“To My Fellow Non- American Blacks: In America, You Are Black Baby”

“To My Fellow Non- American Blacks: In America, You Are Black Baby”

Ifemelus post suggests that in America you are a Non- American Black you then become an American Black, which opens up a whole new universe full of racial slurs and prejudices. Ifemelu says that as a new American-Back you must feel the same injustice of those who are native American-Blacks because you are now one of them. You must partake in their greetings and understand how politically correct everything is when it concerns you, you must start to understand what is acceptable to say and what is not. You must behave as if you have been here all along, going through the same struggle because you now represent Black people because of your skin color, and as a black person in America you must behave a certain way. Ifemelu also suggests that since you black people represent every black person, you must then feel as though you are responsible fro them, they do something disrespect you must hen apologize in their place because you would not want to them to make the race look bad. Do not speak of race to a white people angrily because you are then considered bitter.

Being Black in America. What we as American Blacks and America often don’t understand is that African immigrants are technically not us.  But for all intents and purposes, we are all clumped together.  Probably because America follows the common stereotype that we all look the same anyway.  America does not care if you’re from Jamaica, you’re black.  Hell sometimes you can be biracial and that one small dose of melanin still makes you black.  What Black Americans often don’t understand is that Non- American Blacks are the outcast.  We as a people do not even try to understand where they’re coming from because we have so many problems of our own.  Non- American Blacks come to America with a whole new history tagged onto their life that they know little about and as usual they must now have to learn and accommodate.

Obviously, Ifemelu’s post holds a certain sarcasm, she tell’s the truth but is not condoning the truths being said. Ifemelu is right and says it like it is. In America, if you have a certain skin color you then become lumped in with the majority of people who have that race. The problem with this mentality is that it strips you of your individuality. It does not matter where you are from, if you have brown skin, you are black. You can say goodbye to identity, you can say goodbye to the culture you had so much pride in. To them, you are nothing more than a black person. You will share the same burden as black people in this country, even if you do not understand why. The stereotypes will be used to define you, you no longer are an individual. You are now part of the mass of black folk. Being black means understand a certain social construct and knowing how to behave and respond to things, even if you are a Non-American Black you are expected to know because you live in America and they will treat you the same, even if you do not understand it.

Just because you and we are the masses does not mean we are the same. Such as when African Americans say that they are African, you can not say that unless your roots are not drawn back to slavery. When you make this claim it is disrespectful to the people that take pride in their culture, being African American does not give you the right to walk around with African printed head wrapping. America needs to realize that we are not one in the same, all human yes, but far from being alike. Imagine seeing someone parading around in what you hold dear just to be that person that like “Totally gets it”. Even though we share the same complexion I never really see anyone really learning their history, the only history I know of is how your hair went from straight like a white girl to the journey it took to getting the curly “all natural look”. Failing to understand and just scratching the surface, in my eyes at least, you become that Dread-locked white man. But in America, I expect nothing less.

~T.J.A.J.

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