No matter where you go in this world, as a black person, believe me the blackness always sticks out. It is true. Except of course you are Beyonce, who has done well enough to convince us that she is, well…. not black.
Thing is, you don’t even have to be the only black in the room for it to stick out.
It sticks out at buffet tables, where even non whites (waiters and waitresses) would rather usher a Lebanese man to his seat, than usher a black girl. LoL, Lebanese people aren’t even any where near white.
It sticks out at immigration, when the officers look at you and believe in their hearts that there’s no way you can possibly afford a Seychelles holiday. You have to be one of those fraudulent ones.
It sticks out when you enter shopping malls in Europe, especially with no accent. No body gives you that warm smile until your card payment has gone through.
Now, this is where I feel the problem comes from, Black people themselves. There is an unwritten Black people anthem that Blacks easily project. It is like a pity umbrella we try to fall under, such that any sort of ill luck faced outside Africa is quickly greeted with the answer; Oh, it is because I am black. The waiter wasn’t nice, because I am black. I didn’t get the acting role because I am black. They searched me thoroughly at the airport because I am black.
*On a lighter note, if you wear those hideous parachute looking raincoat of a jacket that Africans like to wear when travelling, of course you will get searched at the airport, thoroughly.
But so what if you are black?
For me, I have learnt to live above all such intimidation. To not use such acts to hold a grudge against people who we feel are being racist, because I am first human, before I fall under any race. So this is what I say to people. If you feel you are being cheated because of race, speak up, call their bluff. Ask to speak to a manager. Ask questions, as long as they are not illegal. If you randomly ask me to stand aside in a queue or an airport, I’ll ask you why. If I get a logical reason, I’ll stand aside. If I don’t, I’ll ask more questions. If I get bad service at a shop, I will ask to speak to the manager, just like I would do in my country. But I will not stand back and whine that misfortune has befallen me because I am black.
I don’t believe that people are racist towards me. As a matter of fact, its anyone’s business what they think of you in the first place, whether they are black or white. So I don’t stay mad or hold a grudge because really, it is ignorance on their part. How can you even stay mad at someone who doesn’t even know you, or know what he is doing.
If oyinbo does not smile at you on the train, smile at them or look away. But it is irresponsible to whine and conclude that you didn’t get a smile back because you are black. After all, there are many people in your Lekki neighborhood who don’t reply when you say hello. So why make the oyinbo’s own an issue?
Hopefully y’all can give me feed back in your comments. 🙂
3 Comments Add yours
Topestic write-up as usual!….I personlly have never experienced any bad treatment based on race, but I believe we get a response to what we project.
At work, people avoid the foreigners saying “those ones never answer when you greet them” . But they never ignore me when I greet, some will even greet first sooo I wonder where people get these impressions from.
But your advice is the best solution
Yup..I agree Tope… it might not even have to do with the colour of your skin at all but lets learn to speak and ask questions when we need to…and do it it nicely too – enough of being tagged ‘aggressive’
Kinda difficult to imagine anyone labeling Banke aggressive. Lol