The story

Africa is not a country, and Africans generally do not live in trees or hunt game with spears. Nor do they all walk around in the nude among lions and zebras.

African immigrants to the United States say cartoonish caricatures and a Western media penchant for reporting on Africa's disease, hunger and war -- rather than the continent's successes -- trivialize their cultures. They complain they have trouble dispelling the stereotypes once they arrive in the States.

They concede, though, the myths run both ways and some say they were surprised to find their values more often aligned with those of white Americans than African-Americans.

"I have been laughed at because of my accent and asked all the ignorant questions," said iReporter Ajah-Aminata N'daw, 25, of Fall River, Massachusetts. "Questions like: Did I live on a tree? Roam the jungles naked? Have wild animals at home?"

N'daw emigrated from Dakar, Senegal, in 2001. She works in a hair-braiding salon and has met African-Americans who share her values of hard work and family, but in most cases, "we are raised differently, taught different values and held up to a different moral code." iReport: Read why N'daw is not African-American Read full article »

CNN's Jackie Adams contributed to this report.

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