Hashing Out The Diasporic Beef

by Zettler Clay

The African Dispora

It happened out of nowhere. Suddenly, seamlessly, my Nigerian acquaintances became my closest friends. Throughout my foray into Nigerian culture, I’m reminded often enough of that persistent, deep prejudice held by Africans toward African-Americans. But I shouldn’t take this personal.

We don’t trust each other either, my boy says, laughing.

In the form of japes, we get into the African/African-American gap: Africans loathe African-Americans’ work ethic and wayward morals; African-Americans feel Africans are backwards, schemers and arrogant.

But as Peter Ustinov said, “comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.” The diasporic divide can be laughed off for only so long. Consider this. From 1980 to 2009, the African-born population in United States grew from just under 200,000 to almost 1.5 million.

Add that to the much deeper influx of Latinos and this country is becoming increasingly browner. We’re going to be brushing shoulders more often, which means sooner or later, we’re going have to hash out this beef.

So why not now? What’s the hold up?

Neither side has an accurate picture of the other. Western media plays the exacerbating role of depicting one culture as miscreants, entertainers and gun fodder and the other as primitive, unsophisticated and victimized by a dysfunctional continent.

We are familiar with the history of how African-Americans came to this country. But many aren’t as mindful of a significant impetus behind the huge influx of African immigrants. Over the years, as Africa’s resources were increasingly not controlled by Africans, the labor market became hugely imbalanced.

There was too many supply of workers. Not nearly enough demand for work. The wealth of their countries spread to first-world economies.

Hence around 1960, a throng of African citizens migrated West to start anew in a country they’ve only heard and read about. Currently, some estimates count between 46 and 49 percent of all African immigrants having a college diploma. In the Nigerian community, 17 percent have master’s degrees, compared to 19 percent of white residents.

Overall, African migrants send billions annually back to their families and friends in remittances.

Even with this nobility of purpose and accomplishment, Africans are still outsiders to a culture imbued with the legacy of slavery and civil rights battles. Many African-Americans still resent African leaders who profited off the slave trade, while others have no connection to Africa other than what they see through the media.

Meanwhile, there isn’t love lost from the other side, with many Africans harboring the notion that African-Americans lack identity and are indolent complainers.

There is also an obvious color component underpinning the rift. In a world where the fairer skin is sine qua non for magazine covers, billboards and cinematic presence, the darker complected Africans don’t quite measure up. There is a socialized aversion to color and black people are no exception. The “darkness everybody” jokes within the African-American community and #teamlightskin hashtags reinforce our serious hangup over complexion.

The irony is that our destinies are linked. The greatest lamentation of slavery, the vestige we can’t seem to shake, is the chasm it created in people’s knowledge of themselves through a tie to African heritage.

We are reaching urgent times in this collective discourse. Economic inequality, HIV/AIDS and racial prejudice are common foes to blacks in America, regardless of background.

Both cultures share the common barrier of a system that pushes colored folks to the margins. The longer we ignore this link, the longer we deprive ourselves of progressive action toward creating something better. At some point, we have to alchemize our minor cultural differences into a global perspective bound by a deep connection.

Considering how President Barack Obama is the seed of a Kenyan immigrant, now is as good a time as any to initiate earnest dialogue on this divide. The son of a Kenyan is married to a sistah in the White House. Right in front of us is a muse, a spring to propel us into this vacuum and start the closing process.

  • Sasha

    This piece was a *whoosh* breath of fresh air. As a first generation Nigerian, I have been guilty of harboring some of these feelings toward African Americans as well as being the target of disdain and insensitive jokes from African Americans as well. And as for the team light skin hashtags, I’ve truly never understood that…it seems kind of stupid but to each their own.

  • Yb

    Interesting article but I find the belief that people must unite based on their race, which is a social construct, as opposed to uniting over shared belief/history/culture/social issues to be, frankly, bullshit.

    This whole “come together, my lost black brothers and sisters” ideology I find to be laughable and a waste. My alliance lies with the people who share my history, culture, and identity.

    Many Africans and West Indians allign themselves this way but too many BLACK Americans believe that as long as some is the same race as us, they are for us and will support or struggles and fight. For my group I find this kind of thinking to be dangerous, and will only lead to disappointment.

  • http://gravatar.com/jadenoellesblog JN

    The prejudices unfortunately go both ways. As a Nigerian-American I’ve heard hateful things from both sides.

  • Rakel

    Great article. It’s true we have mistrust issues within the Diaspora. My mom came from Haiti when she was 16, and the belief was that Black Americans were lazy and did not utilize all the resources they had. So she was pretty stuck up and the bullying she faced didn’t help either. My Uncle had to break it down to her. My Dad and Uncle came here when they were younger so they acclimated faster and easier. He schooled her on Black American history, how their history made it possible for things to be easier for Blacks from other countries to come to America because of Civil Rights, and fighting for rights before that. In high school my closest friends were like the Black United Nations(I had friends of other races): Caribbean, Nigerian, African American, etc. We all said we’re the same people just dropped off in different places which made us have different histories.

  • http://www.urbanexpressive.com J. Nicole

    Haitian, Jamaican, Dominican, Panamanian, Nigerian, whatever. Funny thing about those of us who are part of the African diaspora is before you even open your mouth, the rest of America simply sees you as Black. Thats it. Easiest way to see how silly some of these arguments are. I’m not saying I haven’t used a stereotype here & there, but there is no denying we share a common link. How you act upon it is up to you. If someone wants to remain ignorant with blanket statements (Black Americans are lazy, Dominicans think they’re white, All Nigerians are scammers), then let them remain as such. I’ll stick to befriending someone who has the same maturity level that I have.

  • Justsaying

    I don’t know why this comment is getting thumbs down.

    I don’t understand this idea to unite when there is not a shared history. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for getting rid of the hatred, but we do not have a shared experience. We have different cultures, languages, and history. We should celebrate the difference, and understand one another. That doesn’t mean we should be as “one.”

  • Ang

    Unfortunately, true.

  • Cocochanel31

    THIS is why I am soo glad I grew up in a diverse area! I was exposed to different cultures at a very young age and one of my lifelong forever friends is half Nigeriana and half Ghanian and I loooved learning about their culture growing up and they appreciated me being open to it. The only way to conquer this divide is for each side to befriend one antoher, we are alll related anyway and share many of the same struggles.

  • http://fromthoughtsintowords.blogspot.com/ rkahendi

    “Interesting article but I find the belief that people must unite based on their race, which is a social construct, as opposed to uniting over shared belief/history/culture/social issues to be, frankly, bullshit.”

    You do realize that belief/ history/ culture/ social issues all fall into the category of “social construct”, right? So you are kind of contradicting yourself.

