The Feud: Africans vs. African Americans and The African Diaspora

This beef has gone on longer than any rap feud and has left a race of people hating each other for having different cultures. With the recent article by Zipporah singling out Black Americans as appropriating African culture the tension has become visible. This article offended me and she didn’t do her research. This article ironically was written by a British woman with African parents who is living in Asia that indulges in the culture of Thailand. Which I find interesting from looking at her social medias that she didn’t wear much of her own cultural attire or display the curiosity to learn about other cultures in Africa or to travel to Africa. Yet, she had enough pride about being African to tell those who did find African cultures interesting to tell them it didn’t belong to them. The second part of the article was that those she depicted in the article were African and Afro Caribbeans. If she had researched she would have learned about 1/4 of New York is full of Caribbean and African immigrants or the children of these immigrants. She also mentioned Afro-Punk as being the main source of this appropriation because many of them wear Fulani septum piercings and fabrics that belong to specific tribes. To be honest African Americans could be Fulani and Tikar, Hausa etc. We are a mixture of West Africa and thus wearing two different tribal attires isn’t that absurd. Unlike, Black Caribbeans our ancestors were beaten out of their language and culture so telling us we don’t understand or know the significance of these things is like adding insult to injury. Did we have a choice? If you were told to learn English and forget your tribal language and culture or you will be whipped or worse killed What would you do?  I kept thinking “Why us?” She never spoke about the black cities in Colombia that have festivals wearing colorful African inspired clothes, braids, tribal marks and head wraps . A lot of Jamaicans love Africa especially Ethiopia which inspired the whole Rastafarian movement. The same display of African culture and mixing of their current culture can be seen throughout the African Diaspora.

This article displays the sentiment that Africans don’t like Black Americans. They think we are culture-less, criminals, promiscuous females and males, and the ignorant failures who do not take advantage of their opportunities like education. As a person who has dated an West African and has been around various West Africans and East Africans I have gotten several negative comments from Africans and how we are viewed by many of them. The famous  Ethiopian woman who made a Youtube video about how Africans view Black Americans and never want to associate with Black Americans when they come to the U.S. isn’t too far off of how a lot of Africans see us. The saddest part of all is that many Africans that come here have an undying love for white people. They hate descendents of Africa but love whites. I was told by my African boyfriend white women act better. Many of his friends sought to only date white women or lighter skin black women. I see some cooning in both the Africans and the Black Americans.

A lot of this bitterness from Africans comes from being teased by Black Americans. A lot of Black Americans believe the stereotypes about Africans and say they are starving, sick, ignorant people dancing in huts, hunting zebras and other strange animals that most wouldn’t eat. I do sympathize with Africans who have been teased by Black Americans I will explain why this happens. The first generation of slaves were beaten out of their culture they were brainwashed to believe African tribes were uncivilized, their religion was voodoo and pagan and that they had no history. This has been reinforced by our history books with the deliberate omission of all of the accomplishments of Africa. We don’t learn about Emperor Mansa Musa of the Mali Empire who was said to be one of the richest men in history. We don’t learn about how Uganda was performing c-sections in the 1800’s before Great Britain. We are literally given the impression Africa is a  dark waste land that we were saved from by being in slavery. So just like Africans look down on us, a lot of Black Americans look down on them. The media portrays Africans negatively just like it portrays Black Americans negatively. We are both being brainwashed and suffering from self hate with the belief that white culture and white civilizations are better. You cannot love yourself if you hate the people that look like you and favor the people who mirror those who have oppressed, colonized, raped or enslaved you. This does not mean you should hate whites but Blacks all over the world need to stop worshipping whites as gods. Love yourself first and don’t seek friends and spouses because you think their entire race is better or prettier. When I was 17 I learned a lot of West Africans were bleaching their skin even with toxic cancerous household chemicals. Nigerian celebrities like Tonto Dikeh an actress admitted to bleaching her skin. She was already fairly light but she stated she liked her skin to be very fair. A Black African saying she wished to be lighter is a prime example of self-hate and wishing to attain to the looks of those who colonized her. If we look at Nollywood and Ghallywood  movies the most famous actors like Majid Michel, Nadia Bhuahri, Van Vicker are half white or mixed with other races.

We as Black Americans and Africans need to stop letting the systems of racism tear us apart. We need to take the time to learn each others history. It’s easy for Africans to say Blacks Americans should have done better economically but they don’t know anything about the attempts Black Americans have made to uplift themselves throughout history that have been dismantled. Neither do they realize Africans and Caribbean immigrants are seen as “the good blacks” That many employers hire them over Black Americans because they view them as smarter and hard working. Employers have even shown to hire lighter skin Blacks over darker. I noticed the way white professors and non-black students seemed sympathetic to African students paying for their schooling, giving them places to stay etc. The token black guy is a real thing and black success is based upon, skin tone, language vernacular, where you live and where your parents come from. Maybe if Africans learned how slavery helped make America what it is today, that the Yale libraries that they study in was built with the donations of slave owners as well as Harvard and Brown University named after the Brown Brothers. Maybe they would be proud that many  technologies they use today in America was built by African Americans. That the very reason they can sit in a classroom with whites and get an education, or live in the same neighborhoods was because Black Americans fought for integration being hosed down by fire hoses, attacked by dogs, murdered killed, beaten and arrested. Now, aren’t these the same Black Americans your ashamed of? The same ones that paved for your future and helped you date the very whites you marry that without the fight for interracial marriage you would be hung or jailed for looking at white women. To the Black Americans did you know Africans understood chemistry, melted metals, had gold and did trading, understood the importance of quarantining the sick and burning the area. That we come from Kingdoms and Empires that invaded Europe, that the Greeks looked to them for education and even wrote some mythology based upon Africans. That many revered African women as beautiful. That the skilled militaries fought off many European invasions. Does that sound like a history we should be ashamed of or a people with no history? Should any of us look down on each other or lack respect. Last time I checked Africa was suffering from Neo- Colonialism and blacks in America are still fighting for basic rights even now. Malcolm X knew his history he didn’t allow people to tell him that he was better off in America. Africans loved Malcolm X he spoke against the mistreatment of blacks in Africa as well as in America. He worked with many Pan Africans leaders in Africa to try the U.S. against crimes against humanity. He was killed for this reason. They realized the strength Blacks and Africans had when they worked together. And when Malcolm was in Africa he wore African clothes and they were proud of him for doing so. Now Africans and Black Americans ask yourself shouldn’t we be proud? And why are we ashamed of each other? Remember this alone we are just fingers together we are a mighty fist.


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