Monday, August 23, 2010

Does being black automatically put me under the category of a bad person?

"Not a trouble maker? Loose girl? A girl with attitude problems? .... No.... Why? Does that surpise you?"

When I first moved to England as a student, I constantly used to get comments like "You're Nigerian? Wow, you don't seem like the "typical" Nigerian?" And after receiving comments like this, I always used to wonder what a "typical Nigerian" was like. Of course it's impossible to get to know someone when all we do is act superior to them, or stay away from them because of a bunch of sterotypical beliefs. 

I am super proud of being an African, and even more proud to be a Nigerian, but I must admit that there are certain people who make me embarassed of my nationality, or the fact that I have to share their nationality. Some of them lash out on people in public, or speak overbearingly loud, don't clean up after themselves in a fastfood restaurant, steal or get into unnecessary fights. Each time a person tries to get rid of some of the bad image which has been inflicted upon "black" people, another person just goes and reinforces the negative image - which in turn takes us back to square one.

I remember there was a time when I couldn't go out without a person mistaking me for being a hooker; not because of the way I dressed, but simply because I was "black" and in the wrong place at the wrong time. 

Just because I'm black, doesn't make me a trouble maker, neither does it make me loose, or willing to sleep with anyone with a penis, and it doesn't make me a thief!

I'm simply trying my best to be myself, and I hate trouble, and therefore I try to avoid it. I'm not a big fan of fights and I'm not bad-mouthed in public. I try my best to show respect to other people, who I expect should in turn show respect to me.

I believe there's no such thing as a "typical" anything, although there are specific trademarks one uses to recognize a certain people, but I believe that has mostly to do with appearance. People are simply people, and they are usually a branded product of the society they grow up/have grown up in.

Signed with Love

Chika xxx