    Quite frankly, I think it’s ridiculous to expect people to share similar goals/ agendas because of race. But, by the same token, I think it is ridiculous to expect them to have similar goals/ agendas because they are of the same African nationality or ethnic group. I think people are people. They should be judged/ treated as individuals. One day, when we are all able to interact with other people as the individuals that they are rather than as representatives of races/ nations/ ethnic groups, the universe will smile upon us.

  • Mr. Man

    Here it is 2013 and folks still can’t let it go..I suppose the THOUGHT feels to good.
    Sorry but folks have a hard enough time simply trying to keep their immediate families together let alone trying to cooperate as a race or a unified body and rise. It’s quite obvious now that what has been broken is much much to big to be fixed by human hands.

    Sorry but that ‘come together’ ideology bubble burst in the late 60′s-70′s.

  • GeekMommaRants

    So times telling the truth does not work. Who thinks that bubba and Englishmen have anything in common? No one! We have different cultures and different accomplishments. This attitude comes from never traveled. .

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    the system of white supremacy oppresses ALL black people.

  • http://gravatar.com/rastaman1967 Rastaman

    Everytime I encounter these expressed prejudice towards African Americans, I immediately know that the person of color expressing them is ignorant of the black struggle in America for equality or how important a role that played in black struggle for freedom all over the globe.
    Toussaint to Cudjoe to Nat Turner to Douglass to Garvey to DuBois to Kenyatta to King to Mandela to Toure were all soldiers in the fight against white supremacy. An international battle that continues today. When Marley sang “Africa Unite” he was talking about all of us African descent, the mark of melanin. Every other black person does not have to be your friend but you need to stop acting like they are your worst enemy.

    They are black folks who are enlisted in the force of white supremacy don’t get me wrong, Clarence but the vast majority of us need to understand that:
    “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.
    None but ourselves can free our minds.”

  • Yb

    ” I think people are people. They should be judged/ treated as individuals. One day, when we are all able to interact with other people as the individuals that they are rather than as representatives of races/ nations/ ethnic groups, the universe will smile upon us.”

    That’s cute. Sounds like a fairytale from your imagination. I never expected people to have similar beliefs based on race. I clearly stated that in my original comment. I will continue to align myself with people who share my history/community/and culture, until the day that people will be seen as individuals, which is never.

    And I sincerely would like for you to explain to me how beliefs and history are social constructs.

  • Skye

    I don’t think we have to be the same because we come from different upbringings but being different and saying we are not the same it’s not helpful in this white dominated world. No matter how much you say we are different let us celebrate our differences. If we look at black people globally we are overall not doing WELL so separation is silly. The only way we will be in a better position is we separate ourselves from others and only work together, hate to say it, but everyone else is doing that and it’s working.

  • BS

    In high I did not have to many African American friends because of the way they treated other Haitian kids even Haitian teachers, but I was given a pass bc “I don’t look like them” and bc “I am a pretty Haitian”. Really? Really? Every time I go out there’s a UGLY African American I met. I was also Bullied in college COLLEGE by them, I went to a HBCU but now transferred to a white university bc of it. This whole united the black race is Bullsh!t. And Haitian are not the only ones who feel this way.

  • Skye

    Wow that’s really sad.

  • http://clutchmagazine blcknnblvuu

    I love me some west African music.their dancing are joyful and full of explosive movements that can be used for a good work out unfortunately colorism is especially prevalent in their music videos.

  • http://defendingmoney.wordpress.com Marketing Gimmicks

    My mentality is: Same ship; different trips.

    Divide and conquer tactics will always have us disrespecting each other. It simply is what it is. There are a lot of African Americans who aren’t welcoming to other blacks and there are a lot of African’s who only see dollars signs when it comes to African Americans (cabs, braid shops, dollar stores, and now beauty supply stores) and a lot of Caribbean’s judge African Americans as lazy. I’ve heard it all as a New Yorker and shamefully most of these stereotypes hold up as truer than true.

    I think it simply boils down to not respecting the experiences of one another and treating each other as the enemy in a never ending power struggle. At the end of the day there is not black utopia there’s only capitalism and capitalism dictates everything.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    I’m Franco-Haitian and pretty obviously racially mixed. The worst discrimination I’ve experienced no matter where I’ve been has been from Black American women (almost always those who are dark-skinned).

    There actually needs to be an honest conversation about inter-ethnic prejudice within the Black American community. The article is presenting the bias as equal and opposite, but in actuality, Black Americans are a much larger and vocal community than Black immigrants so it just isn’t equal.

    It’s also not equal in how overt Black Americans are in their racism, especially in educational settings and work. Speaking to other Black immigrants, Asians, and even Latinos, we’ve all been stunned with what Black Americans feel they can express to other non-Whites, but if the shoe were on the other foot, it would be out of control! I’ve been shocked that Black Americans feel okay with commenting on my and others’ appearance — especially on racial or ethnic features, like my hair — usually in groups settings. Sometimes American Blacks make disparaging comments about skin color, Asian peoples’ eyes or language, or the cultures of other immigrants.

    I think that for a lot of us non-White ethnics, the overtness of the discrimination is too much to bear to make alliances with Black Americans. I’ve personally tried to make connections and friendships with Black Americans, but I have consciously decided to stop doing that because these problems have persisted into adulthood (me being passive and as understanding as possible, with Black American women confronting me on how to be Black and openly disparaging my ethnicity and culture). I think the rift is pushing Black immigrants into making social and political alliances with other immigrants and will marginalize Black Americans further.

    As far as work and social settings, I’ve personally decided to no longer have intimate friendships with Black American women because the personal cost hasn’t been worth it (finding out they had a racial bias against me, didn’t perceive me as “really” Black, undermining me, etc).

  • GeekMommaRants

    All African American act this way? All? I’ve traveled to Africa specifically South Africa and Nigeria. I was not treated the way I was in Europe, NO! So many explained how I was not African! They could not tell me what ethnic group I belonged too but everyone was sure I was not African. I chalked it up to American Media and ignorance of those who have never traveled.

  • Laila Deveaux

    Oh please! The only women you wish to focus on are dark skinned Black women. You are lying to yourself if you think for one minute White women are loving on you so stop it. Your attitude may attribute to why people don’t want to deal with you. You seem to use your complexion as your whole reason why people don’t want to deal with you. As a Black American woman (fair skinned…I threw that in there to make you feel a bit more comfortable), I want to thank you for not having friendships with us because with friends like you we certainly don’t need enemies. If you feel that way about dark skinned women then why use one in you avi? That makes sense.

  • Natalie

    I think the problem with this notion is that as the demographics change in this country so will political power. Blacks already have difficulty getting The government to be responsive to their issues. Forming coalitions with others that have similar grievances or concerns can strengthen power. The Latino community is doing it and now everyone is courting them. They Are all from different counties with different histories but the elites recognize that they can have significant influence if they work a s a collective. If coalitions with black and Latino immigrants are not considered we will have major problems getting our issues addressed.

