Anti-Black Argentina

So my dear Black people there’s another country you might want to add to the ‘Places I probably shouldn’t travel to because of the anti-black racism I might experience’ list, and if you list them alphabetically this one might be at the top of your list.

ARGENTINA.

A Facebook post by Femi Fani-Kayode had been circling twitter after the Iceland vs. Argentina match at the world cup – btw CONGRATULATIONS FRANCE!!!- where a black man had a conversation with an (I’m assuming white)  Argentine woman about how Argentina viciously eliminated all the black people in Argentina.

The facebook post starts off with…

As I watched the Argentina and Iceland match today and wondered why there where no black players in the Argentinean team when other South America teams had black or biracial players, I remembered a conversation I had last year.

I hadn’t watched that match but I’m sure he couldn’t have been the only one wondering…I mean Brazil, Colombia and Uruguay did….so what happened with Argentina?

I asked her.

“Don’t you have Black people in Argentina?

She said with a matter of fact candour.

“No. Long time ago, after slavery, we killed them all.”

Well…there’s our answer.

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She went on mentioning how she was ashamed of her people and admitted that it was well thought out. Systematic even.

“First they forced most of the men to fight for Argentina against Paraguay. They knowingly sent them into battles that were poorly planned so that the Paraguay army will do for them what they couldn’t do themselves. Kill the blacks.

Most of them died there. “

Wawu.

“The remaining of them they forced to live in this province were there was a plague. A disease that the government refused to curb so that it can also do for them what they couldn’t do…They refused to set up hospitals, clinics, adequate shelter, food outlets, nothing. They created the best environment for the disease to thrive. It killed the rest of the men that had survived the war.”

This is pure evil. It almost sounds fictional because of how incredibly maniacal it is…it sounds like the plan of those monsters and villains that have claws for fingers and “mwahahaha” into the dark sky with lightning and thunder striking in the background.

But it’s real…This was the life of stolen West and Central African immigrants on Argentine soil.

“The darker you are, the higher the chance they will send you to that place to live or to the war to die. The lighter skinned women were forced to sleep with the white men, so that their children are biracial, then they forced the children when they grow to sleep with white men, so that the blackness of the skin in the children became whiter and whiter until there was no longer any visibly black people seen”

So Colourism played a part in it too.

It’s dangerous for black people to practice colourism…it was literally used by colonizers to wipe you out and segregate e.g. the one drop rule in America.

Its stupid to think that you exercise the same energy of your colonizers among yourselves.

“It was so bad that blacks fled to Chile, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil and even Paraguay where they were better treated even though not as well as they should be, like treated as human beings deserving full equality. Atleast those ones did not want to kill them and accepted to give them protection and a means of livelihood.”

Now here’s something I would’ve loved to learn at school:

“As a matter of fact in Chile, there was a city called Arica where Black people were so accepted and respected that in the 1700s two black free men, one called Anzurez were elected mayors. But the white colonial masters from Spain came six months later and nullified the elections, they were afraid of other cities giving black people too many rights. But the blacks who found succour did not complain, they sent word for others to flee Argentina and come join them. Afterall what was cancelled elections compared to death?

Wow “too many rights”…how dehumanizing. I guess we weren’t human, we didn’t deserve that many rights.

“The ones the Argentinians did not kill through war or disease, and rape and impregnate, fled the country and ultimately we got rid of the blacks”

What do you even say to this?

She continued academically.

“So although they abolished slavery in 1815 in Argentina, it continued until 1853, after that the main preoccupation of the leaders was how to get rid of the black slaves and their descendants.”

I’m assuming the ones that still looked (and were) black.

“Our president who ruled us from 1868 to 1874, Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, wrote in his diary in 1848, this was long before he became president and slavery ended that – ‘In the United States…4 million are black, and within 20 years will be 8 million…What is to be done with such blacks, hated by the white race?’ – It shows that he was already thinking of ow to eliminate black people before he became President and when he became president he succeeded”

The face of the Argentine devil himself:

DFS president

“Didn’t the world say anything?”

“No. They ignored it. I’m sure most of them wanted to do the same thing but failed. At that time, they admired them. I remember when I will go to Brazil as a child, my father’s friend will say in disgust as he looked at the black Brazilians – we should have had your guts and finished them off. All of them. Make Brazil white just like Argentina.”

“And the Europeans?”

She laughed.

“It’s an open secret, just like King Leopold and his genocide in Congo. No one talks about it, but they know about it. At least the older ones do. The younger ones not so much. Why do you think all the Nazis ran to Argentina after World War 2?”

I was silent.

She continued.

“Because it was the perfect place for most evil racists in history to live.”

Seems about right. Racists shelter racists, colonizers shelter colonizers.

