French colonialism in Cameroon. Today, she is thrilled to discuss her book on Protestantism and Catholicism in Cameroon in the 20th century, which her research reveals transformed family and community traditions in African societies. She is interested in the relationship between faith and family and the ways that families use their spiritual life to guide their everyday interactions with repressive forces such as colonialism and imperialism. Check out her website at

Overview of episode

What makes a man a man? What does it mean to be a spiritual man? How does society influence the ways of being man today? There are some schools of thought that suggest that we perform gender. The argument is that being a man (masculinity), or woman (femininity), is largely influenced by the context and culture – time and place – in which we live. In this episode, host Pete Saunders talks with Charlotte Walker-Said, professor at CUNY-John Jay College in New York City, about how African men perform masculinity and the future of gender equality in Africa. They also talk about faith, family, and the fight against oppressive forces in Africa.

1 How to make a man
2 Demands and evolution of masculinity
3 From gender complementarity to gender equality
4 Faith, Power, and Family