lancegrossafrican

Lance Gross received an Instagram tongue lashing after posting photos of his trip to “Africa”. Below is just one of the photos and caption he used:

“One of my captures during my visit to Africa”

When I first saw the photo, I immediately asked myself exactly where in Africa is Lance Gross? Needless to say, I wasn’t the only person to wonder.

After searching and scrolling though all 6 of Lance’s “Africa” photos, I finally figured out he was in Malabo the capital of Equatorial Guinea. But I also figured out that people are rude.

Is it quite possible that Lance just didn’t feel like writing where in Africa he was visiting? Unfortunately, what started out with Lance sharing photos of his trip, turned into people being assholes and upset that he wasn’t clarifying which country he was in.  The harshest criticism seemed to come from people from various countries in Africa.

kekekelechi You say Africa like its a country. Pls be specific which country in Africa this picture was taken. Africa is not a country it is a continent and there are many countries there.

temiari Its so funny when people get defensive when they were wrong in the first place…lol and I’m pretty sure its ok to ask “where in Africa” out of curiosity. Like chill

nasirahs_virgin_hair people feel like when others visit Europe or Asia their specific on the country. Thats why. Alot of people still believe that its a country not a continent. But its a beautiful picture indeed

yayabrawercombs@troysumpter it would be like me posting a picture and saying “while I was in a state” uhm… OBVIOUSLY people would want to know which damn state I was in… Lol!! While in Africa just isn’t good enough for most people… I would want to know if he was in my country Uganda… Most people aren’t on Instagram to just stare at pictures… Most people are on Instagram to get a look into other people’s lives, and get to know them. So it’s really not just a matter of liking it or moving on… Just some of my thoughts…elesi_a It matter because it isn’t merely a ‘part’ it’s actually a country. A country with a different culture and native tongue…

Ok, I get it.  I’m sure Lance got it.  It’s understandable for people to want to know what part of Africa a person is visiting, but being a jerk about it via social media isn’t always the best way to go about things.  I’m sure Lance won’t be the last person to say they’re in “Africa”, and I’m quite sure someone will quickly rise to the occasion to correct their ignorance.

79 Comments

  1. I think some people need to build a bridge and get over it; it is not that serious as mention just because he didn’t run down his entire itinerary online doesn’t mean he is implying anything bad or that he is dumb…geez. Don’t get me wrong, I do get where the criticism is coming from because some people do think Africa is a country and not a continent or still don’t know about the various cultures, nations and countries written all over Africa but I don’t think this is the case. Honestly, a much to-do about nothing…shrugs

  2. “Get over it”,
    “People are just too sensitive”,
    “Some people just like to complain”,
    “Lighten up!”
    “It’s not that serious!”

    As a Black person in the United States, it’s frustrating to hear these comments from White people in response to legitimate discussions of racism against Black people. It is equally frustrating to see Black Americans say these to fellow Africans.

    Lance Gross’ labeling of these pictures as “African” might seem insignificant but there are those of us who know these things do not operate in a vaccum. To often Africa, a continent large enough to fit almost every country in the world within it, is discussed as if it were one singular place. A place with war, poverty, bloated stomachs, flies and lions. A place where people hack each other for no reason and where rebels rule instead of legitimate governments. This is what we mean when we say people think of Africa as a “country”. This image is incredibly prevalent in the minds of Americans due to the fact that rarely is a nuanced view of Africa is ever given. In their minds Africa is one place, usually of unchecked negativity.

    Africans from these countries know different. Africa is the most culturally, genetically and linguistically diverse place on earth. Not even within the same country could there ever be a singular story. They know the images and videos on T.V. paint a warped picture of their countries and many times an incredibly inaccurate one. Why should a Zulu and an Acholi be forced to identify with the same experience simply because they share the same continent and skin color? Or a Tuareg and a San?

    Black Americans if you don’t want “Africa” to be stereotyped as an undistinguished horde of Black bodies, then be an ALLY and LISTEN when people from African countries have complaints about this, even when things seem small. They are not saying these things because they are thin-skinned, but because images and views like these have a real effect on their lives. Listen, the way you would like others to listen to you. Recognize that you might not have been given an accurate enough picture of the African continent to realize why this characterization might be upsetting to people and work to correct it.

    I will ALWAYS ask the question “Which country?”

    • Thank you. The sentiment is so wildly hypocritical it’s not even funny. It’s nauseating.

    • Ok, So I have an idea. How about going back and checking out his instagram photos from last year. You will find the same photos with the names of the countries that he visited……How’s that?

    • I think that’s great.

    • ceecee

      Thank you so much for this comment. I’m sure Lance’s IG caption was visceral but I also hope he doesn’t take offense and regards this as a teaching moment.

    • Hmm…I agree with this and apology for my insensitive comment earlier. You are right just because I don’t understand the quirk or outrage doesn’t mean it shouldn’t matter to those that do understand it in the grand scheme of things. But I still believe that when most outsiders reference “Africa” of wanting to visit or travel throughout the various countries or even a particular country doesn’t mean anything negative or bad. Sure there are those small minded people who think of every stereotype in the book about this continent and the various people within in its scope but I don’t’ think this was the case here. I agree that this should be a teachable moment for all of us and not necessarily a criticism moment. I think this all goes back to people wanting to know that they and their culture/identity matter like it should.

    • Thank you for your reconsideration. It trully is appreciated.

    • Ms. Write

      This status x 1000!

  3. Georgia

    I may be late to this circular conversation but two thoughts came to mind:

    1. Why isn’t anyone creeped out that he referred to the photograph of the children as “one of my captures?” If anything, that language smacks of a neo-colonialist viewpoint vis-a-vis his subjects. Photography always employed those kinds of metaphors to hunting (eg. snapshot).

    2. Maybe the man didn’t remember where he made the picture. Put me on the border of the U.S. and Canada with a camera and if I make a bunch of similar photos I may be hard pressed to distinguish a bunch of children in Saskatchewan from another bunch in Minnesota. Being vague is not the same as being ignorant.

    • James' Wife

      Really, Georgina, really???? You are really reaching here with the “capture” convo….

  4. Ms. Write

    What is sad is that when you can’t take criticism well you see it as an attack, which then automatically shuts someone down from having an open dialouge. I don’t read anything (or at least in the comments shown in this article) that “attacked” Lance. Being the child of a Nigerian immigrant, I can’t tell you the number of times growing up I got asked, “Do you speak ‘African?’ ” It is because of this that we must continue to ask people to specify the country.

  5. I’m more fascinated by the people that think that Morocco is in the middle east.

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