“Sadly to some extent, it still is welcoming and accommodating of racial hatred, we took the Tango from the African slaves and made it our own. In Argentina, not one person will tell you the true history of that dance. They don’t want to associate it with Africa. In fact if you ask them about black people in Argentina they will tell you that there has never been black people in Argentina.

They teach them in schools. They rewrite history, they make it all white. And as I said it is all underneath the surface. They never come out and say we hate black people. Argentina is only whites or anything like that. They have just fixed the country to only be for white people.”

So that’s what they do, disgusting.

Deny it then deceive others and the younger generation of their true past and history. Rewrite it to look like there is no blood on their hands.

I looked at her friends, Argentinians like her, who were lounging on the chairs on the deck, clad in their tiny bikinis, drinking pina coladas and smiling.

She followed my gaze and the turned to me.

Don’t be fooled by all those smiles, scratch the surface and you will see that all they want is for you to disappear”.

Jude Idada                                                                                                                                        Toronto.

– Jude Idada is a Nigerian screen writer, actor, poet, playwright and producer –

I, personally, will not be travelling to Argentina. Sure they may not force me into the army to die or ship me off to a province with a plague but the fact that they are still denying their problematic past and trying to erase any source of blackness proves to me that they are still hella anti-black.

They won’t even tell the truth about where the Tango came from. Nah, I’m good.

If they weren’t Racist then they’d admit what they did, be truthful about what happened and apologize sincerely because the generation living now isn’t the generation that did those horrible things so we could understand. But no, they sweep it under the rug and pretend it isn’t there.

I’m glad that I learnt this, yes for future purposes but also aside from that South African apartheid, European and North American slavery are the only black-people-in-bondage stories I know and the only ones being repeated in students ears. It’s nice to be educated on more than that.

Thank you for Reading & Godbless xx

AfroTRUE

 

#BRINGBACKOURBRONZES

On this episode of NIGERIA I’M DISAPPOINTED IN YOU:

Bringing home the Benin Bronzes: Nigeria open to loans rather than a permanent return

 – https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/20/bringing-home-benin-bronzes-nigeria-open-loans-rather-permanent
Three days ago I learnt, which resulted in anger and disgust, about the British offering to  loan the Benin Bronzes – antique Nigerian sculptures and statues made by the Edo people of Nigeria from the 13th century onwards – to Nigeria instead of returning it permanently.
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Mind you not just the British are in possession of our artifacts there are other European institutions as well.
They ended up in museums and galleries in Britain, including the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, as well as Germany, Austria and the US.
Anyone else pissed yet?
“Apparently curators from Europe and the US are negotiating an agreement to set up a permanent exhibition of the bronzes in Nigeria” – Al Jazeera
Negotiating? What’s there to negotiate?
You STOLE sculptors and Statues from Nigeria through Punitive Expedition, basically as a punishment (I wonder what for), and years later when there’s supposed to be ‘peace’ and Justice or whatever and we ask for our artifacts back you refuse because what? you aren’t done looking at it?! However it is ours so you offer to loan it to us for some time.
The delusion…
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How do you want to LOAN art that we RIGHTFULLY OWN? You dey craze?
You are CROOKS!
I’m appalled at the fact that they want to profit off oppression, they really want to make money off of something they stole…that doesn’t belong to them! I didn’t think crap like this could happen.
But it’s obvious that it can’t get any worse right?
Wrong.
As stated earlier, Nigeria is actually open to accepting these loans over it being returned permanently.
“Whatever terms we can agree to have them back so that we can relate to our experience, relate to these works that are at the essence of who we are, we would be open to such conversations,” Mr Obaseki told Reuters.
“In some cases it could be a permanent loan and in some cases it (could) just be for temporary display. In other cases it could be a return of works,” he said.
I’m upset. Sir, why are you ‘open to conversation’? You should be demanding what is ours be returned back. Open to conversion means you are willing to hear their side, willing to negotiate. Which you shouldn’t be, because honestly there is nothing they could say or should say that will make you agree to accepting a loan. That’s daft.
Paying to borrow your own things?
It’s a no from me.
Other countries, including Ethiopia and Greece, have rejected the idea of loans, instead demanding permanent returns on the basis that they should not have to borrow their own pilfered property.
Take notes Naija.
That’s all. I’m done with this topic.
On the other side, one thing I am proud of Nigeria for right now is how we are doing at the FIFA world cup, Shoutout to Ahmed Musa for his amazing scores during the game against Iceland. Can’t wait for our third match – I pray we THRASH Argentina and their Anti-blackness (hint – my next post).
Keep it up Super Eagles.
Thank you & God bless xx

THE COLOURISM CONVERSATION

Okay firstly, It’s AfroTRUE’s one year anniversary and I want to say thank you to the ladies that inspired me to write this blog, to the people that read it and support me – I’m super grateful. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

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This post is sending love (so therefore dedicated) to all the DARKSKIN BLACK GIRLS/WOMEN (YOUNG AND OLD) around the world.