  • KGA25

    Exactly!! In America, it doesn’t matter what part of Africa, Caribbean, or even parts of the US you’re from, they only see you as BLACK!!

  • http://gravatar.com/jaebee81 JaeBee

    Does anyone else get sick and tired of Collette Marcheline mentioning her “mixed race”/racially ambiguous status in EVERY. SINGLE. POST?!

    I mean really..We GET IT!

  • KGA25

    You sound so ignorant and racist. Maybe your nasty ass attitude is the reason why SOME, not all Black Americans were “bias” towards you.

  • KnowYourHistory

    Incredibly interesting topic, and one that needs to be explored. As an African-American, I’ve felt some enmity towards other non-white immigrants (specifically West Indians, less so Africans) because I feel that whites embrace these immigrants because whites view these folk as the “anti-Black Americans”, and these Black folk profit from it, sometimes to African-Americans’ detriment.
    I realize that I’m not saying anything new; I know that I am generalizing, and speaking for myself, but I think a lot of African-Americans share my view. I’ve felt that while West Indians do get the jobs, but in my mind, the jury is still out as to how much harder a lot of these folk truly do work than us(yeah, I said it,[and I've worked with many WI and African immigrants - all due respect]).
    A lot of AAs feel that immigrants to this country feel as if AAs have “had it good” for quite some time, but we simply “fumbled it all out of bounds”, and that short shrift is given to the idea that AAs are STILL fighting a centuries-long fight against white supremacy, that continues up until this very day. I think the immigrants can’t fully appreciate how AAs have been beaten down in the streets, and had their brains blown out in our quest to simply be treated as natural people.
    A cynical part of me has long felt that when the US has grudgingly “granted” certain rights the US has simultaneously loosened its immigration policies, allowing more folk into this country, perhaps in part to “dilute” any “gains” that US AAs have made.
    Rather than deal with the sons and daughters of folk that were denied the opportunity to amass wealth in these hear US through the legacy of slavery, Jim Crow, government-sanctioned discrimination, and the like, a lot of us sometimes feel that the US simply opened up the immigration gates wider, as if to say “y’all’s asses are SO smart with all this “”Black liberation, and civil rights sh*t; see where it gets y’all’s asses now”. Boom.
    Again, I’ve worked, socialized, dated, and loved Black immigrants to the US, and certainly what I’ve written doesn’t apply to all Black immigrants; I just try hard to examine why there is a disconnect between AAs and some Black immigrants; which to me, in some ways, almost perfectly mirrors the distance we feel between ourselves and whites.
    The AA in the US experience for most of us, is a little different from most of the US citizens. I think we AAs get upset when folk come here and avail themselves of the fruits of our long,courageous,sometimes sad, and sometimes horrifically bloody fight, and kinda give us their ass to kiss.

  • Skye

    I love your post. I really wish we would come together like Latinos

  • P

    More division amongst people of color is how I look at the divide between Africans and African-Americans. Even though I was born in America (the South – maybe that’s why), I have never been able to separate some of the differences between their traditions and the ones I experienced. I absolutely love our African sisters and brothers in the Diaspora.

    One of my closest friends is Kenyan. She has a really warm spirit and welcomed me into her family as well. I always admired their family bond. I think that is one area in which AA families can embrace. While we did have conversations about some AA thinking they were better and thier laziness, I did notice they still embraced us as a part of their kinship.

    I must admit, here lately, I have been more interested in my Native American roots. However, this was a great article. I am hoping the Clutch team write more about the African diaspora. I enjoyed it!

  • Guest

    I hope this is legal. Getting ready to print your comment..

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    @GeekMommaRants

    If people could tell you are not African, it means they were noticing a cultural and ethnic difference that was obviously different to them.

    How did you conduct yourself?

  • Please Believe

    What is this fake beef this author is concocting? Are there misperceptions? yes. Is there distrust when you don’t really understand a culture? yes. i’m Bahamian and my husband is Ghanaian. My close friend is a gay Kenyan woman – born and raised – and her GF of several years is AA. Miriam Makeba married Stokely Charmichael in the 1960s and Barack Obama is married to an AA. And I know lots of African men that stay chasing my AA and West Indian sisters, and let’s not forget the ones marrying YT women—they are certainly in abundance.
    In exactly one month I go to a wedding in Virginia of a beautiful Nigerian sister and her AA fiancee, and last year I was bridesmaid in a wedding to a Jamaican woman and a Cameroonian man. At the end of the day, our cultures are different, but we are still a lot more similar that we’d like to admit.
    The African diaspora is real and it is strong and no faux arguments will divide us. Take this elsewhere.

  • Anthony

    I have worked in African history and World History for my entire adult life, and I have come to the conclusion that it is best for me to see Non-African American blacks as cousins instead of brothers and sisters. We are certainly family and we certainly share the same roots, but we were not raised in the same house with the same rules. I think it is much more healthy to accept difference and avoid judgement, than to fall into antagonism because someone who sort of looks like you does not act like you or see the world the same way as you. I think the possibilities got cooperation and respect are much greater if we first accept each other as we as instead of constantly feeling we must judge each other.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    @Laila Deveaux

    You seem remarkably hostile and bitter, which is part of the problem with how people perceive YOU.

    Newsflash: no ethnically mixed Black woman or non-Black American woman can come on this site without reflexively being attacked for WHATEVER is said. It’s usually excessively aggressive, personal, and over the top. Unless someone is parroting something palatable to American Black women (and denying and hiding one’s own perspective) one is not allowed to have a perspective.

    There is a problem with anger, frankly, in your own community. Any observation, any personal experience, and emotion that is is met with rage and aggression. And paradoxically, you will play the victim.

    Did I say it was “only” with dark-skinned women? Did I say it solely based on skin color? What I am saying is that American Black women are hostile and racist to other non-White women. There’s a palpable resentment and hostility.

    Also, I found it bizarre that you commented about “White women” loving me? Why is the world Black or White to you? Yes, I have White female friends and haven’t run in to the interethnic racism that I’ve experienced with Black American women, but most of my friends, male and female, are non-White immigrants.

  • cupcakes and shiraz

    Don’t know why your comment got thumbs down, but I agree with you. I think the ideology that all black people (or people of colour) should come together is a bunch of outdated BS. A shared skin colour (or culture or blood line) doesn’t mean that we’re automatically connected.

  • niksmit

    “The article is presenting the bias as equal and opposite, but in actuality, Black Americans are a much larger and vocal community than Black immigrants so it just isn’t equal.”

