If you were to guess the city in the photo above, what would your guess be? A city in U.S? Or Canada? Or Europe? How many would guess that that is a photo of a city in Africa?
Maybe because this is the picture of Africa that many have in mind. This is the picture that international media houses insist on perpetuating about Africa. But that's not the reality. The reality is that places like this exist in all continents. Thanks to the dog-eat-dog economy, there are people living below the poverty line all over the world. It is thus not fair to paint Africa as the poor continent while the truth is that, in terms of raw materials and natural resources, Africa is actually by far the richest continent. So rich in fact, that white people fought over who should plunder which part of the continent in what is now known as the Struggle for and Partition of Africa. As if that isn't enough, they still insist of injecting themselves into our culture(Gods of Egypt, anyone?)
And who could forget how our leaders have been assassinated over the years so as to pave way for foreign interests? Read about how President Eisenhower ordered the CIA to murder Patrice Lumumba here. You can also find it here, amongst other sources. How about the murder of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi? His doomsday may have begun earlier, but calling for a United States of Africa was the last straw(God forbid Africa unites and stands by herself??). How about the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S and how Beyonce pissed off white people with her Formation?
Couldn't have said it better Arthur Chu, couldn't have said it better. White people changing Black Lives Matter to All Lives Matter is like a fully seated hall where everyone has a plate of food except the black guy; but when the black guy says he needs food, they all go, "We all need food!" then they go on eating while the black guy still remains without food.
White privilege is knowing that when a bomber turns out to be white, your whole race won't be labelled as terrorists. White privilege is knowing that when a shooter turns out to be white, your whole race won't be labelled as thugs. White privilege is knowing that you're less likely to suffer from police brutality. White privilege is knowing that when your soldiers attack and bomb other people's lands, killing millions and displacing millions others, your whole army won't be labelled as militia/rebels. White privilege is knowing that when you get in to an Ivy League school, people won't assume it's because of your race. White privilege is knowing that when Trump wins, you won't be deported (and while we're on that note, can we talk about how EVERYONE in U.S is an immigrant except the Native Americans?? Can we also talk about how Mexicans didn't cross the border, the border crossed them?) White privilege is getting pissed off because Science says that Superman should be black.
These are all things that are happening in the world today, leading me to write this article. This article is me acknowledging several things, including:
1. Every shade of black is beautiful. Team #lightskin and team #darkskin competing about who is beautiful is just nonsense. Black people are not beautiful in spite of their blackness, black people are beautiful because of their blackness. I do not need to bleach myself to be beautiful, I am already beautiful. Black people everywhere need to understand that. Self appreciation is key.
2. Africa is the cradle of life. European and American museums are full of items they took from us and we want those back. They belong in our museums. Their being not in our museums where they belong is great, great injustice.
3. Most of what we learn at school is limited to how we should be thankful to white people. Not much of other people is mentioned(except when it comes to slavery and terrorism). The world's first civilizations were all black. Black civilizations were not limited to Africa. In fact, the Minoans of ancient Greece, the Indus Kush civilization, ancient Mexico, the Shang dynasty of ancient China and ancient Mesopotamia were all black civilizations(see here). Even native Americans were copper-skinned. The first Europeans were black, a fact that is conveniently not mentioned in school books when learning about how Europeans invented stuff. Read about genetics and the gene that gave rise to white people here. The invention of language and religion and transport systems and medicine and other things you expect to find in a civilization were all invented by the first civilizations(black) and other civilizations throughout time. In fact, Pythagorus credits his Pythagorus theorem to the Egyptians(Bantus and Nilotes originated in Egypt). Speech, writing, medicine, architecture, maths, mining of minerals, iron smelting, religion, law, international trade, philosophy and art are all attributed to Africans(also here). If black people knew all these things, I bet they wouldn't be feeling as worthless as most feel now. Know thyself - Niggalations 1:1 (borrowed). And while we are on that note, can we also talk about how white people are bleaching evidence of ancient civilization, all in an effort to 'whiten' them? Also, Kim Kardashian DID NOT invent boxer braids, boxer braids are a black trade mark(you can borrow but we don't appreciate stealing) and those knots on Blac Chyna's head are not Bjorf knots, they are Bantu knots(take note, People Magazine; you could've at least asked Blac Chyna to tell you what they were).
4. It therefore goes without saying that these(above photos) were the Gods of Egypt(take note, Hollywood). Cleopatra=black. Atlanta based photographer James C. Lewis in his series African Kings gives a representation of the power and beauty in nostalgic transcending journey. Tired of biased representations from mainstream media, Lewis’ main motivation for this series was a truth telling mission of our history significant in this era of modern colonialism. The series is available for viewing here.
5. Black incarceration is a corporation linked to slavery.
6. African hair is naturally kinky. Discrimination based on hair texture is rampant in the workforce where bosses term natural hair as unkempt hair. Women shouldn't have to treat their hair with chemicals and/or heat so as to straighten it so as to not be 'unkempt'. Telling a woman to do that is as crazy as a man blaming his wife for giving birth to only girls. The policy here is no African hair, no opinion on what should happen to African hair.
I have scoured the internet and it seems like every time someone points out that Cleopatra was black or that a black man invented dry cleaning or that a black man invented video games or any of the facts presented here, white people the world over ask why it matters. I'll tell you why it matters: if I were a painter and I painted my masterpiece then someone steals it and masquerades it as theirs, I'd be enraged. I put my blood and sweat into that painting and then someone not only takes it, but also uses it to try to obliterate me from history and oppress my very existence!? That's why it matters. It matters to the native Americans that their land was taken away from them, it matters to people of Arabic origin that they are labelled as terrorists, it matters to Mexicans that they're the face of illegal immigrants while it is the border that crossed them and it definitely matters as hell that black culture is being misappropriated and its masters are being oppressed. And if you do not see that, then you are part of the problem.