While walking around New York over the weekend I came to the realization that I am longing for something to help me better understand my history. I am in all honesty an African American woman that has no solid tie to an African heritage. Although I wear things to insist that I know about the mother-land and often boast about being Nigerian I am not an authentic African. I hate the fact that I do not know my own heritage and others do not see this as a big deal. People tell me all of the time that they are thankful for slavery because it saved the chosen few from a life of hardship in such a poor country. Well, Africa is a continent and I am very sure that it wasn’t so poor before “others” tried to take over.
While traveling in Mexico one of my co-workers asked me where I plan on going for my first vacation and I told him Lagos, Nigeria. He then asked me what the hell would I want to go to that place for and I told him in order to better understand my roots. He said that I wasn’t missing out on anything and it was dangerous over there. He mentioned that he was pure Dutch and didn’t give a damn about visiting his peoples homeland because he was born in America so he is American.
I REALLY get upset deep down inside when I hear other people say that they are “pure Dutch,” Italian or even Spanish. I have no clue what the hell I am and it is unfair. Why is it that they are able to know THEIR family roots and can go visit THEIR family there and learn about THEIR culture but I can not. I honestly am so disturbed by this lack of knowing that I’ve realized this is the reason why I mainly date African men. I hope to have that connection with Africa and African culture so that when I bring children into this world they will know more about THEIR history other than their skin tone, collored greens, and slavery.
It’s a mental blockage that hinders a lot of my growth and to be honest when I talk about it in public I am told by black people that I am better off being American and Africans don’t claim us anyway. People mention the fact that natural born Africans would almost kill to trade places with me but I think they are only speaking of opportunities within America and not the ability to escape their heritage. I know that I am fortunate to be born in the land of the free but how free am I when I have no clue who I really am.
I can compare not knowing my true heritage to being adopted. Wouldn’t you like to know who your REAL parents are and figure out what makes them special so you can in turn figure out what makes you special. That is how I feel when I think about African culture. I’ve been told by so many that I look Nigerian and at the age of 30 I adopted a Nigerian name which is “Jesutise Lolade” in hopes of gaining a better understanding of my possible heritage. Yet, I’ve been called a pretender and that real Africans would be utterly offended if they knew that I was “false-flagging.”
What can I REALLY gain from knowing the truth about my ancestry other than a little more confidence and certainty. It is a shame that people are so brain washed by the temptation to blend in with this American fantasy of the melting pot that they are willing to forget where their people came from in order for them to get somewhere. I have no-room to forget because the furthest my history goes is on a plantation in Arkansas owned by a Scottish family where my Great grandmother (x5) in 1833 was born fatherless to a mulatto woman named Ruth.
I want the truth and I can not help that this subject brings me to tears whenever I think about it. I have NO PRIDE in saying that I am a black girl from the west side of Chicago. In my mind that makes me fell like less of a person because nothing originated from the place that I speak of. There is nothing culturaly enriching about it other than the increasing crime rate but some of my friends can go to Nigeria, Mexico and even Canada to celebrate their heritage. I feel like less of a person and I can not help that I am STILL NOT OVER SLAVERY!