LET’S TALK ABOUT BEING BLACK

Recently, someone asked me something I have never given much credit to. ” How is it like being black in Denmark?” I paused since my blackness has never been a bother. Reflections. When I was still new in this land, my mother in law was really concerned about how I was fairing, out of care of course. She would ask me whether I felt any different walking out there? At first it felt different but then there is no much attention about color in Denmark especially among the Danes.

As long as you work and pay taxes, everyone is at peace. This does not mean that we dont go through our own share of “blackness.” See, on this beautiful day, I find out one of the moms in Bernie’s playgroup was also pregnant, well we all are. After we picked the kids up, we decided to go for an extra hour of play. This got us talking. If you are looking into making “friends” in Denmark, children help. So we talk about the challenges of being pregnant while with active toddlers like ours. This is the part she points out that she worked in a normal job, not casuals. She felt privileged to be EU, I mean she came from Germany. We are both foreigners but with different stakes.

Her statement takes me back to about two summers ago when we were invited to a birthday party at a park. When we get to the venue, we are directed to sit with another lady who had another black baby. This strikes my husband. He asks, ” Oh! we can’t sit with the rest?” The lady is ashamed and apologizes but… At this time I am in process of healing from birth and culture shock.. So it doesn’t capture my attention.

I became black after leaving Kenya. Race is not an identity issue in Kenya. We have bigger problems. The rest of the world need to understand that Africans don’t actually suffer from blackness. It has never been an issue for us. See, I come from Kenya where nearly everyone looks the same. Have you ever imagined how it is like being from a land with over 44 tribes speaking different languages with different cultures? Diversity within. Despite the differences in ethnicity we still live happily with each other. Color is not an issue.

See the way the Western discourse defines identity, they always have to include colour and only an issue of the African continent. Identity however, is an issue all over the World. Well, this is not an essay..See when I invite one of my American friends to my home and the first question she asks is whether I am married for love? She goes further to explain that most Africans marry the white men for money. This should be offensive but I actually laugh. I cannot fathom how ignorant a person can be. In 2017.. Wait, she is the same person who offers me her old clothes and when I decline, allegedly, another black lady picks them up. “She looked like a “prostitute” and from her facebook profile she has this very old white man.”

This is offending.I ask her if she thought so because she was black? She apologizes again. This clearly tells a lot about what she thinks about color.. To say the least, she asks me whether I have a real real Law degree. I get back at her with the same question as to whether there is a fake fake Law degree.. Black achievement is not a thing in Africa, but it’s big outside. In her mind, a black woman can only have fakes with no education. I choose not to be offended by such arrogance and ignorance but actually ask her to seek some help. Maybe she should revise her friends who when we ask how they know each other, they are fast to let us know its because they are both Americans.

“Funny!” my husband thinks. This lady is a black American but with time I have realised that blackness out of Africa varies. The blacks I have met that are not from Africa feel the need to clarify it. They are better blacks. It’s offensive to ask them whether they are from Africa? The world would be a better place if we coexisted peacefully despite our identities!!! My two cents!!

 

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