    This really depends on geography. This certainly wasn’t my experience in NYC where I felt I was surrounded by Black immigrants with a larger voice.
    Your decision about befriending African Americans saddens me, but it’s your life. I don’t think you should go out your way to befriend people because I don’t like tokenism, but being walled off isn’t cool either.

  • anon

    I think the beef is easily demolished, or non-existent, in certain socioeconomic settings. Also, if you consider the bridge lineages of Americo-Liberians, Sierra Leone Krio people and similar groups of mixed Western Afro-American and African bloodlines whose families have been immigrating back-and-forth across the Atlantic Ocean for nearly 3 centuries, there is nearly no difference between the groups.

  • JJ

    Black people are the most demonized on this planet. We are all we got. Let’s start acting like it.

  • JJ

    Well I went to school with mainly children of Caribbean immigrants mainly Jamaican and they made fun of Haitian kids constantly. So bashing Haitians isn’t unique to African Americans AT ALL.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    @JaeBee

    I don’t assume that everyone has read my comments or is aware of my ethnicity, so when I believe it’s relevant I’ll mention it whenever the hell I feel like it.

    But, or course, you’re suggesting that I’m not allowed to mention that I’m part if the freaking diaspora in a post about THE FREAKING DIASPORA.

    No, you don’t have an ethnic bias or prejudice.

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    Jamaicans call Africans African booty- scratcher? I think we’ve ALL heard American Blacks refer to any Asian male as “Bruce Lee.” There’s a popular Black blog that keeps referring to Latinos as “Jose.”

    American Blacks have their own anti-immigrant racism. It’s not just a part of the problem but IS the problem in a nutshell. The racism American Blacks harbor is based on perceived economic competition and resentment, but also from the cultural isolation and ignorance of the American Black community.

  • NutmegPrincess26

    I get your points and as a first generation african american, I definitely see that whites sometimes favor afro-caribbean people over “african-americans.” I recognize the relief in their faces when they ask me about my heritage. It sort of feels like “ok, you’re not one of them” …”oh, you’re so british.” This gives caribbean people a sort of false pride and superiority because they are not like the AAs because they speak the Kings English and were given a british education. Misconceptions such as these suggest the presence of lingering colonial mentality. Educated and well informed west indians know their history and recognize the hardships of those involved in civil rights and know of many caribbean people (nationals & descendant) were also vital to the US civil rights movement.
    Another issue in this “beef” is some AAs think caribbean slaves had it easier, but that is not so,many of the experiences were similar. But, of the slaves sent to the Americas, only a small percentage came to the US compared to South America and the Caribbean. Also, when Africans are bought into the equation they anger boths AAs and Caribbeans by saying “i’m not descendant of slaves” … ” I am not akata”or “you’re not pure african”.
    Overall, our “colonial fathers” did a great job of setting a stage for us to hate each other and hate ourselves. At the end of day when we don’t open our mouth we are all the same at a glance and share many of the same struggles. I love my african american, african, afro-south american, afro-asian and afro-europeans brothers and sisters.
    Though I still would not say that black immigrants are taking the AA opportunities. Anyone seeing themselves worthy of opportunity will go for it, if they have confidence, maybe that is lacking in AA communities because of racism. I guess we have the duty of instilling confidence in AA communities because nobody else is gonna do it for us.

  • BS

    You just prove right there that what wrote was not imaginary. Thanks. The black race uniting is not in the near future.

  • BS

    They don’t want to have an honest conversation.

  • http://gravatar.com/mbm1ame isa

    Wow @Collete Marchellne I agree with some of what you said but you need to remember you’re practically generalising a whole group of you have never met, and granted your experiences with AA have been bad, you stereotyping is just as worse. The article was meant to”hash out beef” not start new ones your accusatory tone is not helping

  • @JJ Thank You!!!! I went to school with a lot of Dominicans and they would say the most horrible things about Haitians all of the time. At my school every ethnic/racial group used to talk mess and that’s exactly how it is out in the real world. Ive been around so many different types of people all of my life and see how everybody does a lot of the same things…no ethnic/racial group is innocent and none have the right to play victim.

  • Anthony

    I always am skeptical of people who constantly talk about negative interactions they have had with one group or another. We tend to dwell on the negative and take the positive for granted. On my trips to Africa, I have met people who clearly had grudges or issues who sought me out to be disagreeable. Most, however, were very friendly and helpful. I cannot speak for Africans, but I have personally helped Africans who came here, and I am not alone.

  • T.

    Like that cousins analogy, Anthony, It’s thought provoking.

  • MimiLuvs

    I agree with you.

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    i really wish we could STOP giving props to rival ethnics who would not even be on the SET if it were not for the work of BLACKS.

  • KGA25

    @Colette I really think you need counseling. LIKE NOW!!

  • Emy

    I never understood this “beef” between Africans and African-Americans. For sure in the US, Africans are just black. But I think the reason why they separate themselves from African Americans is CULTURE. There are things I will never understand about AAs because we don’t have the same culture and vice-versa. I treat individuals as I wish to be treated. But some people need to know that it isn’t because ONE African or African American treated them bad that all Africans/ African Americans are not nice. Every person has a different personality considering their education and their culture.

    Divide and conquer is the purpose of the way Africans and African Americans are depicted on TV. Of course, the only side of the AA culture they show on TV is the Hip-Hop culture and kids in my country admire that but the media does the same when they show starving kids, animals and the jungle. It’s a part of Africa but it’s not what Africa’s all about. I learned about Rosa Parks, the Civil Rights movement and MLK in high school and I admired them. I really don’t know where this idea of AAs being lazy comes from.

    I don’t live in the US but the one time I have interacted with an African American woman, we really bonded. There was an exhibition for Black History Month. We talked and watched videos of MLK doing a speech and it made me cry. I have never endured what AAs have been through but I felt their pain. She encouraged me to wear my afro out more often. It was really amazing. She told she’s been to my country a couple of times, that she felt very welcomed and like she belonged there. She taught about Phillis Wheatley and that she came from Senegambia, the confederation between Senegal and Gambia at the time.

    Maybe it’s rude but I don’t think I had to befriend someone just because we’re both Black or African. It’s all about personality. Some people are arrogant, selfish, self-centered and impolite, some other are nice, open-minded and generous. That’s it!

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com/ Tonton Michel

    This is true.

