From a very young age, I’ve been made to always be conscious of my skin colour, and this has not only been bad for my self esteem, it has also been a major consideration for decision making. I remember back in high school, when my older brother, who is light skinned, came to visit. A fellow classmate saw him and asked if he was actually my brother. And to reiterate his point, he went on to touch a water tank, that was dirty, and then put a stain on his white shirt and said my skin colour was the reason for the stain. “Blackie”
Much as we laughed about it, I can’t really tell how hurt I was then. I know I lot of people will say “you should move on from all that emotional crap, you’re a man now, those things shouldn’t affect you.” And that’s the point. We pretend that there’s a problem in the society and that it affects the whole lot of us. We try to protect ourselves and our egos by saying “oh, it really is nothing” when it is. My simple question is “if I’m made to be so conscious of my skin colour among dark-skinned people, what happens when I travel out? Say to America or Europe? ”
Someone says “please, we have much bigger issues to deal with than race” and some other one says “race is for white people, we Africans don’t have time for that” well, truth be told, we’re much worse when it comes to dealing with people who do not speak the same language as ours, whose skin tone is brighter or darker than ours, etc. To solve the bigger problems we’ve got to start with smaller ones.
At work, a colleague calls me “black monkey” saying, that is what “the whites” will call me if I ever traveled abroad. Much as I used to find it amusing, I can no longer pretend that I’m getting hurt, just hearing it everyday.
Please I do not want any self-righteous folks coming here to say this and that in defense to this, or to show me pity. I do not need that, I do not need to be pitied, not me, not the hundreds of people out there (black or white) who are made to think that somehow, their skin color is their limitation. We don’t need that. And I cannot state vividly what we need, but I can say that society needs to move on, to look beyond skin colour, and give all an equal opportunity for maximum living.
#Class #Race #African #BlacknWhite