If you are of a different race, gender or skin tone, you can read this too I won’t stop you…but if you have the mindset of “why darkskin (black) girls?”

Please, I insist, gently leave my page.

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To my darkskin girls/women, I give you props for making it through another day in a world full of colourism. I know it’s not easy.

Colourism is, according to the oxford dictionary, “prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group”

So I thought at first that Colourism began during slavery times but it didn’t, it actually started before then – it’s ancient. It was even found in ancient Egyptian arts.

The Ancient Roots of Colorism

I was thinking about ancient Egyptian art where men were often painted in a reddish-brown pigment while women were depicted with a lighter, more yellowish cast. According to Egyptologists, this convention was a marker for wealth and status because it demonstrated visible proof that the woman did not have to work outside, or even go outside–where the sun would naturally darken her skin–as men did. Which tells us that even in ancient Egypt, beauty standards were deeply tied into notions of wealth and power.

…wealth, status and power dictate, but structurally, underneath all the colorism, is the idea of “ownership” of women–women as property, as objects, where even their skin tone was a measure of male wealth, power and status.

http://www.vickyalvearshecter.com/2016/07/10/2481/

“This is could be the start of toxic beauty standards for women as women were encouraged to stay indoors. (Root of restriction of women and patriarchy??)”

“ancient colourism fueled by white supremacy is modern colourism”

– @armyxculture on Twitter

This is pre-colonization colourism, post-colonization colourism is more of what we experience now.

Pre-European Contact Colorism and Post-colonial Racism in Asia and North Africa

When Europeans started exporting their ideas of the white European master race to colonized lands, the toxic reaction between old lifestyle-based colorism and new Western racism produced a harmful new compound which associated European features with power, wealth and beauty.

Even without interacting with black people, some brown and yellow individuals have unthinkingly internalized European colonialist attitudes of a racial hierarchy with white at the top and black at the bottom.

http://www.colorq.org/articles/article.aspx?d=2002&x=colorism

“Colonization was the root of most racial colourism. Ruler countries were mostly white and ruled countries were coloured mainly. Ruler countries used to treat colonized countrymen inhumanely.

They manipulated people by favouring higher class, rich and lighter skinned people (toxic classism). So naturally people aspired to be lighter skinned just to eat, to get a job, to not get killed, to have a partner – literally to just survive. ”

– @armyxculture on Twitter

Then there’s slavery – cue 1712 Willie Lynch speech, a British slave owner in the West Indies who was invited to Virginia to teach his methods to other slave owners, delivered a speech of turning colour and shade against each other.

“Distrust is stronger than trust and envy stronger than adulation, respect or admiration” – Willie Lynch. Slave owners manipulated slaves by turning them against each other in order to control them.

You can research more on this topic (although I think you have an idea of where this is going) and also topics such as crossbreeding ni***rs, coon face and black face, blue vein test and the brown paper bag test.

Moving deeper into the topic I can personally relate with…Colourism directed towards Darkskin black women

Nowadays colourism is targeted towards mostly darkskin black women, darkskin women of other races may experience this too but they are usually seen as ‘exotic’ due to the fact that they  have wavy, curly (non-nappy) hair and maybe less flat/pointier noses. In other words, European features. Darkskin black girls are at the bottom of the barrel.

I mean black people are already at the bottom of the social ladder which results in other races shitting on us even though we did absolutely nothing to them…But then there’s an internalized racism we face, misogynoir combined with colourism.

Yes hate within our race. And of course everybody else that decided to join in the fun.

On a social level, we get called names such as “roaches”, “midnight”, “tarbaby” and those “if we switched off the lights” jokes. Black  & non-black men and women shun and dis us, black men because of their fetish of lightskinned and non-black women that they have been taught and raised to believe was the standard of beauty. Yes it’s true, you get black parents telling their black sons to not bring home “nappy headed, dark skin girls”.

Mathew Knowles: Beyonce’s dad calls out music industry’s ‘colourism

In his book, Knowles examines discrimination…including the fact even his mother disapproved of him having dark-skinned girlfriends.

“She never wanted me to bring home or date someone that was [with a] dark complexion,” he said.

http://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-42982195

Lighter skinned black (and non-black) women because they too have been told that they hold a superiority over us because they are more beautiful than we are. And we are jealous of their fair features.

It’s sad that this is a mindset that was raised in the black community. Then again we know where it came from.

And maybe we were jealous… We too had been taught such things. How do you teach a child to hate her skin tone? At a point in a dark skin girls life she’s tried to bleach or lighten her skin to measure up to those standards of beauty.