  • Cara Lee

    I grew up in the northeast where we there is a huge population of non-white immigrants. At my predominatley White high school when asked by one of my white classmates what was the difference in mine and my Nigerian classmate’s cultures, my Nigerian classmate immediately said “well the coolest part is that MY ancestors were never slaves.” True story. Until that point I hadn’t realized that this “beef” existed. Didn’t know that my african and west indian classmates didn’t understand that my former captive ancestors had opened doors for the both of us to attend one of Connecticut’s most prestigous high schools. Did she NOT realize that if noT for that bloody struggle for the idea of equality, her mother and father would not HAVE been able to just waltz passed customs? SERIOUSLY? Schoolyards can be harsh, you got made fun of for your accent, I got made fun of for my complexion – we all get passed our childhood hurts. That’s no justification for any group to come here and not only embrace but REVEL in the institutionalized racism that has oppressed so many. #Icant

  • YeahRight2011

    There are some inconsistencies on the part of us BAs that I have to air out because “we ain’t right” sometimes.

    We walk around in King Tut t-shirts and bragging about the Moors but we don’t give western African and Central civilizations nearly as much shine despite the more recent connection. We like ragging on Brazilians for their backward color prejudice but still hold onto our hierarchy, acting like its not there. Heck we even take it to the next level; gladly embracing racially ambiguous Puerto Ricans, Panamanians, and Dominicans as “Black” while dismissing those who look “too Black” to claim it. We have no problem telling Jamaicans about the R&B roots of Reggae but won’t talk about the Jamaican roots of Hip Hop. We make sure to distinguish ourselves as American blacks in Europe and Latin America for social privileges.

    We also expect Africans and other Diasporans to not be proud of being African, Latin American, or West Indian when they get here because of white perception. I’ve always found the line “Whites see you as just Black like us” and similar phrasing to be a way of undermining how non-American blacks perceive themselves and dismiss ethnic diversity. We have a habit of defaulting to white opinion when its convenient, so do Africans, West Indians, and Black Latin Americans.

    Don’t get me wrong, black immigrants have a lot to account for but we aren’t victims. Nobody is.

  • JaeBee

    Co-signs KGA25. The more she posts the more I realize she has some severe and deep seated issues that probably need to be addressed through psychotherapy and NOT on an internet forum.

  • TR

    Tribalism has worked against Africa for a long time. There is no way a small number of Europeans could have taken millions of people from West Africa into slavery if not for Tribalism. Black people in both the Eastern hemisphere and Western hemisphere suffer from the same tribalism our ancestors suffered from. So it is no wonder there is division between various black peoples of the diaspora.

    Also, the “my ancestors were not slaves” line is peculiar. Sure some tribes never had any of their people sold into slaver. However, many of the major tribes did. For example, many African Americans can trace ancestry to the Igbos or Yorubas. It is obvious that many of them had to be taken into slavery for there to be so many descendants here in the States. So maybe one’s fourth great grandfather was never a slave. But that forth great grandfather’s brother was. So what’s the difference? Is he still not part of your ancestry? Is he still not your family?

    Lastly, it amazes me to see black tribalism divide and conquer black people all over again. Who benefits from the beef between various black peoples? It sure isn’t blacks in Africa or the Americas.

  • Gina Wild

    Amen, @ Please Believe!!! I like your comment.
    I wish Black people could see passed the so-called beef.
    Happy Valentine!!!

  • http://tontonmichel.tumblr.com Tonton Michel

    As a man of Haitian descent in America I have a healthy appreciation for the black diaspora and its many cultures. I attribute that to my taste for history and curiosity about other people’s roots and culture. I won’t broad brush an entire people with the ignorance of a few while knowing that a system of oppression is the root cause of the ignorance and is the reason so many of us do not live in our homelands including Africa. I find it sad that black people around the world don’t see the bigger picture and menagerie in pretty much why can be summed up as tribalism.

  • Gina Wild

    @Anthony
    The cousins-but-not-raised-in-the-same-house-with-the-same-values analogy is the BEST ANALOGY ever that suits this topic. I’m gonna be using it in my social interactions with people of African descent.

    Great analogy. You my friend are a genius!!!

  • apple

    well we’re quite f*ked aren’t we

  • AC

    I think this woman really needs to look into herself and realize that you can not stereotype a whole group because of bad experiences you had with some members of that group. You know, as an African American, I know that I am not the type of person that she was writing about. I wonder if it ever occurred to her that these traits are human traits and not only applicable to African Americans. There are crappy people in every group on earth, but according to her the only crappy people are African Americans. Hmm.. Well, I will say that I have never disliked someone due to their nationality. I am not ignorant like that.

  • Anthony

    Gina, there was a brother who died very young about ten or twelve years ago named Phillippe Wamba who wrote a book called Kinship that has a take very similar mine. He was of African American/Congolese heritage. I must mention him so people won’t think I am a plagiarist.

  • JaeBee

    @Colette

    I didn’t assume anything. I asked if anyone else was as sick as I was of reading the same ole tripe that you always seem to trot out. At the time of this posting, 18 other people agreed that they were sick and tired of reading about you and your mixed/racially ambiguous background.

    That said, please don’t project your issues into my statements. If you felt that I was suggesting something other than what I explicitly wrote, then that’s on YOU. I had no ulterior motives.

  • http://gravatar.com/mbm1ame isa

    I’m not from Nigeria I grew up In West Africa, its ignorance that would allow your Nigerian classmate to say that, ignorance and tribalism. Its that same disease that’s causing war in in Mali and Sudan. Then again if you had asked him what ethnic group she was from, your ancestors probably are from the same ethnic group as him,

  • http://gravatar.com/jamesfrmphilly jamesfrmphilly

    divide and conquer….in full effect

  • http://twitter.com/Cognorati001 Colette Marcheline (@Cognorati001)

    @KGA25 and Jabee

    You sound so classy and articulate. People of all races all over the world are reading your measured, balanced, and never personally insulting comments and thinking: these Black American women are moderate, open-minded, and calm. They must be really attractive and educated. Leaders and discourse-creators, those two… Whatever could Colette Marcheline mean by bias and resentment?

    No, actually, I think we know what any outside observer is thinking.

    @KGA25:

    Your previous post should read “nasty-assed” and “biased”. Is KGA25 referring to your 25 IQ points?

    Jaebee: Please stop following me. We know I look better than you *cough cough* but damn.

  • Gina Wild

    @Anthony.
    Oh, I remember Phillipe Wamba from Africana.com. Time really flies by. RIP to that brother. I’ll go and look for that book. Thanks for the info.

  • TajMarie

    It also depends on the individuals. My brother-in-law is of Ghanian descent and at least in terms of educational and career goals, I have more things in common with his family than what I do with the cousins of my own extended family on my father’s and mother’s side of the family.

  • http://gravatar.com/mimiandy1683 MimiLuvs

    It is a never-ending cycle, in a way.
    It’s like how a restaurant employees thinks that they are going to receive a poor tip, so they provide a poor performance for their customers. And when they do receive a poor tip, they say ‘See, I knew that they were going to give me a bad tip!’
    When a non-white immigrant (whether 1st, 2nd or 3rd American) is in a social circle that is predominantly Black Americans and the statement (or something similar) “Usually, I do not like to associate myself with Black Americans because [insert negative opinion]…” OF COURSE, some of those individuals (if not all of them) are going to have a negative opinion of that person.
    Majority of my friends are non-white, non-American born, citizens. All of them has shared stories about being picked on by Black American peers, when they were kids. But, they didn’t allow their negative experiences cloud their abilities to interact (and befriend) other Black Americans.

