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Tensions|Between|2 Brethren

Polemically,  when the issue of (A)frican/(A)frican (A)merican relations is broached, most will argue that due to cultural differences between As and AAs, there is little  to nothing they have in common and therefore, any interaction between the two is limited and too much interaction will only led to failure of some kind.

As I look around into all the various and diverse African faces while watching NGC (National Geographic), they’re in traditional clothing and surrounded by all the cultural things unique to them, and I notice that many of these people look just like or very similar to the black faces I see around me here in the US everyday, who are not natives of Africa as for 4-5 generations, they have been native to American soil. Namely, African Americans.

Why are some Africans extremely critical of and largely marginalize African Americans?

  1. As noted in the first paragraph, many think/claim that due to cultural differences, it is inevitable they would only clash with African Americans and due to propensity, they stay with “their own”.  However, I suspect that is mendacity and it has much less to do with culture and much more to do with them being black Americans. If I am incorrect, why is there an ever increasing number of Africans marrying and having strong ties with white Americans? There has to defiantly be a culture clash/barrier in this case as well, does it not? Many can marry white but can not even form an authentic friendship with an African American. So I find this invalid.  To be unfeigned, marrying white, in many African minds, means success, a boast of ego and/or status in a white privilege world.
  2. With that being said, Africans don’t identify with blacks because, black in America, is a negative connotation by convention, so they tend to try and identify more,  almost in an idolatrous, hubris way, with their tribes/country; the problem with this is…in America, no one cares about tribes. If your skin is black, you are seen as black. You may or may not be treated better or worse for being a foreigner from Africa, but you are still seen as a black person nonetheless.
  3. I think I may have heard all the stereotypes by now: “The ancestors of African Americans struggled for what?  For their women to be loose and have children out of wedlock and the males have children with four or five different women they are not married to, for them to be loud and destructive, call their women “bitches” and “whores”, wear the equivalent of a college education on their ears, to sell drugs on the street, kill each other, yell and curse, get locked up and blame “whitey” for everything?” Africans tend to disparage African Americans, attempting to claim superiority over them—despite the numerous, obvious, dire conditions in which many of their families and/or countries are in, with little to no understanding of African American history and the many struggles they still face, by-passing the fact that the only reason they are able to come to America is by means of the African American struggle. Some As take to calling AAs “Akatas”, which is a term originated in Nigeria. This term is very derogatory and it more or less means a “lost, confused, wild cat/fox away from home”.

Why some African Americans have officially cut all ties with anything dealing with Africa:

  1. Slave trade– Although it is an obvious evil primarily at the hands of white Americans throughout history, it is a well known fact that African slaves were SOLD into slavery by other Africans.  It is tacit that just the “undesirable” Africans and “prisoners of war” were sold into slavery. However, it is also a well known fact that the white slave traders wanted and paid for the strongest, and consequently most healthy, slaves who could offer the greatest capacity for work once in the America, so that would cancel out the notion of only “undesirables” and “prisoners of war” being sold into slavery. In either case, as one of my closest friends tells me, “You just don’t betray/sell your own ”; he (my friend) wonders if this is an unforgivable act and if this is the reason Africa is in a seemingly perpetual  cycle of misery (from a karma stand point)—by the way, my friend is African. Some African Americans are obdurate and rancorous; they argue that because they were sold into slavery by their own people, they want nothing to do with them.  One the other hand, many Africans respond to African Americans in diatribe and do not fully embrace them as brethren—- even when they are interested in their African heritage.
  2. Obligation– They feel, and rightfully so, as if they should be able to benefit from the prosperity of this land. Since the ancestors of African Americans have built this country literally on their backs— through blood, sweat, and tears, they feel obligated to this country if for no other reason other than their ancestor’s struggle. To many of them, rejecting it would be rejecting the many lives given in the struggle and tenacity for freedom, civil rights, and justice.
  3. Others feel, since they were born here and have never been to Africa, nor their parents, do not know where their ancestry is in Africa or respective culture, they would prefer to be called black Americans or just Americans. Simply put, America is the only place they indentify with.
  4. Since they know Africans tend to look down on them and make generalizations, they, consequentially, look down on them (Africans) too ….pointing to things like the current condition of Africa with poverty, AIDs, government corruption, senseless/petty killing of eachother, and basic quality of life concerning health. Some who are ignorant even make fun of them based on their cultural traditions as derision.