On a occupational level, dark skin women are least preferred. We know of policies such as affirmative action to increase the diversity in the workplace. So if a black woman was needed to fill a position, between a lighter or darker woman, the lighter will most likely be chosen. Maybe not based on ‘lighter means more beauty’ but her skin tone is closer to the ‘ideal’. She’s black and not too dark, perfect. A lighter skinned woman is easier to swallow than a darker skinned woman.

I mean look at the representation in the media: Beyonce, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj. They’re all black woman yes, but how dark are they exactly? Would they be were they were if they were darker? Let’s be real…Like I said lighter skinned black women are easier to accept.

Are there any dark skinned black women in the media? If so, how are they portrayed?

How about make-up brands? How far do their dark skin tones go?

Darker skinned blackwomen are easily labelled as mean and unapproachable. While a lighter skinned woman would have a less aggressive label.

Whenever issues like this are brought up in the black community they are quickly met with responds such as “stop trying to divide us – we are all black”, “it isn’t that big of a deal”  or “I don’t see it”. They downplay the struggles because they don’t experience but they do contribute to it.

Yet you have those same people saying “lemme get out of the sun, I don’t want to get dark”…but why? whats wrong with being dark? Unless you see it as something negative you wouldn’t want to avoid it, would you?

Teach our young girls to love their skin tone. Skin color affects the way you experience the world. We get made fun of from early childhood and that can cause not just a bad self-image / self-esteem but it could also put them in a terrible psychological track. Girls, learning to love your skin doesn’t happen in one moment it’s a daily journey. And if you have trouble doing so, find a confident darkskinned role model to look up to (for me it’s lupita nyong’o & there are some instagram pages that help too) and if you get there try to become one for other girls, cause colourism isn’t going to die overnight, I mean it lasted for centuries. We need the representation. Let’s not make ‘hating your skin colour’ a tradition for young dark black girls, it’s not something they have to come across in their lives. Lets end it here, teach her to see the beauty in her melanin-rich skin.

And if you tell her she’s beautiful don’t end it with “for a dark girl” because you are saying that dark girls aren’t usually beautiful and that’s because of their skin tone.

Thank you & God bless xx

 

Does #BlackLivesMatter only apply to African American lives?

#BlackLivesMatter is a movement I very much support. I’ve been behind it since I heard about it through every incident of violence, murder, police brutality and racial profiling. But it seems this hashtag only arises after an American incident. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with that, after all that is where it was born. But if I recall correctly it’s BLACK lives that matter and there are black lives outside North America.

There have been incidents where Black people of different nations have experienced a different type of injustice but no hashtag seems to arise.

For instance:

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Or the most recent:

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This situation has been going on for years and unfortunately I’m only hearing about this now. So the question on my mind is Does #BlackLivesMatter only apply to African Americans?

These refugees are black and most of them from Ghana, Nigeria, Cameroon, Zambia, Senegal, Gambia and Sudan – all African Countries. They are being forced into prostitution or sold as slaves or murdered or starved to death. But little to no awareness is being brought to this topic until recently. THIS IS CRUEL!

They do not deserve this, they need to be freed!! Their lives matter! THEIR BLACK LIVES MATTER! They are being dehumanized and sold as slaves!!! Mind you for as little as $400.

If an incident like this had happened to African Americans no doubt that the hashtag would’ve been trending a long time ago, so what’s the difference with this situation??

 

And  I am grateful for the #EndSlaveryinLibya, I just began to wonder why the well known hashtag that trends after black  lives are treated unfairly or killed didn’t suddenly set off after this one.

Dear Black Parents

I’m not here to bad mouth our parents, but rather to speak on an observation.

Every black kid remembers the conversations we’d have with the other non-black kids of how our parents scolded us, corrected us and spoke to us. We’d laugh at their reactions because of how unfamiliar it was to them, they didn’t know any of this, they didn’t experience any of this but we did, it was our reality.

Sometimes we’d laugh and compare our punishments and insults to see who got it worse out of all of us. Because we were younger we didn’t see any problem with it, because then parents were always right. Whatever it was our parents did was always for the best of us.

But the older we get the more we start to question and ponder on our parents behavior and how they spoke to us.  We realize that some of the things they said to us really impacted how we see ourselves and what we think of ourselves.

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We blame the outside forces for self-esteem issues meanwhile…

Yes, some of the time it’s discipline. But believe me we know the difference.

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Dear Black parents we aren’t being disrespectful when we reply back to you, we are just practising good communication. We are trying to help you understand what we mean and where we are coming from so you don’t assume the worst of us.

Dear Black Parents stop comparing us to our friends, it makes us think you aren’t satisfied with us as your children and that you prefer them instead.

Dear Black Parents there is a fine line between discipline and  abuse – physical, emotional and verbal.

For many years you’ve tried to teach us the implications of our words and actions, we are hoping you understand them too.