  • http://gravatar.com/nolakiss16 binks

    Agreed! Sad that some of us are quickly to believe the worst in each other or have a chip on our shoulder when it comes to each other or believe the media/stereotypes concerning each other. I don’t subscribe to the notion that black is black (because despite our shared skin tones and history we do all have different cultures, beliefs, traditions, upbringing, etc.) but we shouldn’t use those difference as a gap but a tool and moment to learn from each other, teach each other and understand each other. We all don’t have to get along but we can find some common ground. Because while we are infighting others, mainly those who oppressed us, are staying ahead.

  • Natalie

    Rival ethnics?Smh. Exactly my point. Rivalries ain’t gonna help. While we remain divided other people will gain power. Don’t be surprised when it happens because It will. Already is.

  • Rakel

    Agreed…but you do realize I stated this is how my mom felt when she was younger? More than 20 years ago? My sisters and I were raised to be proud of our Black heritage. That includes being knowledgeable and taking pride in all Blacks of the Diaspora.

  • Sandy

    I’m a Ghanaian who’s doing her graduate course in a University in the U.S. Sadly, since I came here, I’ve been treated better by white people than by the African Americans I’ve met. Don’t get me wrong- I know that the white people I’ve met are probably acting nice because they don’t want to appear racist & they may be pretending. But at the end of the day, on the whole, they’ve treated me better. I’ve had African Americans say things to me to imply that I’m coming from a very backward place. One day, when I took an African dish (made from fermented corn) to the school cafeteria, none of the white students around me commented but 2 African Americans women said (to my hearing) that my food smelt disgusting. I’ve had an African American man tell me he’s sure I’m an illegal immigrant & ‘we’ take away jobs from US citizens. I recently saw a video on you tube that an African American woman who came to my country made- depicting my country as a dirty, impoverished place. I know that not all African Americans are like this but it hurts that I’ve been treated worse by people that look like me & could even be my cousins.

  • http://www.chicnoir.wordpress.com chicnoir

    Anthony, I can’t seem to find that author on Goodreads, can you give me the tittle of Wamba’s book ?

  • SA Girl

    In South Africa as you may have heard, Xenophobia is big problem. Particularly against black Africans from anywhere outside SA- particularly from east and west Africa. SA is Africa’s biggest economy thus there is a number of foreign African immigrants in the country. And just like the US, the African immigrants love to lament and criticize the work ethic of black South Africans, calling us lazy, stupid and entitled. As SA also has a huge unemployment problem, the Xenophobia stems largely from resentment towards African immigrants who undercut the minimum wage thus getting employed over South Africans by unscrupulous employers who are exploiting people’s desperation.
    However, I do think it’s a habit of African immigrants to criticize the black population of whatever country they arrive in, as lazy and complacent whereas the truth is that the African immigrants just have to work harder than everyone else in that country precisely because they are immigrants. I was really surprised to hear that African immigrants in the states also criticize African american’s work ethic as I thought it was just in South Africa. Sadly, South African black people are starting to believe that within themselves too. Surely it is not right to immigrate to someone country and then turn around and insult the people and the country. It is even more worse if you do that against fellow black people! If my country is so terrible, why aren’t you back in your own country? Not to sound ignorant, but we must address things from both sides as African immigrants are not all innocent.

  • Rue.

    There is somewhat of a diasporic divide between all black people everywhere. Sadly, in America, one of the ways of bridging it, it seems, is complete acculturation.Though we share a common race, time and the ocean can be a helluva barrier to unity. But then again, there are nostalgic divisions between diasporic communities and the original lands. A Jamaican living abroad is going to inevitably have different world views from a Jamaican living in Jamaica. For instance, the Volkswagen commercial. Some ministers in Jamaica laughed it off and talked about Jamaica’s “uncharacteristic spirit” of positivity. but then they don’t have to face down American employers, Board of Trustees, grant review boards etc with a strong Jamaican accent, with some “bossman” potentially having an image of the “No problem, mon” idea etched in his brain. So I don’t know. It (unity) may all depend on time and the ocean…

  • Rue.

    I can’t speak for Africans but West Indians were slaves just like Americans so…

  • Rue.

    What is obviously racially mixed? You mean you have “light” complexion? Well so do tons of black people who have black parents, great grandparnts, aunts nephews nieces, cousins etc. Not to mention all the biracial (by that i mean black and white prents) who are dark skinned.

  • Anthony

    To paraphrase the late Harold Cruse, I bet those African immigrants weren’t rushing to South Africa when Apartheid was going on! Cruse observed that one of the first legal victories the NAACP had was defeating an attempt to Outlaw black immigration during the late 1910s. The irony was that many who came after that victory were critical of the African American community.
    It is also worth noting that for years immigration was mainly to the northeast, not the south where they would have been subject to legal and social discrimination.

    The fact is that immigrants of all sorts tend to hard workers. Less motivated people do not move as readily.

  • EL

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this already but, we have a similar problem here in the UK. It’s not as bad but it’s still here.

    I am Jamaican, wasn’t born there but that’s where we are from, however, as most people know, pretty much all Jamaicans, and other Black people from the Caribbean, descend from West Africans. Last year I found out from my Aunt, that on my Dad’s side their Great-Great-Grandmother was a Nigerian slave, I also heard that from my Dad, but I tend not to take his word for a lot of things as he tends to exaggerate and lie however, my Aunt is the one with sense, ha, so I guess it’s true and that’s the only insight I’ve had in terms of lineage and I think that’s the only thing they know too.

    The word Diaspora: “the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland”. Our ancestral homeland is Africa and before slavery, some of us traveled out of Africa to Asia, Europe, etc. so there are many Black cultures around the world, literally, and a lot of these cultural groups are being killed and moved out of their original habitat. However, Slavery meant that we were moved UNWILLINGLY. Millions of us killed. Babies being born with no link or knowledge of their history and family before slavery.
    And that’s still the issue today. A lot of us don’t, through no fault of out own, have any connection, history or information of our ancestors and where we’re originally from because of slavery. This dispersion is going to result in cultural differences, obviously, but it doesn’t change the fact that we are ALL Black! In every Black culture you can see the links to Africa, in food, arts, dance, dress, lifestyle, etc. Yes, there are many different cultures within Black Africa but, For example, Rastafarians love discovering their original culture and history.

