African Time

We should be one, but the reality is history, time and space have made us two different sides of the same coin.  We’ve read Demetria Lucas’ tale of her experiences in South Africa where despite being an African American she wasn’t quite African enough to the locals.  And while many of us can relate, how many of us have ever wondered what it was like to be African in America?

In the new web series WAAVE & DADA Productions titled African Time producers seek to answer that very question with a series of interview that center on Africans sharing thoughts, experiences, loves, anecdotes and more on their transitioning into American culture.  The series debuted in December and has so far covered topics such as what it means to look African, discipline, parenting, names and more.  African Time is an engaging and thought provoking web series that not only highlights our differences, but our similarities and strengths as well.   Definitely a must watch!


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  • Usagi

    “We should be one”
    Ummm,no. It’s good to be different. Why do AAs get all butt hurt by the fact by other black people have a different culture, history, or looks ?

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    • Toni

      I’m not an AA per se (proud Haitian), but I don’t see her statement as an expression of being butt hurt. It has less to do with a different culture, history, or looks and more to do with unity (or lack thereof), which is what “oneness” implies. I’m proud of my culture and my background… but all black people are my people (crucify me, if you must). This us and them mentality between AAs and foreign-born blacks is sad. We can appreciate our differences while still acknowledging that we come of common stock, and treating one another that way.

      Just my two cents.

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    • lea

      I understand your comment of oneness. however, they are only documenting the experiences that they had personally. It’s only now (not necessarily adulthood) where more people are becoming more aware and sensitive of the presence of Africans in this country. The media was not doing a good job or portraying Africans either. The are more foreign blacks now than the era of 1970s and 1980s and they are probably your doctor, neighbor, pastor, teacher, or even an actor/model that you have seen before. Growing up I heard rude, honest, and ignorant comments directed at me about what it is like to be African from more African Americans than any other race or ethnicity that I encountered (the barbershop movie joke got overplayed much).. However, I could not get mad because honestly they did not know any better. However, i would not deny African side nor my American side for one another. I am proud to be both. I know of some people that totally abandon their “roots” but it’s nothing to be ashamed of. It’s good this conversation is happening, hopefully understanding one another would bring about oneness. I wonder what the experiences of people of African descent living in Europe and Asia are like. Kudos to the new series.

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

      “Why do AAs get all butt hurt by the fact by other black people have a different culture, history, or looks ?”

      Thats a good question, my guess is it is coming from the same place where AA tell Africans to go back home, oops thats right your country aint jack so thats why your here. Seen a lot of Africans get their butt hurt off of that.

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

      @usagi

      I didn’t understand the “We should be one” comment either. Could the same be said of Whites? I guess a Swede, a Portuguese, and a Russian are all the same? This idea that Black people are the same/are a monolith comes from White Supremacy. A lot of ideas in American Black culture are also White Supremacist (Examples: the idea that academic success means that one is “acting White”; the idea that criminality and the underclass are authentically Black, etc).

      Not all Africans and Africans are even of the same “stock”, just as a Spaniard and an Irishman are not (but both European)…

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    • http://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

      Slow clapping for this comment. It is so true. The idea that black is black is black is indeed a white supremacist notion. White people are allowed to embrace the different groups within their own race. Black people are not. The culture of black folk in America is not the same as the culture of blacks in Brazil or Barbados or Kenya, etc.

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    • Ricika

      We aren’t all of the same “stock,” but as an African American, I personally have been raised to see all Black people as “family,” if you will. I think it comes from being separated from your culture and country during slavery, and having to create our own “families” from people who were absolutely no relation, when actual families were torn apart. So growing up with that mind-set, passed on through generations, it can feel like a rejection from family when another Black person from the Diaspora doesn’t acknowledge you as their own (whether you are or not). Just speaking for myself. As I have gotten older, and gotten to know more Blacks from the Diaspora, I appreciate their unique experiences and need to claim their distinct culture and country of origin. It doesn’t bother me now as much as when I was expecting that we would all feel “we are one.”

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  • Congocapanilo

    Could it be that the first guy is mestiço, already of European admixture?…hence, why there was little to no difference between himself and his African-American peers.

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    • http://gravatar.com/nkata sassycassie

      you’re joking,right? that guy looks african. could very easily pass for a nigerian.

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    • Congocapanilo

      No, he looks as African-American as any other, JUST as he stated, himself. I’m not kidding, there is an ethnic group of European ancestry in Mozambique called ‘mestiço’.

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    • Congocapanilo

      In Nigeria, there are people who descend from a number of groups who repatriated from the Americas during the colonial era, who carried with them admixture/mixed ancestry. So, you put a Nigerian from the lineage, 6+ generations after the fact, side-by-side with an African-American, deeply rooted in the US, and wonder why ‘they don’t look that different from each other’?

      Of course, they would not.

      You put someone from Mozambique of mixed Euro descent, yet brown/dark complected, side by side with a person of similar skin tone who is a deeply rooted African-American or Afro-Latino…and wonder why you can’t tell which one is African and which one isn’t…

      Of course, you can’t.

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  • Congocapanilo

    IMO, the ‘looking different’ ‘looking African’ comes from distinguishing between those who are not products of colonial/western bloodlines and those who are. Since a lot of people aren’t aware of African history, especially when it comes to the miscegenation of black populations there, they understand it as “Oh, Africans looks just like African-Americans”, and the ‘differences’ become trivial/superficial/non-existent in the minds of many.

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    • http://gravatar.com/nkata sassycassie

      oh please, i’m 100% Nigerian and my siblings and I grew up in nigeria. That boy could pass for any of my male relatives

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  • silkynaps

    There’s the traditional black aesthetic and there’s the black aesthetic that was tremendously influenced by miscegenation. Of course, the black aesthetic in the Americas and Europe is more likely to be influenced by miscegenation, but white Europeans have been all up and through Africa, too, because they want everything we have. I’m not sure why it’s so difficult for people to comprehend this.

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    • Congocapanilo

      And it’s not just the influence of Europeans, but of Arabs, too.

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    • silkynaps

      Arabs are a mixed race. They are the result of white Europeans being all up and through Africa…

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

    This is nice, hopefully it will open a civil dialogue between the two.

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