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Topics - J. Baraka-Love

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General Discussion / Article about not being African enough for Africa
« on: April 14, 2012, 04:40:52 PM »

I have had a wonderful time in Africa. I hope to retire there someday.  The farthest south I went was Zimbabwe--loved it!.  I have been approached with folks speaking the local language and only once had someone "roll their eyes".  My friend in Zimbabwe told me it was because there are a group of girls who go to the US or UK and come back pretending they do not speak the indigenous language. They are called "the nose brigade" for their tendency to add nasality to their speech to emulate whites.  Other than that, I was warmly greeted in Zimbabwe, Ghana, called an "American Nubian" in Egypt, did not have a good experience in Ivory Coast, but loved Senegal and folks who became family.  I now have a son from Ghana because of the African cultural tradition of co-parenting, and two from Senegal. It is an honor when a family entrusts one to be a parent to their child, and it is more binding that adoption papers in the US.  I never went as a tourist in West Africa--I stayed with family because of connections there.  I was proud to blend in and felt totally at home.  I also realize that some of us are too far gone in assimilation and too willing to look for romantic notions about Africa.  I it is understandable given the racial climate in the US.  However, colonization has left its ugly mark on the Motherland as well. People who keep their traditions are more likely to see the ravages of colonization and gravitate to those of us in the US who are African-centered.  Human beings have ups and downs everywhere, but, for me, it is refreshing to walk about anywhere in Africa and feel like a human being whose experience--bad or good-- has nothing to do with the color of my skin.  I doubt I would find that in post-apartheid Azania (South Africa)

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