Not all Africans Americans hate Africans. But sadly, there are MANY who do harbor extremely negative feelings towards us – whether due to a misplaced sense of superiority, a hypersensitive cultural chip, or just pure ignorance.
It is a shame that many of us are still letting ourselves play into the global Neocolonial agenda that hurts us ALL as Afro people. We stay separated and at odds when we have so much in common – both historically and culturally since we have that Afro connection.
1. They Think Africans sold Them
The very premise of this way of thinking is ridiculous. Before African Americans becameAfrican Americans, they were just AFRICAN. So technically, we sold ourselves!
But the thing many of them don’t know is – history, and not taught from a white western lens. Colonisation in Africa first came about in the 1600’s before the full-fledged “scramble for Africa” in the 1800’s. The Europeans had already come to the continent and had started their exploitative activity at a lesser severity.
Africa had already dealt in and experienced the (Arab) “slave trade” as well as their own traditional practices as ALL human civilisations worldwide had already been partaking in slavery in one way or another. All this occurred before Africa was “Africa” of today – do the math.
- How enslaved Blacks beating each other to near-death was a great source of entertainment and cash for white plantation owners
Many of you are aware of Nubia, ancient Egypt) and other pre-colonial African kingdoms, as well as the original Jews being “black” (in today’s sense of the word) but you don’t factor in the slave activity that went on within the international slave activity kingdoms in those times.
What Africans did not foresee and eventually lost out was:
- European manipulative strategy to pit ethnic groups and kingdoms against one another
- Chinese gun powder
- Europeans eventually creating the concept of “race” to justify the severe maltreatment of the “inferior” Africans in the slave trade and natural resource exploitation.
But again. We sold ourselves, and we were NOT the only people to do this in the world. Look across ALL cultures in history and you will see the same thing. Not justifying it, just expanding upon it.
NB: MAJORITY of Africans being shipped off were kidnapped and taken against their will by the Europeans, not sold.
There were certain Africans who may have participated in this but it was almost always under force or manipulation to survive, protect their families and their kingdoms.
2. They Think Africans Didn’t Try to Help Them
In the (unsound) minds of people with this view, from the 1800’s to the 20th century, we Africans were having a good old time while our continent was pillaged and our people oppressed. Only Afro people in the USA seemed to have it hard.
We should have somehow tried to rescue the African slaves in the USA from slavery. I guess, we could have taken off our own chains to make the trip over. And while we were at it – we could have also gone over to South America and all the islands to save them too!
Never mind that we did not have the means nor the actual freedom to do so! Not to talk about how we are STILL being neocolonised right now.
3. They Think Africans Played No Part in Afro Progress
This one just shows the American in them to be so self-absorbed as to believe that they are THE reason why black people worldwide are in a better position today.
Their arrogance outweighs their ignorance as there were, and still are, MANY Africans, Afro Caribbeans and Afro Latinos who have contributed to the collective pursuit of justice and equality for Afro people in the world.
4. They Think Africans Are Primitive Nude Apes Dying of Aids and Ebola
It is so sad. The USA has done an excellent job of brainwashing majority of African Americans to generally reject, deny and abhor their African heritage by filling their minds with negative images of who we are as Africans. They spew the same racist diatribe of many of their white counterparts, and make the extra effort to separate themselves from us as much as possible.
I get it, who wants to be associated with negativity? But we are talking about a nation that uses up around 85% of the world’s resources. Majority of them have access to the internet. They could actually take the initiative to get informed instead of complacently swallowing what their media feeds them.
NB: A warm gaze in the direction of the African Americans who are curious and make an effort to decolonise their minds, embrace their heritage and discover who Africans really are.
I see you, and you’re family.
5. They Think Africans Are Arrogant
It’s crazy. When Africans are just ourselves as we naturally exhibit diverse aspects of our cultures, to some, we are arrogant. I recognise that the African slaves in the US were made to abandon most of their culture which is painful to live out today, but this does not mean that we should then hide ours.
I actually feel that the only original culture from the USA comes from African Americas. Their entire urban cultural movements and music has influenced the entire world’s collective pop culture. That is impressive and they should be proud!
What’s more, you all still have access to us, so all roots need not be lost. You can get reconnected as Africa’s nations are still very much here! And we can make jokes about how so much of our combined cultures have been stolen and appropriated :p
On another note: Are there certain Africans who may look down on African Americans as lost? Sure.
I am not justifying their behaviour, but take a moment to see it from their point of view.
It’s like a girl separated from her sister at birth and fed lies her whole life by her kidnapper. Only to then shun her sister on meeting her and insult her with so many untrue statements that show how much she does not know, and not like, about her own self and family.
This is the experience of many Africans in the USA. It is highly off-putting, and not everyone will have the patience to positively deal with that.
NB: The same cultural put down that you may see from Africans towards African Americans occurs between Europeans and white Americans. Many Europeans, perhaps less open about it, feel white Americans have no culture and are uncouth.
Furthermore, even certain Africans are judged by other Africans. For not speaking a local language fluently or whatever. It is not just you.
6. They Think Africans Are Self-Hating and Not “African”
Sigh. We are ALL victims of colourism and as Afro people with a shared colonial history that subjected us to the same hateful programming by the Eurocentric oppressors. We are all still trying to heal from generations of trauma. It is so counter-productive to be so self-righteous and judgemental.
Instead of condemning certain Africans who may need to wake up, or (incorrectly) presuming to be able to tell us who we are as diverse people from a huge continent, better to extend a hand in solidarity as we all try and promote Afro-Love between each other, and to the rest of the world.
7. They Think Africans Prefer White People
Another questionable way of (not) thinking with a twisted premise. Like all black people own each other and must “stick together” in militant fashion. The whole “us versus them” attitude is extremely foul. It does not encourage progress but only hurts all of humanity.
In addition, Africa is a continent of 54+ countries. To completely strip its people of their individuality is already offensive in of itself. There might be some Africans who hate white people, others who do not. But nobody should be hating anyone to begin with, and I personally feel that it is just so silly to even factor other people into the equation at all when it comes to us as Afro people moving forward.
There may be some Africans who are painfully ignorant with a colonial mentality, but majority have REAL life to contend with, and without the blue passport privilege, so prefer to invest their time in improving their lives instead of “hating the white man” as their priorities are in check.
In any case, “race” aside – who would feel all fuzzy and warm inside in face of this kind of above “reasoning”? Trust that nobody likes to be stereotyped, judged and shunned.
How Do We Move Forward?
I know all this, deep down, comes from a place of pain, but it needs to stop – and on ALL sides, African, African American, Afro Latino, Afro Caribbean alike.
If we are going to heal from our history and move beyond the current neo-colonial challenges of our present, we have to do better.
We need to truly learn our diverse collective history and open honest (however uncomfortable) dialogues between one another. We need to respect and embrace the things we have in common, as well as where we culturally differ – which is often beautiful to behold.
We will make so much more collective progress as Afro people in this Neocolonial world if we connect in positive empathetic solidarity. And through our self Afro-Love, the rest of the world will eventually catch on too.
- What are your thoughts and feelings on this?
- How do you, as an African or someone of Afro descent view Africans and the other Afro Diaspora?
- Do you feel that there is a cultural disconnect between us?
- Would you consider it important enough to be explored and addressed?
- What would be a way to move forward?