Sunday, October 11, 2009

I'm African, What Are You?


Downtown Lagos. Not a hut in sight.

African American is a term used to show racial origins. The term itself is not racial or even political, but cultural since 'African American' is a cultural group. Even though the term is cultural I still feel that it is used to divide people of color. Growing up it was deemed such a negative thing to be associated with Africa. There were so many stereotypes about Africa. Types of questions I would get asked were “do you walk around naked in Africa?” Another person asked me “do you live in huts at Africa?” Whenever people asked me these questions, it really used to bother me. I used to actually be ashamed of my heritage because I was young and didn't know any better. Now I love the fact that I am African.

Most people don't know what the life in Africa looks like because they got these stereotypes from movies and internet sources. My family is from Lagos, Nigeria in West Africa. Lagos is one of the biggest and busiest places in Africa. It is filled with airports, hotels, restaurants, and some industries. Countries outside Africa even have business and vacation sectors in Lagos. The official language of Nigeria is British English along with traditional languages. Nigeria has more than 200 tribes. Nigeria is not the only advanced country in Africa; there are countries like South Africa, Ghana, Tunisia, Togo and other countries that are advancing.

Personally I feel if no matter what country you are from, if you are a person of color then you are African. If you are Dominican, guess what? Your people got to that island from somewhere. If you are a black French, you definitely are African. My friend Azza, sent me this video the other day. It's refreshing to see someone try to unify black people, from all over the globe. I think there is too much separation as it is.

17 comments:

Abena said...

true talk...

i'm african, ghanaian to be precise and i've met too many africans who are ashamed of where they come from. the media tends to show only the negative sides of africa becoz it usually only concerns them when there's something going wrong. our parents should teach us how important our heritage is to us.

Ms.Minx said...

Lagos, Stand up!! LOL

Lived in Lagos about half my life, and the other half in foreign countries, where I had to "educate" almost everyone about Nigeria.

I'm proud of where I'm from, and definitely agree that its important for people to know that its not all flies on dead bodies, poverty and crisis. Fly people like you and I are African and proud! Nice post :)

...And so ends my epistle, lol!

VexInTheCity said...

Super Eagle in the building!!

Retromus-ik said...

Great post! I'm from Cameroon. There def. needs to be more unity within Africa. I am very proud of my heritage, not so proud of our politicians though.

Wishful Thinker said...

NIGERIA, Stand up!!
My dad is Ijebu and my Mom is from Ibadan.

I love everything about my country and will rep it until the day I die!!

Tunde said...

i really hope its just a coincidence that all the people that have commented so far are actually from countries in africa.

Ms. Sylaneous said...

Imma proud Shubutian! heck yeah!

Milan said...

Chuuuuch! I agree. I also feel like the reverse has happened to me...being looked down upon by Africans because i'm "only" African-American/black. That has to stop as well. Good post, Fav.
;-)

The Hallway said...

Peeped U on verysmartbrothas site. Wut up Tunde, so what term would you use to deinfe black people? Or any people with a color, to unify us?

Tunde said...

hallway,

i don't have a problem with the term black to identify people of color. as far racially i have a problem with the term african american. if you want to differentiate between africans in america or africas in america then call them either "americans" or call them "africans". these terms are appropriate (imo) to distinguish nationality.

O.F.C.J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O.F.C.J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
O.F.C.J. said...

Interesting post. It's like there are two sides to this.

In literal, African Americans are just that. "African" in ancestral heritage; "American" in developed culture. They have formed their own culture after generations in America. Just like current day West Indies' have in the Caribbeans(yet WIs are still African by lineage, no doubt).

But, if "African American" is used, I think I should be calling Caucasians "European America", & so on and so forth. So maybe everything should be streamlined to "American", or hyphenation. that may be politics--idk.

Nevertheless--in literal terms, "African-American" is quite appropriate.

They are still a variety of Africans. Just more deeply displaced by the diaspora, and evolved into a new culture. Heritage stays the same though(still a part of us) ;)


P.S. Sorry about all the deleted comments.


O.F.C.J.

Ronald Gray said...

I am the first American born son of Jamaican parents. Great blog,sandz...as always...

Tunde said...

ron: appreciate sandz. i'm bout to go check out your post on wizard of oz.

Prissy said...

wow! I'm late on this post. But I agree with most of your points. I was born and raised in Ghana and then I moved to Canada and I remember having to deny my African heritage when I was younger just to fit it. I'm glad that I'm much older now and way passed that. Great post!
-Pris

Yinkuslolo said...

this post is short, enlightening and straight up.

but then, there is an issue some folks raise. That is about one not being african but being Nigerian, Ghanaian, Togolese and wherever else specific.

But it is also a questions of what non-Africans think u're representative of.

btw, Im Nigerian.