I wonder why many Africans living in diaspora feel abashed when labelled as blacks, so, I asked myself, are they not proud they are Africans? Don’t they give respect to their etymology? I couldn’t find any sufficient and appropriate answer not until I realised I’ve been misusing the two phrases “being African” and “being Black”. An eccentric person might not make a sense out of this, why? Because he thinks he’s black and not African.
Have you ever wondered the kind of infuriating responses you’ll get when you ask a non-African who an African is? One of such provocative answers is “being black”. Therefore, is it not just to jump to an extrapolation that black is a term used often in socially based systems of racial discriminating or of ethnicity, to describe persons who are perceived to be dark-skinned compared to other given populations? As “Blackness” also is a term imposed at the moment of conquest by apex oppressors, as a way to make knows that the skin colour is quite different. Does that not incite black being a colour? It is an unequivocally YES, as the answer is not farfetched. But why do we give in to such term? Probably because they are predominant over us? Or the black mentality that has mutated in us?
We seem not to understand their plain language that no one is African unless they can be called a black person, but are all Africans black? This question will remain unsolved for years if black is still considered a colour and not an identity. Its high time we woke up to who we are and left behind us whom they’ve called us. However, we should realise black or blackness tells you how you look without telling you who you are, and that has caused deviation from who we are, which is “our identity”.
I get vituperated when some Africans are regarded as “Black Africans”, what does that instigate? That African is subdivided into white and black? Or because you’re dark skinned means you’re black African and light skinned means white African? But we shouldn’t forget Africans are never regarded as white despite being light skinned. So that lead us back to the basic fact that in regard to Africans, black is a colour and not an identity. So therefore being labelled as a black African is a racist and pejorative colonial term which we must fight against.
In the light of the above, I begin to realise that being African is more than just a name, that “Africaness” and skin colour are not verification of each other. That being an African, the individual is linked to indigenous right and issue of sovereignty, specialised features as the diverse hair texture and the diverse skin hues which has made us the natural people of African. Its a pride being an African for Africa is not a place, rather its a race that constitute several ethnic groups, religious beliefs and kingdoms which has a basic etymology. And likewise, it seems so horrible for some people for being African, that only will they accept it if they can drag all the human race into the identity, which explicitly is impossible. Are they to be blamed? No, as their ancestors have disconnected them from their birthright and geographical claim which signifies their origin.
Confusion might have precipitated various questions, some of which could be isn’t black and African synonymous? Do I as an individual have a problem being called black? No, I certainly not have a problem being called black so far it is regarded to as my identity and not my colour. I, as a writer, think it is noble to be addressed as an African rather than being called a Black. As the word demean degrading and racial discriminating.
originally published on http://www.malikademola.blogspot.com