    There are people from the Carribean who like to denounce all African heritage, there are Black people who are “British” who like to denounce any African heritage, same goes for some Black “Americans” too. And there are Africans who despise us Black people from America, Carribean, UK, etc. as they think we have lost our culture.But this is not always the case. These days, I’m noticing that there is a little shift towards more Black people wanting to discovering their history. Which I’m so happy about.

    Like Jamesfromphilly mentioned said “the system of white supremacy oppresses ALL black people.” We are connected in many ways like I mentioned earlier. Yes, ultimately getting along with someone is down to personality but there is no denying that there is connection with your race. It’s not bullshit to think or feel that. And divide and conquer worked tremendously, unfortunately,

    I just hope that one day the Black people that don’t, realize that Black is Black, no matter what and which part of the world you’re from. We all descend from the same place and we were the beginning of civilization. That’s strong link right there.

    Peace

    x

  • Rakel

    This!!! This comment was pretty much everything I wanted to say.

  • YeahRight2011

    This happens in the UK too. African Americans don’t have to be in the mix for ethnic prejudice to happen.

  • http://masnohwilson.com Masnoh Wilson

    Africans and African-Americans can learn to get along as we accept and embrace each other cultural differences. I have lived a long time in the US and sometimes I am ashamed and saddened by comments I hear from both Africans and African-Americans about each other. I feel Africans need to acknowledge the sacrifices made by African-Americans that has enabled us to live in America and enjoy some of the benefits that they struggled and died for. We do not appreciate that. On the other hand, African-Americans should learn about Africa and not feed into the stereotypes being parlayed on television. Learning about each other will go a long way to heal this chasm between us. I’m writing a poem about this also. God help us in this process.

  • http://gravatar.com/rastaman1967 rastaman

    Ignorance is a mofo because even in the age of the internet where information is right at people’s fingertips so many is still unable to remove the veil. I have black friends from all over the globe and what we have done is learned from each other and I know I am better for it. I have taught them about my culture and they have taught me about their culture. If you are incurious then you will cling to false information and stereotypes about other groups of blacks. If you live in the US, learn some US history and I can assure you will better understand the Black experience and even embrace it. Black immigrants are tightly intertwined in the African American experience: Garvey, Belafonte, Carmichael and many more all had influence in how things unfolded. One tide raises all boats.

    Another thing to recognize is that a lot of the animosity being reflected is born of fear. If you are someone who believes that there is only a certain percentage of opportunity reserved for black people in this world then you will view all other black people as a potential enemy. That is the mental slavery that too many of us have inherited so much so we resent the other black person long before we even get to know them.

    Truth is we are are similar but we are not the same, once we each begin to recognize that fact our bonds will be even greater

  • Ngozi

    I think it would help you to study the histories and current politics of a sampling of African/Caribbean countries (i.e. Nigeria, Togo, DRC, Haiti, Dominican Republic, Sudan, Kenya, Ethiopia, and even South Africa).

    The civil rights movement in the U.S. was strengthened by the worldwide publication of the civil rights struggles in countries such as South Africa and Nigeria. Although, you did not see my parents and grandparents marching alongside your own in Selma or down the National Mall, in Nigeria during the 1960s, they were, in your words, “beaten down in the streets, and had their brains blown out in their quest to simply be treated as natural people.” Social and political oppression existed and still exists in different forms in other African and Caribbean countries.

    To a misinformed outsider, it looks like these are crimes we are committing amongst ourselves, but sufficient research into current conflicts in Sudan, the DRC, Nigeria, Uganda, for example, will reveal the soft power the hegemonic West holds over these countries and how it indirectly fuels these conflicts. The same social hierarchy oppressing Black Americans here is, at a global level, killing my people back home.

    My parents and other Black immigrants had their fair share of civil struggle before coming to this country and even after entering it. Please tread carefully and do some research before you diminish their experiences.

    My second point is short: Immigration policies have not loosened, especially for African and Caribbean immigrants. Ghana, Nigeria, and Haiti are just a few on the list of countries that are black-listed by the U.S. in terms of accepting immigrants. But let’s not get into an immigration debate, that’s for a different site.

    “Odrio easy for us in dis world either!” (It’s not easy for us)

  • Black People

    First, Blacks/Africans worldwide have a vast distrust for one another because we’re all fighting for white supremacy. To be included and accepted by white people. We simply hate being black and whatever scraps come off white’s people table, we would simply kill for. Where do black people in America, Canada, The UK, France, and South Africa live next too? They live next to White people. Therefore African immigrants come into these countries with a vast hatred and distrust of the black natives of the country hoping to show white people that their better than these blacks. Why? White Supremacy. Why do blacks/Africans always tell white people their not like those blacks, they’re better? Is favor and acceptance from white people the end of all things? You heard it today from other commenters, white people love the fact that I’m West Indian/African not African-American.

    Second, Africans kill me with that their slaves and I’m not. Slaves have existed in Africa for thousands of years. Slavery to the Americas is actually a new thing in a historical context. What about the East, Central, and North Africa slave trade that exist and still exist till this day. What about colonialism? Is that not slavery of the land and people of Africa itself? Are Africans saying that if blacks in the diaspora were in Africa we would not be slaves? Black Africans had other black Africans has slaves. Arabs, North Africans, Indians, and Middle Easterners had black Africans as slaves. Europeans had black Africans has slaves. Let’s be real, wherever black Africans are expect a brutal history.

    Third, the simplest answer to the African Diaspora’s hatred and distrust of one another all boils down to is tribalism. Africans worldwide have never been allowed or had the chance to form their own collective, not even in Africa. Most countries in Africa were formed by the European colonialists and their fake boundaries. Perfect example, Nigeria. The British forced all of these various ethic, tribal, and religious groups to live with one another, and now you see the results. Christian vs Muslim, North vs South, Igbo vs Yoruba. Africans and the African Diaspora are tribal. If Africans on the continent can’t get along, why expect Africans worldwide to get along?

  • Black People

    To finish my earlier comments, why do Africans consider African-Americans, UK Africans, and South Africans lazy? Why are those blacks persecuted for living next too white people? Are Africans jealous because they too wish to live with white people? Why are blacks always fighting for white supremacy? The funny part is Africans call the diaspora lazy, but the whole world calls Africans lazy and backwards for the un-development of Africa. So who really wins? Not black people. Not Africans. Black/Africans seem to create a circle of hate, that ends up ultimately biting them in the rear.

    I’ll leave with this, Africans are at war for white supremacy. We simply want white validation, in order to raise our stocks in the presence of whites, at the expense of other blacks.

    Also, Africans seem to forget their the other Africans in the diaspora, such as Afro-Indians, Afro-Filipinos, Afro-Turks, and Afro-Iraqis. Their is a worldwide struggle for black people, unfortunately, we would rather fight ourselves.

