Beware of those black Americans. They are a wild bunch of people. They all carry guns. They are lazy. These were all words that I was told over and over, as I prepared to embark on my journey to the United States from Nigeria. Lucky for me, I was 18 years old when I came to America. My personality and character had already formed or else I would have carried these prejudices with me into my new life in America.
Be that as it may, many Africans both in America and in Africa see Black Americans or African-Americans as wild, dangerous, lazy and without culture.
How soon is it forgotten that we as Africans, freely, sold our brothers and sisters into slavery. The “colonizers” came over to Africa with their “magic-like” technology and we, Africans, quickly sold our brothers and sisters to acquire this magic. We sold them for next to nothing, to a people from a strange land, with strange traditions and speaking in an even stranger language. How can we then turn around and expect our American brothers and sisters who were sold to strangers to now hold on to their culture and belief systems in a strange land? Slavery is designed to break men and thereby breaking apart the black, African, family. It is impossible to hold on to these belief systems when your wife and daughters are raped in front of you and there’s nothing you can do about it. Your manhood destroyed. Your sole purpose in life is just to survive. It is impossible to hold on to these values when you know that the reason your suffering is because your brothers sold you into slavery.
Africans must never forget that our actions caused the current plight of our brothers and sisters. Fostering these prejudices do not make life better for any of us. We have to love one another because we are cut from the same cloth. We are from the same land. When cops beat and kill our brothers, they don’t care if its Travon Martin or Mamadou Diallo. They don’t see the difference between Africans and African-Americans. They see black people. In the very moment that they are beating or killing Africans and African-Americans, all the prejudices and stereotypes that Africans place on black Americans and on us as well. Who’s the dummy now? We are all black people. We are all Africans. The sooner we start to love and help strengthen each other, and get rid of these stereotypes and prejudices, the better off we will all be.