Born to naturalized American citizens from Ghana, Kwame K. Ocran was raised in the Bronx and attended Brooklyn Technical High School in New York. Point Foundation provided loving support to Kwame at a critical time in his life: during his junior year, after suffering from illness, Point sent a representative and a bouquet of flowers, directly to him. As life changes led to intense dissonance with his studies, Kwame remained steadfastly grateful to Point for its mentorship program, its generous scholarship, and its sense of maintaining kinship with queer scholars.

After a period of significant transformation, Kwame rebounded, writing a National Council of Undergraduate Research-selected project on the early iteration of Harvard’s Hasty Pudding social club. His undergraduate thesis studied alternative methods for the critical analysis of pop music albums like Lady GaGa’s Joanne. Kwame graduated as a University Scholar, cum laude, from the City University of New York in 2017. There, he completed undergraduate studies in Philosophy and Critical Race and Gender Studies at the Macaulay Honors College, studying at Hunter College, and later the CUNY Baccalaureate for Unique and Individualized Study.

In 2021, Kwame parleyed his passion into a master’s degree in Liberal Studies, concentrating on American Culture and Performance. At the CUNY Graduate Center, Kwame studied BeyoncĂ©, rockism, popism, black divas, and queer Harlem Renaissance-era performers. He seeks the celebration of hallmarks in American culture in their popular, black, and queer manifestations. In 2022, Kwame will begin doctoral studies in historical musicology at the University of Pennsylvania.

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