  • Anthony

    Chicnoire, Wamba’s first book was called Kinship.

  • http://back-to-nothing.com Dante

    I am proud of my African roots, and though I may not know exactly where all of my black West African ancestors came from, I do my best to keep their spirit alive in me.

    That being said, I am a black American, and I was not born nor raised in Africa. My story is the story of African slave in America, not the colonized African in Africa.

    Unfortunately, I have noticed the rift that exists between Africans and Afeican Americans. Neither side is willing to break out of the ignorant mindsets that set us apart. Malcolm X traveled to various African countries and was received well. Black Americans once had the respect of their African brothers, and our brothers in Africa had the same respect from us. But as time has passed, we have drifted away from each other. We have bought into the lies we are told about each other. We don’t all have to get along, we don’t all have to like each other. But whether you’re a black American, a Hatian, or a Nigerian, your history is my history…up u til we were separated and told that we were all different from each other.

  • CCN

    “Also, the “my ancestors were not slaves” line is peculiar. Sure some tribes never had any of their people sold into slaver. However, many of the major tribes did. ”

    There was intra-tribal slavery. In some instances, entire tribes were enslaved by another. Individual slaves have been traded across the continent prior to the arrival of Europeans…the Arabs also had some influence in that.

  • CCN

    And some Africans are ignorant about their history, because even in Africa the curriculum can be white-washed.Trust, there was slavery going on in Africa during the colonial era, and sometimes at the hands of repatriated Afro-Americans…

    Then, they go and hide the history, so some people who have slave ancestry in Africa don’t know about it.

  • Quakou

    Even in Cameroon, Nigerians have insulted Cameroonians to be very lazy and not making use of the opportunities the country suffers. It is not unique to South Africa or in America. People tend to work harder in another man’s country and will settle for less in order to make a living.

  • Quakou

    Global Africans fighting. I look up to the day when Isaiah 60 will be fulfilled in the lives of global Africans the descendants of Cush or Ethiopia. Know our history and then you will know where we all come from to understand that there is no need to fight.

  • Kay

    Unfortunately, I’ve seen both sides of this. I have a name that is not considered “African American,” and many people think I’m European or from a foreign country. Until I tell them I’m not and then it’s like “Oh, you’re just plain old Black then.” I usually get this kind of attitude from White Americans who try to differentiate Black people from each other. What it really is, is an innate guilt about the history of this country.

    They can accept other Black people because the history is not there, at least not in the same way. Because of this, immigrants who come into this country pick up these cues and try to use them to separate themselves from “plain old Blacks,” and say “I’m not like THEM.” However, I’ve seen the icy treatment Black Americans will give an African immigrant or other foreign Black person who genuinely is seeking friendship and acceptance. A lot of it stems from the fact that we’ve all been told lies about each other, and at the same time, we are all seeking to climb and claw our way through a broken system that doesn’t like ANY of us.

  • Medusa

    Agreed, I’m West African as well, spent a lot of time in the US (although I’m not American) and when I was in my home country, I heard the dumbest, most ignorant shit coming out of my relatives about black Americans. I also heard the dumbest, most ignorant shit about (all) Africans coming from black people in America. I’m a pan-Africanist (and I include diasporan Africans in that, as in, anyone whose ancestry is from Africa regarldess of whether they’re Cuban, Canadian, Russian, Trinidadian, or Kenyan), and I think we’re all being exploited and dominated by the international community even if we dont’ share identical histories. The idea that we’re all the same is stupid, but the idea that we somehow shouldn’t be united in a struggle against classist, racist oppression also seems counterproductive. We face similar types of discrimination wherever we are (would you believe when I was back in my OWN country I was turned down for jobs because they wanted to hire white people? very simliar shit happens to non-whites in the West as well) and remaining divided won’t help anyone. Shit, Blacks from the United States and the Carribbean were united with blacks in South Africa against the apartheid struggle. I don’t see why we shouldn’t want to do the same, even if race is socially constructed. (I realize that it is, I just don’t see why that means we can’t be diverse and unified at the same time.)

  • Jenae

    I have found this superiority complex towards black Americans from both African and Caribbean people. It makes no sense to me, because who do they think gave them the opportunities that they are able to take advantage of in this country today? Globally, blacks in this country have made more progress than anywhere in the world, but that is somehow ignored?

    And furthermore, they need to take notice that in this country, I don’t care what country you’re from, those who are not black, see you as “black”. They don’t care about your country of origin, and they certainly aren’t thinking about that when they decide to drop that infamous n-bomb.

    All are welcome, but if you are of the attitude that you are superior to black Americans, then I feel you should be with “your” people, in “your” country of origin, and make some progress there, where I’m sure you won’t suffer from any discrimination.

  • Allie

    while this article addresses thoughts that i have and have shared with a lot of people, i just have one issue with it. if you are discussing hashing out the diaspora, actually include the diaspora. the article instead seems, to me at least, to be highlighting a few problems with interactions between black people in america and black people in africa. the diaspora is just people of african descent, which places them all over the world. with an article like this you ignore black people in so many other parts of the world.

  • Allie

    also this is just a general comment. if you are of african descent, you are black. there is no such thing as the nigerian race, haitian race or something else as ridiculous, just as there is no american race.

  • Kels

    From reading all the comments it is clear that one side suffers from PSTD ( Post Slavery Traumatic Disorder) and the other side PCTD (or Post Colonial Traumatic Disorder) and the common denominator is TRAUMA but both sides are forgetting who has caused them this trauma while they are at each others’ throat.This is proof of the relevance of this magazine and its mission. Both sides could do with reading ‘YURUGU:An Afrikan-centred critique of European cultural thought and behaviour’ by Marimba Ani. Whereas some African American parents may not know much about Africa several AA intellectuals know a lot more about Africa than some Africans do. One can mention Leo Hansberry, Chacellor Williams, J.A. Rogers, Hendrik Clarke, Molefi K. Asante, John Jackson, George James etc etc. Also there is the African History Network with a website and radio programme. Thus, AAs can easily learn a lot about Africa and black Africans could learn more about AAs instead of resorting to stereotypes. It is unfortunate to use a few bad apples on either side to paint the whole group with a broad brush.

Latest Stories

KFC Offers Limited Edition Chicken Corsage for Prom

by

India Supreme Court Rules Transgender as Neutral Third Gender

by

Maya Rudolph Scores Her Own Variety Show! Janelle Monae, Craig Robinson & Raphael Saadiq to Appear

by

Dating Don’ts: Love In The Age Of Instagram

by
More in African Americans, Africans, opinion
Chris Dorner
Do You Trust Reporters During Breaking News?

Revenge
Revenge Porn: A Dish Best Served By A Disgruntled Ex

Close