Is you black, or nah?
Recently, I read a blog post written by one of my good friends. In that post, she was addressing the acceptance of self in many words. Ideally, she was talking about the issue of one not being comfortable in one’s skin. Are you comfortable in your skin? Are you proud of who you are? Most importantly, do you LOVE yourself? Yes, I ask if you love yourself because, believe me, there are some people who don’t.
“Black people don’t want to be black, we want to be ‘half something’, we want ties to some exotic land to subdue our blackness, we want lighter skin…that makes people stop on the road and ask, ‘are you half-caste?’…Africa is living in the dredges of post-colonialism, the Europeans took more than just our resources, when they left they took our identity.”
A lot of people, I included say that some or most white people are ignorant when it comes to other countries or continents other than theirs (Africa to be more exact) when in fact, it is we, (black people) who are sometimes ignorant. I was in class one day and my professor showed us a video of four Sudanese men who were brought to the States on some sort of study to see how they would respond to the “civilization”. During the course of this video, a girl in my class openly said, “Wow, they do have minds and they do reason, just like we do.” I felt instant disgust at this statement, disgust that was soon replaced with shame. See most of my life, I had never really identified as African. Sure my Father is Nigerian which automatically makes me Nigerian whether I have a green passport or a blue one but, I never really considered myself as one. I rather clung to my mother’s Italian heritage so if anyone asked me, I’d always reply, “Oh, sure my dad’s Nigerian, but my mom’s half Italian and I’ve lived a considerable part of my life out of Africa, that’s got to count for something.”
Have you ever been introduced as an African to an AFRICAN American? Well, here is how the conversation goes somewhat as I recall from 8th grade:
African American: “Oh no way, you’re African?!”
Me: (Staring at this dumb broad like she done’ lost her mind, ain’t you black?) Yes I am
Her: Oh no way, that’s so cool. I’ve always wanted a lion for a pet.
Me: (“Homie is you crazy? Don’t you know lions are wild animals?” I think quietly to myself) Oh yeah, well, me too. I always wanted Mufasa as a pet.
Her: haha, you’re so funny. Hey! (Beckons to her friend) L’aquiesha Africans are so funny!
Me: O_o. (Well that was awkward)
My fingers got too tired and I was too lazy to finish typing but, you get the picture.
My point is that, some black people (granted they probably don’t know where in Africa their ancestors were stolen from during slavery) in the States and everywhere else totally and blatantly reject that idea or rather that FACT that as long your skin is black or some sort of golden brown/ yellow means that, once upon a time, your great granddaddy was taken from his African country, ploughing a plantation field in Louisiana and probably humming the chorus of “Down by the Riverside”. But, they still fight it, leaning towards the infamous trend, #teamlightskin, #teamdarkskin. My dear assignment helper in time of need (wiki) explains what these words mean:
It’s like my friend said, we black people are so desperate for something else that we hide under this façade. Well, speaking generally, we as humans are desperate to be accepted and so, we put up façades of who we want to be. I guess, the question once more is, do you love yourself? Are you comfortable in your own skin? Would you rather be someone else?
Well, my fingers hurt and it is 5 am I guess that’s all but I’m pretty sure I’ll revisit this topic again. Goodbye people and don’t forget to love yourself.