The response from some Africans were disappointing to many black Americans, however not completely surprising. Africans and Black Americans embody a genetic link and tie to Africa that should unify them both historically and psychologically, yet the need to identify with and assimilate into western society seems to be more rewarding for the current generation of Africans. Stating, “We are “normal” people who wear jeans and own iPhones.” “I’m tired of the way African countries are often portrayed in American screens.” “There is this constant joke that Africans wake up and see animals running around.”
The experience of slavery and colonialism has continued to have a negative impact on the self-identity of people of African descent which suggests a social economic inferiority in relation to the dominate western culture. I believe this has increased the need for Africans to be recognized as separate from Black Americans whose self-identity is strongly tied to American slavery and systematic racism. By showcasing and identifying with a more westernized image they reject their “blackness” and their connection to African Americans through their shared ancestry and history, projecting internalized racism created from years of colonialism and centuries of slavery. Africans do this in hopes of escaping the struggles, oppression and suffering that racism has caused for many black Americans.
This event has opened a conversation that must be had. Most Africans have no idea of the way in which they interacted with other tribes on the African continent pre colonialism. Many Africans have a strong sense of division from other tribes in Africa. Yet, its people were once called a people with no history because it was not written before colonialism. Their very nature, regarding how they interact with others in the Diaspora may not even be authentic to the nature in which their ancestors interacted with one another because of what was destroy through colonial rule. When one is moved from a position of thriving to one where they are competing with their neighboring tribe for resource, believe me, the dynamic changes, and the road leads to a state of survival. Conflict is without a doubt the byproduct of scarcity and lack, which is better known as poverty.