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Maybe you think apologizing is a sign of weakness or loss of strength or authority and respect or whatever it may be. But it isn’t. When you apologize it doesn’t mean you are inferior, infact apologizing may make you the bigger person. When you admit you are wrong you are owning up to your mistakes, teaching us it’s okay to do so.

An apology means “I see you were harmed by my action, and that matters to me”.

An apology first and foremost communicates a simple message that affirms your humanity and that of the injured party: “I see and I care”.

It yields to forgiveness & positive outcomes. But when you don’t and you think you can just move on assuming we’d forget or thinking it doesn’t matter, shows us how little you care if you’ve hurt us or not.

Dear Black Parents we love and admire you, you were our first teachers and role models, you were the first people we looked up too, we’ve learned and continue learning so much from you. But sometimes the way were are treated by you and the comments we receive from you makes us forget these things.

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Pro-ME doesn’t mean Anti-YOU

I’ll keep this one short.

As much as I love to babble, it annoys me when I have to explain something to people that they should already know & understand. (Now I know how some teachers feel.)

Alright, let’s get to it…

Just because I think my clothes are amazing doesn’t suddenly make yours awful.

Just because I think she’s pretty doesn’t make you ugly.

AND.

Just because DIDDY appreciates Black Women doesn’t mean he hates White Women.

On the 27th July 2017 this tweet was sent:

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If your immediate response to this is was “What about White Women?” like this person…

Diddy Tweet 2

…then I’m afraid you’re ‘Whitewomaning’

whitewomaning: (verb) a term used when a woman of Caucasian descent complains after discovering her white privilege key doesn’t open every lock in the universe.

-‘Diddy Showed Black Women Some Twitter Love and White Women Started Whitewomaning’, by Michael Harriot on The Grapevine.

http://thegrapevine.theroot.com/diddy-showed-black-women-some-twitter-love-and-white-wo-1797308228

Yep. Diddy gave a shoutout to Black Women and instead of progressing with the message of the tweet people rather decided to turn the attention to themselves or in this case another race. I guess they just couldn’t stand it.

They couldn’t stand that a very successful (Black) celebrity or anyone for that matter gave a shoutout to the most underappreciated, disrespected, underrated & under payed group in America and possibly the world. Because that’s rude and unfair….

Viola Davis fed up gif

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Do you hear how selfish you sound? He could’ve just tweeted to appreciate the women in his family or his girlfriend or whoever else he wanted to but no, y’all couldn’t allow that because the focus wasn’t on you for once.

You know what? I’m done.

Imma just leave this here…..

Diddy Tweet 3

 

Than you & God Bless xxx

Why you SHOULD see Colour

And by “Colour” I mean skin colour, race, ethnicity, the list can go on.

Please don’t tell me that you’re the person who sees everyone as equal and therefore don’t see colour. Because my first thought about you is that you’re “IGNORANT”.

I get that the ‘Race’ topic is a touchy issue. It’s very controversial and that’s why people refrain from giving their true opinion and commenting on it. (Because believe me when I say EVERYTHING YOU SAY CAN AND WILL BE USED AGAINST YOU). They’d rather just say that everyone is equal because it’s the most agreeable argument. But what it really sounds like is “Forget the history and oppression of each race and nationality, lets pretend it doesn’t exist and just say that we’re all equal because we’re all civilized now and no one is a slave anymore.”

Seriously?

Can you imagine a country with no struggle (A) comparing themselves to a country with years of colonialism and oppression in their history and are now transforming and finding new independence (B) saying that because they are both independent they’re the same and equal? And chances are that these countries’ ethnicities are different.

It’s like someone who was born into wealth and riches comparing themselves to someone who strived and worked hard for their success, claiming that they are equal.

“But what if by not seeing color, we detract from the struggle of other human beings who desperately need us to acknowledge theirs? To walk in their shoes? Could acknowledging variances in color, ethnicity and culture allow our eyes to become unveiled to a truth new to us if we are only brave enough? What if the truth isn’t about blame-shifting, but could be, instead, a way for us to simply and beautifully evolve? Conversely, what if we unwittingly reside in a society we’ve so attempted to homogenize in the name of oneness, for the sake of unity, that we’ve actually been feeding a slithering, subtle snake of a movement so divisive, so systemic, so institutionalized, that it is causing the complete opposite of what any of us intended?”

-‘I Don’t See Color’: Why You Should Start, Huffingtonpost 2016 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/hilary-holland-lorenzo/i-dont-see-color_b_8401552.html

Most people think that by simply seeing, stating and specifying race that they are widening the togetherness we have built and are building. That by simply saying ‘This person is white and this person is indian/hispanic/black/chinese/native american” means that they have created an even greater separation other than race, that “these two people can never get along because they’re too different”.

So by simply disregarding the colour of their skin they’ve magically removed the separation & segregation and there is no other reason to be different and disagree (this is usually were the ‘we are all human’ card is played). But have you ever thought that maybe it’s our DIFFERENCES that will allow us to get along?

