Pulse Opinion: African-Americans should stop being ignorant about Africans

African-Americans should stop being ignorant about Africans

African-Americans are blatantly ignorant about Africans and share stereotypes about them too.

'Dear White People' is a Netflix series that sheds light on the contemporary relations between African-Americans and white people.

Now in its second season, and despite it being a hit series, I do not take the show seriously. For me, the series highlights the problematic perception of Africans by African-Americans.

The African character in the series is nothing more than a one-dimensional and stereotypical portrayal of what an average African-American thinks an African looks and sounds like.

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The show has satirical elements, but I don't think our black brother in America will be too happy if a white-dominated series portrays an African-American male as an ignorant, drug-dealing thug.

I stopped watching the show after it became obvious that the producers weren't woke to portray an African honestly. Other Nigerians who have watched 'DWP' have a problem with this also.

2018 has been major for the African continent. Black Panther made the whole world do the Wakanda sign, and the Super Eagles jersey was the talk of the town during the World Cup.

 

Focusing more on the Marvel produced smash hit, African-Americans were proud to showcase their historical roots by dressing up in African attires to watch Black Panther at the cinema.

The celebration of black excellence, especially within the African context, is dope but if you thought it would last for a lifetime, you are wrong.

The perception of Africans by African-Americans is almost as problematic (if not the same) as white people have. In April 2018, (just two months after Black Panther), U.S rapper J. Cole performed in Nigeria.

 

The concert would be an eye-opener for the Roc Nation superstar who was pleasantly surprised to find out that rap fans knew the lyrics to his songs off his latest album. Clips of the Nigerian concert goers going HAM when J. Cole performed his latest songs went viral.

On Instagram, it quickly turned into a disgusting sight as African-Americans posted stereotypical and ignorant comments under the pose. Some of them were shocked to discover that Nigerians had wi-fi. If you think that was absurd, get a load of this, one of the trolls was surprised to know Nigerians had iPhones. The comment section was a display of ignorance.

 

This ignorance is just a reflection of how African-Americans perceive Africans. They think we still live in the jungle age when Tarzan swung from tree to tree.

Time and time again, African-Americans (not all of them) show how ignorant they can be. And what makes their perception of us more painful is that we share a common ancestry.

Don't let the Wakanda trend fool you, African-Americans only remember their African roots once every generation. The African vibe was strong among African Americans in the 70s, the 90s during the Malcolm X renaissance and now during this Black Panther era.

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"A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots" once said, Marcus Garvey, who was the champion of the Back to Africa Movement.

That saying of his was what inspired the title of the 1976 book by Alex Haley, Roots, which gave birth to the ground breaking slavery series in 1977, Roots.

 

Black consciousness was at its peak then. In 1977, hundreds of African-Americans in the arts would travel to Nigeria for a month to take part in the Second World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture.

That was the true woke era when African-Americans knew that they had to reconnect with Africa to unleash their potential. These days, even the so-called 'woke people' are ignorant of Africaness. In their chase for Afrofuturism, they forget to include the motherland. There is no future when you do not acknowledge the past.

It goes beyond screaming Wakanda! whenever Black Panther is on the big screen. It is beyond having an Afrobeats playlist. It is about understanding that Africans are nothing like what its media portrays it to be.

For a group of people who have been fighting for equality and equity, it's a shame that they are guilty of ignorance and perpetuating stereotypes.

Source: Pluse ng

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