5 Big Things We've Been Led To Believe About Africa That Actually Aren't True

I can see clearly now, the misconceptions are gone. Sing it with me! But really, welcome to the reality of Africa today. Please leave any media-driven assumptions you may have at the door.

Obviously there are certain places in Africa that are still really, really struggling to overcome extreme poverty, but what Global Citizen's getting at here is: Let's not slow down the progress being made by lumping more than 1 billion people from 50+ countries into one mental picture.

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Gerrymandering is a funny word, isn't it? Did you know that it's actually a mashup of the name "Gerry" and the word "salamander"? Apparently, in 1812, Massachusetts governor Elbridge Gerry had a new voting district drawn that seemed to favor his party. On a map, the district looked like a salamander, and a Boston paper published it with the title The GerryMander.

That tidbit of absurdity seems rather tame compared to an entire alphabet made from redrawn voting districts a century later, and yet here we are. God bless America.

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Democracy

Children in middle school can be super shallow when it comes to fashion. To be part of the in-crowd, you have to wear the right shoes, brand-name clothing, and listen to the right music.

The sad thing is that kids that age can be so creative, but they forced into conformity by their peers.

Sadly, some people never escape this developmental phase and spend their entire lives wasting their money on material goods and judging those who do not or can not.

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Women in country music are fighting to be heard. Literally. A study found that between 2000 and 2018, the amount of country songs on the radio by women had fallen by 66%. In 2018, just 11.3% of country songs on the radio were by women. The statistics don't exist in a vacuum. There are misogynistic attitudes behind them. Anyone remember the time radio consultant Keith Hill compared country radio stations to a salad, saying male artists are the lettuce and women are "the tomatoes of our salad"...? Air play of female country artists fell from 19% of songs on the radio to 10.4% of songs on the radio in the three years after he said that.

Not everyone thinks that women are tomatoes. This year's CMA Awards celebrated women, and Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles saw the opportunity to bring awareness to this issue and "inspire conversation about country music's need to play more women artists on radio and play listings," as Nettles put it on her Instagram. She did it in a uniquely feminine way – by making a fashion statement that also made a statement-statement.

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via Dogspotting Society / Facebook

Over the past few years, Facebook has been a lightning rod for controversy, whether it's the 2016 Russia election hacking scandal, privacy concerns or numerous disputes over what it censors and what it does not.

So it's easy to forget that the world's largest social network is also a place where beautiful things still happen on a daily basis.

A blind man named Stephen William Dale Shkuratoff asked members of the The Dogspotting Society public Facebook group to describe pictures of their dogs so that he can get a better idea of what they look like.

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