I love being a person of Black African descent. It is so awesome, because of our culture and cuisine and things like that, but, there are days when I have problems. Most of these come in the forms of stereotypes that are, well, retarded. Just stupid. Honestly, you cannot believe the stupid beliefs people have about Africans. Because my parents (I am not from there, but I always wanted to go there) are from an African country (Sierra Leone) people automatically assume that I am from there.
I am of African descent, so I must run around with a spear and a shield and have bone in my nose and disc in my lip or something. I mean, that is just stupid. I don’t think that most people realize, but there are over 50 countries in Africa, some of them have over 50 different ethnic groups. There are 5 regions: North, Southern, West, East, and Central.
So anyways, I go to this school, and I told a lot of people that I am of African Descent. I am proud very proud of my heritage, and I enjoy sharing it with others. But, I hate it when people make very negative statements. You would not believe the number of people that assume that I can speak a different language. I can only speak Krio, which is a form of English just like Jamaican Patois or Southern Dialects, and I cannot do it well, and I do not do it very often.
Hey, how do you say I like to go to school in your language?
Just say it, please?
I lek fo go nah school (that is not 100% correct, but its the best I can do…)
How do you say, I have lots of friends
I get boku padi
It sounds just like English!
It is English…
I wanna hear the clicks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m not from that country”
And then the conversation got awkward. Really really awkward…
There are some people that ask really good questions, but a lot just asked questions. And that is so damn annoying! They say things like “What village are you from? Did you live in a hut? Why are there light-skinned people in your family, I thought you all were pitch black? Can you run fast? Why don’t you all wear close? Why do they rape and kill people with albinism in Africa? What war did you have? Why are you all so corrupt? Why are you so poor? Is Africa a nice country? Can you hunt with a spear? Do you beat women? Do you have AIDS? Do you eat alot of KFC and watermelon in Africa?” I usually say nothing, or say something smart, or let them believe the myth. And then my absolute favorite, “Do Africans have superpowers?” This man was being serious, too! Where did he get that idea.
There are so many stereotypes about Africans. The one that I hate the most is the one that we are all dirt poor. Botswana, South Africa, the Seychelles, Namibia, Angola, and Nigeria are some of many nations that are not poverty stricken. And not every African person lives in extreme poverty. African immigrants on average have higher income than an average white person in America. No, we don’t all have AIDS. No, we don’t all think less of black people in America. Some of the countries do have a high crime rate, and the people in these nations know that, so I have no idea were that stereotype came from. No, we didn’t all get left behind while other black people were suffering because of slavery. How do I know? I am a Krio with some Americo-Liberian ancestry. Both of these terms mean that I am an ancestor of freed slaves that returned to the Motherland to create colonies. These freed men and women mixed with the local population, forming their own unique culture. We are all black people and we should unite, not divide. Besides, African American culture has had a big impact in Africa. Just look at the African rappers and how much American influrence they have.
We are not stupid, and that is a fact. African immigrants and their children have the highest graduation rate of any ethnic group. But that really does not bug me. What bugs me are the misconceptions about our culture. Killing people and raping women are not part of our culture. We do not live in huts! And African music does not always sound like Sade or Ladysmith BLack Mambazo (although they both are very talented.) We have African rappers like Naeto C, pop stars like the late Brenda Fassie, reggae stars like Alpha Blondy, gospel singers like Kanvee Gaines Adams and even R & B singers like Bracket (Yori Yori is my song, son!!!) and P-Square. And much mush more like D’banj or Emmerson or Yvonne Chaka Chaka or … something. They are so talented. They could each crossover to America.
So that is it for today. It has been a very long time since I posted something. I sohuld write more…