There’s only a segregation if you take these differences and throw in unfair and unequal privileges, stereotypes, prejudices, slurs, discrimination, injustices, etc.

“I don’t see colour” is a lie. You see it, but you ignore it. I get that you want to treat everyone fairly but deleting their skin colour from your vision won’t do that.

Instead of “I don’t see colour” you should rather say “I see the nationalities & different races. I see the different cultures & different ethnicities.  I see the diversity. I acknowledge that certain races are still experiencing inequality and injustices…I know that if I was in that persons situation I wouldn’t have received the same harsh and unfair reality as they did because of the privileges my skin colour carries. We aren’t the same. We are different.  WE ARE DIFFERENT AND THAT’S OKAY. AND BECAUSE WE ARE DIFFERENT I WON’T TREAT YOU AS IF YOU ARE ANY LESS”.

Acknowledge them. Acknowledge that race’s struggle don’t just sweep it under a rug, AND MOST OF ALL DON’T TELL THEM WHEN IT’S TIME TO GET OVER THE “I’m oppressed” STAGE. Because, First of All, you don’t get to decide that especially if you haven’t experienced it, but that’s a topic for another day…

Acknowledge their past and help them as they grow out of it. Spread a love that will inform them that this generation is different to the past generations. And That…That is how you’ll get the togetherness and inclusiveness you are reaching for.

Thank you & God bless. xx

 

 

OUR HAIR, OUR CROWNING GLORY

‘A WOMAN’S HAIR IS HER CROWNING GLORY’ – 1 Corinthians 11: 15

A women’s hair is the reflection of her identity, there is a deep connection, it’s something deeply ingrained in our culture and society. Some might understand when I say that if your hair isn’t looking and acting right that alone can ruin your day.

So to my dear Beautiful Black Queens, to those who do, why do you relax your hair?

The history of relaxers and why they where made isn’t something to be proud of.

I’m not a fan of relaxers anymore. I am a now natural and have been Natural for almost 2 years. A Naturalista. I’m still very early but 2 years down, forever to go.

For those who don’t know, A Naturalista is “A Black female who takes pride in her Black hair (hair that is not permed or been chemically changed in anyway).
A naturalista is someone who wears their hair the way that it naturally grows out of their scalp.
This could mean they have curly, wavy or “kinky” hair.
Whichever “hair type” they may identify with, they love and accept themselves because they know and understand that they are beautiful in their anatomy.” (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Naturalista)

“Relax”. What a calm way to mask it, pure deception. The word choice is effective,  you think you’re actually putting your hair in the state of relaxation when realistically  that’s not the situation. To relax is to be less tense, less rigid, less firm yet what this “Relaxer” does to our hair is completely the opposite. If you ask me our hair was already relaxed before the “Relaxer” came along. It’s more like ‘forcefully straightening your hair with dangerous chemicals that aren’t good for it’s health to make it look westernized’. But yeah “Relaxing” is a shorter, more accurate version.

I’ve spoken to black girls about going, no RETURNING natural. And they proceed to tell me how they NEED relaxer, that their hair is too thick to comb through and too sensitive and so on.

what are you saying meme

‘During the 19th Century, slavery was abolished in much of the world, including the United States in 1865. However, many black people felt pressure to fit in with mainstream white society and adjusted their hair accordingly.
“Black people felt compelled to smoothen their hair and texture to fit in easier, and to move in society better and in camouflage almost,” says exhibition producer Aaryn Lynch.’

-“How does hair reflect Black History”. BBC News, 2015

(http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-merseyside-31438273)

It’s true. Black people used ‘relaxers’ to fit into the white society. No Black person had a problem with their hair, they didn’t complain that it was “too thick” or “a bush” or “too much to handle”or “too hard & tough to comb through” or that they “needed it to manage their hair”, basically regurgitating what they’ve been told or read. No, your hair isn’t too much to handle, that isn’t the case. But we’ve been using it for so long that we think our natural texture is too much trouble. We’ve made it seem relaxer is something we can’t live without.

I never knew that my hair was was kinky and coily until I returned natural, it amazed me cause I wasn’t familiar with hair like that (Mind you I’m surrounded by black people everyday. At home, at church and at school). I’ve heard other Naturalista’s comment on the fact that people see their hair and ask if it’s real and if they could touch it…IF IT’S REAL?

People  have classified black hair with relaxed hair so much that when they see the original black hair they wonder if it’s real.

But seriously since when is your natural God-given hair,  too much to handle? He doesn’t make any mistakes, the fact that you’ve been given such hair means you HAVE the ability to handle it, you HAVE the ability to take care of it. So why are you damaging it?

