Sometimes, I’m embarrassed to be an America, especially an African-American. Like I honestly HATE how Americans view Africa, it disgusts me! Like they say Africa is a “shit hole”, that “all Africans are stupid and never accomplished anything”, that “real African people are ugly”… And even worst than that, African-Americans do it too! Like one time I told my friend (another Afro-American) that I wanted to go to Africa, and she was like “ew why would you want to go there?” and I was like… uh because it’s beautiful and that it is apart of me (yes I am also mixed with Asian and European, but I never felt that strong attraction towards those continents as I feel towards Africa)
But seriously, that’s how American’s view Africans… and when I say Americans I’m talking about all Americans, like not just from the U.S.A… Caribbeans and South Americans view it the same way. Many Afro-Latinos/as that I’ve met always say “I’m not African… I’m Hispanic” which is so fucking stupid because 1. you can be both African and Hispanic and 2. Hispanic is not even a race it is an ethnicity„, like Hispania originated in motherfucking Europe!!! (the Spaniards) and Latin people were people from (Italy, but also Spain, Portugal, and France). Like DUH why do you think they call those the “Latin languages”? Ugh it annoys the SHIT out of me! But anyways, many Afro-Latino/a people I have met talk shit about Africa as well. “Oh I’m not African, I’m not dark and ugly, and I have good hair” STFU you arrogant piece of shit (that’s what I always want to tell them).
Even my own parents don’t even acknowledge their African ancestors. My dad would always say “well you know we are part Asian.. and European” and I’m like “yeah and African too, why do you always leave that part out???” Like I appreciate my European and Asian ancestors I really do, but I don’t look like them, and no I don’t look Negroid or Nubian either, but there are many mixed raced people in Africa I do look like and can relate so much to.
When I was a freshmen at university I met a Mauritanian-American girl (she was born in Mauritania and moved to the U.S around age 6) and she looked so similar to me!! She was a little darker than I was, but absolutely beautiful, and her hair had the same curl pattern as mine did (like small waves and long) We used to go around campus saying we were sisters and she taught me some of the native language from her country. And she was Muslim too, so she taught me how to wear a hijab and let me wear hers… I grew up in a Catholic family so I taught her about my family’s faith (I am not really religious anymore, but I still appreciate the beauty in all religions/faiths/customs/traditions). My new friend took me to a meeting for an African students club, called AMA, and I was the only non-African native there (although I wished so badly that I was from Africa). My friend and I would always talk about going to Mauritania and Morocco together and riding camels and meeting her family. But then I transferred away, I remember giving her a hug the last time I saw her, holding back the tears I said “Thank you for being my friend, thank you for teaching me about your culture, I’ll miss you and love you”
And then I started another school, and I never met another girl like her. One time I got in a sort of argument with my roommate who said “All African people have short to no hair” (this was a girl who was African-American and she had long hair all the way to her back, like me and we were discussing about our hair or something) and I said that’s NOT TRUE, I told her about my best friend from Mauritania and how her hair was the same length as mines, and her whole family has long hair (some Afro, some curly, all beautiful). And then one time another one of my friends said to me (who is Indian decent but born in the UK) “You’re pretty because you’re mixed, real black girls are ugly.” It’s like a never ending cycle!!! People here think Africa is a damn country filled with naked people and apes. They call Africans monkeys, and they say they swing from trees and live in jungles. It makes me want to cry! Why is Europe, and Asia looked at as these wonderful achieved places, and Africa is looked down upon?
I wanted to learn more about Africa, so I took 3 courses on it (Black Experience 1 and 2 and Ancient African Studies, all great classes). My favorite was about Ancient Africans, I loved learning about Ancient Egypt (Kemmet), Nubia, Ethiopia (Kush), Nigeria, and Mali! It made me so proud! I learned that African people were the first people to create a civilization (the Nile River Valley Civilization). That Africans knew mathematics, philosophy, engineering, and architecture (yes I’m looking at you Mr. Imhotep) And these were the first people to travel around the world. And actually Africans were the first people to discover America. The Melanesian people who left Africa 50,000-60,000 years ago, traveled to Oceania and from there traveled by boat to South America, and their bones can be found in Brazilian geology. (also, African stone heads can be found in Meso America dating back around 800 BC)
After learning all this my feeling towards Africa grew. And the next fucking person that talked shit about Africa I set them straight, throwing out facts and sending them links, and giving them my textbooks. Before you talk shit about Africa/Africans learn your facts, don’t just go by what you learn in the media.
One day, I was researching about Eritrea, a recently knew African country, and I fell in love! I would wish I lived there, and I wanted to have an Eritrean wedding, and learn about everything there is about that country <3
But, no matter what, you are what you are… being an American is a love-hate relationship. And I didn’t chose to be born here… but I shouldn’t wish to be something I’m not. Africa is my spirit home, and some day I hope to visit as many countries I can there, but for now, all I have are photos to view. I guess there is nothing wrong with being American… i just have to open the eyes of these closed minded people, that Africa is just as beautiful and historically rich and any other continent.