Just read an article over at Clutch Magazine written by Clara Wanjku entitled “What Does It Really Take to Be African.” When I read the title, I imagined the article would focus on the trials of being African in America or something of the sort. To my surprise, it was nothing like that.
In actuality, in the article Wanjku basically speaks to black Americans as if we’re stupid and don’t understand that Africa is not our home. I, along with many other commentators, were quite offended.
The article made it seem like the majority of black Americans have this desire to move back to Africa and assimilate into African culture. Now as much as we acknowledge where we come from, I don’t know one black American who actually wants to move to Africa and become “African”. I don’t mean that in a condescending way, but it’s the truth. As much as we complain about how racist America is, it’s our home; it’s all we know, and if I had to choose to live in a another continent, it would probably be Europe, not Africa (again, not to be condescending but it’s the truth).
Secondly, I personally don’t classify myself as “African-American”. African-American sounds like I was first African, and then became American. Only problem is, I was never African. Neither were my parents, or their parents, or their parents, and I think I’d be correct in saying that even my great great grandparents were not African. They were all American and therefore I am nothing but American. The term African-American, was coined in the 80’s as a way for America to be politically correct in addressing black people. Fortunately, I think the time has come where being called “black” is not offensive or incorrect. I actually prefer it, and take a sense of pride in it.
So to Clara Wanjku, I’m not exactly sure what type of black people you are hanging around, but please realize that in 2012, black people do not wish to take your African-ness and apply it to themselves. We don’t need your sympathy because we were uprooted from the motherland hundreds of years ago and brought to America. Clearly we have survived and thrived, without your help or the help of the motherland and we will continue to do so as black people. That is all. Not African, not wanna be Africans, not even African-Americans. Just black.