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Africans: Don’t Forget You Are Black Too

You are not African American, but you are Black too.

When Uncle Sam comes, and he will come, he will not stop to ask you to speak so your accent can “save” you from his gun.

Don’t forget you are Black too.

You say, “this is an African American problem, they need to do this, they need to stop that, they brought this on themselves.”

First, don’t say dumb stuff.

Second, don’t forget you are Black too.

Remember the past, when they were taken from our home? Remember they woke up that beautiful day, said good morning as demanded by culture, not knowing that would be the last time we hear them reply, “fine morning.” Don’t forget you are Black too.

When the daughter, the son, the father, and mother left the house that fateful day, they did not pray to be captured and sent away; packed like sardines, dying like flies and thrown into the sea like sand.

Don’t forget you are Black too.

Then they arrived in the new world, where promises meant lies and trust meant death. To speak was to be whipped in blood. To be beautiful was to be raped. To be strong was to be worked like a machine till death did you part.

Don’t forget you are Black too.

From 1619, when the first African slaves landed in Virginia, labeled as cargo, to 2020 where we see live murders of Blacks and their killers pardoned by the very law supposed to be fair and just. For 400 years they have been running. Don’t stop, keep running, no time to stop, breathe, relax. Run alongside them with the same vile realities who change fashion, disguised in praise, policy and new amendments. No, this is not once upon a time; this is still their happily never ending.

Don’t forget you are Black too.

The fight cannot be labeled as the African American fight for justice. This fight is for all Blacks, all melanin infused pearls — you, me, them. All my people who proudly represent the Afro community, this fight is at your doorstep too.

My people, your people, our people are fighting for their lives — still, over 400 years ago. And yet we, Africans, have an upper hand than they do. We still have more privilege than African Americans. And that privilege is this:

When Uncle Sam comes for us and it becomes unbearable for us here or in any White man’s taken by force and claimed as theirs land, you have and will always have the option to go back home. They do not.

This is the only home African Americans know and have known for centuries. They may trace their roots to Ghana, Togo, Benin and many countries on the continent, but the missing link will always be there — they have been away so long that what they find when they return is still foreign, and not truly theirs.

To know of a place, dream of a place, called to a place, see a place, linked to a place, adore a place and still know you don’t truly belong is not only a crime in itself; it is a burning tattoo of who you are not, yet resemble.

So, when the topic of race and police brutality against African Americans pop up on your news feed, in conversation, don’t say dumb stuff. And for the love of our ancestors don’t say, “those people” and proceed to categorize them as anything but people who are trying to do what you are doing: live in peace, survive.

Don’t forget you are Black, too.

Stop othering and check your privilege as an African, born and bred on the continent, with a place you can run to if the West does not work out. Know your privilege, stand behind and beside them as they fight for their home. Keep standing as they have for 400 years in a foreign land.

This fight is equally ours as it is theirs. Don’t remove yourself and count yourself “lucky.” Luck has nothing to do with it. It could have been your lineage captured and forced onto the ship. It could have been you fighting for the only place you’ve known for all your life. It could have been your (fill in the blank) laying dead on the ground, shot while asleep, left to die at the hospital, kidnapped at the playground, wrestled to the concrete floor on school grounds for NO reason except they are Black, dark skin.

Their pain and the pain of your ancestors is revived like fire fused with ether. So, when you hear them marching, crying out, do this: understand first, welcome second and help third OR move out the way if you don’t want to participate.

Africans: don’t forget you are Black too. Show support, protest peacefully, reach out to your governments to be intentional with programs that make it easier for African Americans to visit and come back home. Free visa for them is one step. Join the movement in the best way you know how. Educate yourself. Start conversations. Shut down conversations. Speak up and stand up. This is not an African American problem. This is a Black problem and you too are Black, in case you somehow forgot.


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