I mean Hair breakage, Hair thinning, Lack of Hair Growth, Scalp Irritation, Scalp Damage & Hair loss (and this is just some not all) are results of using relaxer. Don’t sing it’s praises just because it makes your hair straight. If you want straight hair so bad then please use a flat iron or blow-dry it. But watch out for heat damage.

“His name was Garrett Augustus Morgan, it was around 1910, while working in a sewing machine repair shop attempting to invent a new lubricating liquid for the machine needle, it is widely believed that Morgan wiped his hands on a wool cloth, returned the next day, found the woolly texture of the cloth had “smoothed out”, and set out to find how the liquid chemical had changed the texture as it had. He experimented on an Airedale dog, known for their curly textured hair, and the effect was successfully duplicated.”

Yes, you are putting chemicals that was used on machines & clothes on your hair. Would you wash your hair with detergent?

“Sodium Hydroxide is the strongest type of principal chemical used in some chemical relaxers because it provides the most long lasting and dramatic effects. However, this same sodium hydroxide is found in drain cleaners which well demonstrates the strength of this chemical.

The chemical (relaxer) penetrates the cortex or cortical layer and loosens the natural curl pattern. This inner layer of the hair shaft is not only what gives curly hair its shape but provides strength and elasticity. Once this process is performed it is irreversible. This process which produces the desired effect of “straighter” hair at the same time leaves hair weak and extremely susceptible to breaking and further damage. One must keep in mind that relaxers do not help the hair, but actually strip it. So by applying chemicals to the hair, even if it is to achieve a desired effect, is never really to the benefit of your hair health.

-“The truth about hair relaxers”. Hair Biology

(http://www.reverseskinaging.com/hairbiology7.html)

 

“In an attempt to assimilate into white society, black women in 19th century America found that the more European traits they had, the higher class they could be. The less apparent their African roots were — the more bleached and straightened their features were — the more refined (less savage) they could be considered.

It soon became popular culture to straighten kinky hair with greases, oils, straightening combs and hellish amounts of heat after a chemical hair relaxer was discovered and then marketed by an African American man named Garrett Augustus Morgan in the early 20th century (mentioned earlier). In this product’s beginnings, it was marketed toward both men and women, but because of gendered hair propriety, (women’s hairstyles typically being longer), and sexist/racist beauty standards – black women are generally considered beautiful the more fair and un-nappy they are.

The contemporary use of hair relaxer is marketed to and used predominantly by black women. In fact, the use of relaxer has become so ingrained into black culture that no longer is it really an option to relax one’s hair or not.

The process in the past few decades has become so prevalent that most black women have not considered its origins. Relaxer has been so normalized into American (and African) culture that many women no longer consider it a way to diminish their African roots in order to assimilate; they simply consider it the way to manage kinky hair. Some black women are in favor of relaxer because they say it simply makes hair more manageable.

Even if the original inventor of relaxer was a black man, the people who make big time bucks from relaxer and other black women’s hair care products are white men. This flip of power turns profiting into profiteering. It is exploitation when those who are in power to perpetuate white standards of beauty are also the ones who become rich off the backs of black insecurity (and hence, eternal attempts at assimilation via products like hair relaxer).”

-“The oppressive roots of hair relaxer”. The CommonWealth Times, 2011

(http://www.commonwealthtimes.org/2011/02/14/the-oppressive-roots-of-hair-relaxer/)

Remembering the stages of my life when I adored relaxer really bothers me. I know the only reason I liked it was because it straightened my hair. A trick I fell into thinking that straight hair was the ‘right’ hair. I adored it because my hair looked like the types I’d see on TV. So I thought it was good for me. But what chemical that burns your scalp after applying is good for you? That’s because it isn’t, it didn’t serve a good function in my life and it definitely doesn’t serve a good function in yours.

So I encourage you to big chop or transition and return to your natural hair. Your hair  shouldn’t be damaged and rigid but rather healthy and full of life.

Your hair is your crowning glory wear it with pride, elegance, power & magnificence.

Image result for natural hair gif Image result for natural hair gifRelated image  Image result for natural hair shrinkage gif

Do you want remedies to stop hair loss and grow it the natural way? Click Here

Coconut oil has more than just hair benefits also cooking & skin & general health. To learn more click here

And if you have any questions on natural hair or tips feel free to ask.

Thank you & God Bless x

Can Black People Culturally Appropriate Too?

*Please bare in mind that I am not accusing ALL African Americans of doing this. And  it isn’t ONLY African Americans either*

This is a question I’ve been asking myself lately. I’ve seen many African Americans proudly wear ‘African attire’ to celebrate their ‘roots’.  And I have no problem with that, in fact I stand for that. Just remember AFRICA IS A CONTINENT NOT A COUNTRY, it has 54 COUNTRIES. And in these countries there’s more than one language spoken. There is an estimated 1500-2000 languages spoken in Africa. And Nigeria alone has 520. Imagine how many cultures there are too…

In Nigeria the three main are Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba, these cultures represent 71% of the population. In South Africa there are many cultures too, Zulu & Xhosa accounting for nearly 40% of the population and Pedi, Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Swati/Swazi, Venda and Ndebele speakers making up the rest.