Our commonalities:

  • Biased media- The media in America generally paints a pretty crappy picture of Africa, as a whole. Generally, you see dirty, starving children, HIV and other disease stricken villages, and little development by means of modern-day technologies with people literally begging just for clean water. Concerning AAs, many As are already  fed the similar stereotypes mentioned above of AAs via the movie media and I’m sure word of mouth, also. However, there is also much beauty in Africa and its people that often goes untold, unnoticed, maybe both—their rich culture-language and food and in the beauty of their land. On the other side, there are many successful, well-educated, well-read African American women and men who are not “baby daddies and mommas”. Contrary to popular belief, not all African American men disrespect or mistreat their women. Not all of them are loud and ghetto. Not all of them are killing people or in jail for breaking the law. Not everyone drinks, smokes, or does/sells drugs etc as one may credulously believe. Both African Americans and Africans are individuals; it would be simply unwise not to look at them as such.
  • Despite the fact that African Americans are, by large, mixed to some degree with Native American or European blood, every African American can directly trace the vast majority of their ancestry back to some country in Africa, does this make them any less African than the next African when they have similar blood running deeply in their veins? One may argue, African Americans  have no sense of African culture, but does this make a child–whose parents are natives of Africa and submerged in the culture— raised in America and, for whatever reason, does not know anything or is seriously confused about his/her culture—language, tradition, etc…say due to “Americanization”…. a non African? This is still up for grabs.
  • The universal black struggle at the hands of mainly Europeans has affected African Americans and Africans alike; there has been no impunity given to either, and we both are, until this day, still struggling due to the exploitation of our people and our land.  We’ve both had leaders who were sedulous and courageous. African Americans have been exploited through slavery and all the injustices that have followed at the expense of their people, and Africans have been exploited by means of their land and resources at the expense of their people. Being black anywhere– outside of Africa or some other nonblack countries/cities— in this world, we are all likely to be discriminated against or encounter prejudice of some sort, simply because we all are black and have dark skin. You could be from Ghana, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Cameroon; you name it…same result. From a personal stand point, I believe there is a scramble, especially in America, to be on “top” concerning As and AAs. Undeniably, from a universal standpoint, black people (As and AAs alike) are at the bottom of the pyramid, and I feel that it is a mere scramble/battle for one to be on top of the other…as long as they are not at the very bottom, they don’t mind being one step away from it and far away from the top, which is ignorant because we are all ultimately, the same people and it does not, by any means, solve anything —as you’re still at the bottom. Keeping in mind that one of the cardinal reasons we are far from apogee is because we lack unity within the masses of our black brothers and sisters.
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Images of|Blackness

   OK, so we’ve all heard that America’s first black president is Bill Clinton. When I first heard this, I was clueless to the logic behind it. Nothing about this man is “black“.

How was Bill Clintion the first black president?

  1. Bill Clinton cheated on his wife
  2. Bill Clinton lied.
  3. Bill Clinton liked to “get head” (Oral Sex).

Obviously, it is immoral and therefore defiantly negative to cheat on a spouse, and not every black man cheats on his wife but are those that do cheat considered moreblack” than those who do not?  Lying is not a positive thing either; are there no honest black folks?—If I don’t lie to cover my tracks, am I not “black”? Oral sex is not necessarily negative, but does it make one black to enjoy oral sex? Many people all over the world (black, white, Asian, Latino, other) engage in oral sex, cheat on their wives, and lie in an attempt to get out of trouble. Another side of this is that some people (black, white, Asian, Latino, other) are more…”square”, so to speak, and do not engage in that type of sexual activity. It’s not a “black” thing and should not be embraced as a “black” thing. Here’s that parody I was talking about in the Cyclic|BET post but there is some seriousness to it as well; a lot of these things actually promote negative stereotypes unfortunately making them a reality for some.. The big question here is why is everything virulent and negative embraced as “black” and embraced as black by other black people? With all the negative stereotypes (another post) already out there, particularly about black Americans..why add on to the list? Another thing looked at as being “black” by other blacks is being late for everything as if it a “cultural” aspect of blackness. Let’s get real. Of course, no one of any race will always be on time for everything, but if you are late for everything you are invited to, hosting, or are required to attend, that is a personal problem that as an individual one needs to address and improve upon being that it is wasting other people’s time and shows a serious lack of effort/concern of other people’s time and effort in respect that. It is a very normal thing for me to show up on time and sometimes earlier, am I not “black”?  Assuming, accepting, and embracing this merely because someone is black is simply wrong. These things make great impressions on black children and how they view themselves and their fellow black men, women, and peers. Furthermore, it makes great impressions on how we, as a people view ourselves.