Some months ago, Uche asked me if I’ve ever been a slave; if I’ve ever been manacled and dragged to a land I know nothing about; if I’ve ever towed a field without the expectation of some financial benefits. If… Shit!
Here is the answer, Empress, I don’t know what it feels like to be in chains, I’ve never been forced to travel and I’ve never been forced to work for free, but have I ever been a slave? No! I AM A slave; just a new one. A slave is what I have always been. That’s why I’m not proud of being black.
The greatest pain is not that my great-grand father came from the bottom of mankind. It’s not the fact that my grand-dad also came from there or that my father was born from there. My greatest pain is that I’m from the bottom of mankind. If being at the bottom of the class is your greatest dream; it’s not mine; it’s never been; but in the class of race; I was born there, I grew up there and I am still there. I hate the fact that after years of slavery, colonialism and celebration of independence in different African nations, no African nation can honestly boast of independence. That’s why I hate being black.
Everyone who knows me knows I don’t give much damn about my physical looks. I’m short! I’m what some people call chocolate; not dark and not fair; whoever coined that word. I don’t go about measuring my dick but no girl has ever call it small and I’m sure none would coz it ain’t. I’m really not sure I know about my nose but my feet are pretty short and firm. I’m as black as black could be. And I’m proud of that; I’m just not proud of what the skin; black connotes. I hate the fact that the country with the highest economy in Africa depends mostly on fuel for her survival. It happens to be my country. And fuel happens to be costly here. I hate that! I hate being black.
I live in a country where its every young person’s dream to get a degree in America, Asia or Europe. Guess why? Those are the places the best formal education could be obtained. You have a better chance of learning about African Literature in an average American University than in the best of African university. That’s how horrible it is. And you want me to be proud of that? Fuck it! I’m not!
I grew up reading Chinua Achebe, Buchi Emecheta and Wole Soyinka. In the university, I wasn’t only introduced to Black American and African literature, I was also introduced to rap; thank God for Stizzy. I went from being a Lil Wayne fan to loving Drake’s lines to getting matured enough to love the classy Jay Z, the egomaniacs but free spirited Kanye West, the rhyme-master and dangerous spitter called Eminem, the bitter Immortal Technique, the sad but cool J Cole and the intellectual Kendrick Lamar. Currently, it’s the genius; Tupac. In other words, I grew up from thinking that Nigeria was fucked up to understanding that the black race is fucked up. We are so fucked up that Eminem took over an art that was the pride of black youths’ culture. You can’t expect me to be proud of a race that lost out even in its own race. The fact that it’s my race is just a coincidence.
Studying African literature in school, I learnt a great deal about how Europe robbed us and fucked us all over. But if there’s anything I’ve learnt this year, it’s the fact that Europe never robbed us as much as we robbed ourselves. The truth is, the rest of the world has never and could never rob us as much as we have robbed ourselves, now rob ourselves and keep robbing ourselves. When you blame a cun man who you let into your house and swindle you of your money for stealing from you, he would apologise to you and come back later to steal your house. Next time, he would come for your life. Guess who the smart swindler is and who the dumb man is. I’m not proud of being dumb. I’m not proud of being black!
Call me a hypocrite. Call me any shit you want to call me, but you can’t deny the truth I say. We would want to shout down every wall whenever a white cops shoots down a black dude. But Americans are not responsible for the Boko-Haram attacks in Nigeria. They are not responsible for the massacres that go on in different African nations at intervals. They don’t force black Americans to kill each other in street brawls. The fact that we keep crying and begging for the help of other races is a proof of our inferiority complex. And I hate feeling inferior. Why the hell won’t I hate being black?! Tell me!
I feel bad each time I think about my kids. I wouldn’t want my son to have that feel an average black person gets while standing beside a white, yellow, purple or whatever colour we call people of other races. I want him to get that feel that he’s not in China because that’s the only place of his salvation. I don’t want him to suck up to American lecturers coz he feels he’s lucky to be studying in America. I want him to travel the world taking everybody he meets as a fellow human not a superior figure. I don’t even want him to study in America. I want our schools to be as great if not better than whatever America could offer. Ain’t that a dream for the moon? Can you now see why I hate being black? Coz we doubt ourselves even far more than other races doubt us.
I feel like a pussy. I’ve been fucked a million times; don’t call me a whore if you’re black. Coz you’re a bitch. All a black man knows is how to cry; however we learnt it. If we could go from having Egypt; a one time world power, to being slaves, to being freedom fighters, to getting a seat in the white house, what the fuck can’t we do? So, why the hell do we still bend over to be banged? Are we not tired of being raped all over? Must we keep letting the emotional and physical wounds trouble us when we could stand up, appreciate what we are left with and build ourselves from it.
I am not proud of being black and I can never be till every black person on earth stops whimpering about how unfair the rest of the world is to us. I can never be proud of my race until we come to the realisation that we are our greatest problem.
Until then, I’m only proud of my skin; not being black coz the word ‘BLACK’ in my dictionary connotes and denotes everything I can never be proud of being.
Are you proud of being black?