The point I’m trying to make is that even in 1 COUNTRY there are many cultures. Africa doesn’t SHARE a culture. Africa, THE CONTINENT, doesn’t share a culture. And the cultures aren’t interchangeable! So before you declare that the African print clothing you are wearing is of ‘Tribal African Attire’ please let us know from what country and from which culture. And if  you aren’t sure, Google is accessible.

For those who don’t know Cultural appropriation is the adoption or use of the elements of one culture by members of another culture for aesthetics, without knowing the meaning behind it.  Usually done by Caucasians. Usually. But not always.

The author of Who Owns Culture? Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law, defined cultural appropriation as follows:

“Taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission. This can include unauthorized use of another culture’s dance, dress, music, language, folklore, cuisine, traditional medicine, religious symbols, etc.

It’s most likely to be harmful when the source community is a minority group that has been oppressed or exploited in other ways or when the object of appropriation is particularly sensitive, e.g. sacred objects.”

And maybe reading this description you may not understand why culture is cherished so much & why it’s so important to others.

The Cambridge English Dictionary states that culture is “the way of life, especially the general customs and beliefs, of a particular group of people at a particular time.”

It is a way of life. The way people live, customs & beliefs. That isn’t something to take lightly. Wearing an item of Traditional Clothing from another culture that isn’t yours just because it is visually appealing is ignorant, in almost a way you are saying “I don’t care what this means, I don’t care where it comes from or whatever significance it holds. I like it because it’s super trendy,  pretty and it matches my shoes”….

Let me put it this way, everyone knows each country has a flag, with colours and patterns that relate to the country’s history and hold a special significance to that country. Would you proudly fly a flag of a country you aren’t from, never been to, or know nothing about?

Whatever pretty colours it has is great and all but can you tell me what they mean?  It’d be better you did research and learnt about it, had knowledge about it, then you’d have a reason to celebrate that flag because you’ve been educated and know what it stands for and you understand the importance of it. Learning  about it with respect and courtesy not just liking it because of what you gain from it. Now do that for that item you’re wearing. Then that would be called Cultural Appreciation.

Yeah, it’s rare.

I do understand the argument that African-Americans want to celebrate their African rots but have no knowledge of where they come from – although Atlantic slave trade was from West and Central Africa so there’s a clue – so they wear any tribal African clothing to feel connected.

It’s understandable if you don’t know because you can’t trace it but don’t be ignorant.

Did you know the Dashiki, the ‘trendy african wear’,  originated from West Africa (Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and more)? The dashiki originated in various West African countries bearing different cultural necessities. The name dashiki is derived from the Hausa word ʼdan ciki, which means shirt. But how  many people can tell you that? How many people WEARING IT can tell you that?

Yet they’re being “bizarre, innovative and edgy”, DON’T ROB THE MINORITY GROUP OF THE CREDIT THEY DESERVE.

If you’re a participant of cultural appropriation I encourage you to please put an end to it, ACQUIRE BEFORE YOU ATTIRE! Learn about it first, don’t just follow the trend.

*Please bare in mind that I am not accusing ALL African Americans of doing this. And  it isn’t ONLY African Americans either*

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Thank you & God Bless x

Introducing AfroTRUE

SALUTATIONS TO ALL!

I’m AfroTRUE (name inspired by my shampoo brand).

This is my first time ever attempting to start a blog so please excuse my rookieness.

The idea to start this blog came from reading Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Ifemelu, the main character, was a blogger and she wrote about her experiences of being a Black Non-American woman living in America. And I identify with this, except I don’t live in America. I am a Nigerian too but I live in South Africa.

The inspiration of this blog was from my English teachers, after discussing how great the book is (and it really is, it’s a wonderful book read it when you can) I mentioned to the first how Ifemelu made me want to start my own blog and in that moment she jumped and immediately told me I should and that she could definitely imagine me doing it then recommended WordPress. The second had also mentioned how happy and proud she was and immediately started to show me ways to use it and share for more exposure, to get this blog out there. So here I am typing the words you are currently reading.

With this blog I intend to express my thoughts and opinions on anything and everything from cultures, school, trends, natural hair, people and more, but all in the perspective of a Young Black Nigerian Teenage Girl. I want to be like Ifemelu and talk about my life experiences living in a country that is different to where I come from. And maybe not just that, as AfroTRUE I plan to create a persona that is true to myself and that others can relate with too.

This blog WILL express who I am. And if you don’t like me or what I write please keep it to yourself. No form of HATE OR RUDENESS is allowed.

Thank you & God Bless x