Let’s talk about African Stereotypes 

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Depending on who you are, Here we go again,  is probably the first thing you intentionally or unintentionally thought seeing the above title. Maybe the title was just an attention grabber because you are either vehemently offended by it, curious as to what this blogger has to blog or you are so supportive of it, you are excited. Whatever it is, you are here just in time for a much needed conversation.

Yes, honey, we are talking about that much discounted continent. You know, the one where we all originated from despite race, the one we can’t miss on the world map but see as invisible to the real world? Yeah, that one.

In the middle of two major continents, this well shaped map has a name I’ve come to think through.

Well, When a person is constantly around groups of people who categorize a continent so big it can fit three other continents in it as a nonentity, some changes occur. When this said continent’s various culture is misconstrued as a country because people don’t think it important enough to be at least knowledgeable about it, some frown lines begin to form on a well moisturized face.

When a continent rich in resources while encompassing fifty-four different countries and numberless cultures is disqualified amongst the world, it is disheartening. With over 2000 languages, it is heartbreaking to see 11.67 million square miles categorized so lowly as if it is invisible.
In my Italian class last semester, we were talking about continents and translating them from English to the Italian language. My teacher mentioned and showed the flag of every single country in the continents, North America and Europe, and even some in Asia and South America. Of course, Australia was mentioned, but when it was time to show the flag of our so beloved other left out continent, this was what lit up the classroom screen.

I understand that it might be hard to mention fifty-four countries in a single powerpoint but after already mentioning countries from different continents then mentioning a continent and comparing it to a country, it’s quite heartbreaking.

We should learn to educate our youth and sadly, even some adults, in our society. Imagine an adult or a supposedly learned person asking someone if they speak “african?” No one is ever asked if they speak ‘european‘ so what makes you think a whole continent, that’s, according to buzzfeed, bigger than China, India, Europe, and the USA combined together,  would speak ‘a language’.

I was interviewed a few weeks ago and asked to mention authors I liked. I made mention of Sylvia Day (Not my favorite author anymore, by the way) and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. After the Interview, I had the privilege of checking through what my interviewer had recorded and you’ll probably never guess what.
After the name, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, An african author was bracketed as if there was a need for that. Why wasn’t Sylvia Day bracketed, as maybe, ‘an Irish author’ (I don’t know if she’s really Irish). The point is, the fact that a distinction had to be made is quite unsettling and that brings me to another point. If Sylvia Day were to be Irish, Ireland is a country and we’d say, Irish not ‘an european author’. See the change there?
Maybe I wouldn’t have been as mad I was if ‘a Nigerian author’ was bracketed but what’s the need for the distinction anyway?
When the word ‘Africa’ is mentioned I bet an image of a poor naked young black boy comes to mind. It’s quite embarrassing the image that people draw up in thoughts of Africa. Safaris, naked young boy, really? Isn’t it crazy how an Africa filled with entrepreneurs and people beautifully eloquent in their culture never sweeps through our minds?

In my classroom last semester, the same Italian class, the teacher mentioned donating money, and that a dollar can feed a child. As God is my witness, the woman (my teacher) never mentioned

Africa but a fellow student said, “Donate money for Africa” That pierced my soul.
In the reality show, Cutting It In The ATL, an African-American woman named Dedra Allen, called an African Immigrant who lives in America, “Fucking African“. Head tilt, please?
Where are your roots from?
Pretending to end this on a good note, let’s say hi to Raven Symone, an actress who’s made some controversial comments in regard to our subjected continent. This is quite obviously not a race bash thing, it’s about EVERYONE taking a minute to stop using the word Africa negatively and educating ourselves with valuable knowledge that’ll help unify the world even closer.

Don’t forget to live a comment below on your opinion of this. Thank you, and as always, have a good day!

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3 Comments

  1. My goodness!! Am I glad I bumped into you!!! 🙂 Thank you for following my blog Gentleorchid, but I’m even more happier that I decided to have a look at yours and this is the first blog post I found! The reality in this post is sooo horrifyingly accurate that parts of this post I found myself nodding my head and going “yup, yes, yes”…. Originally from South Africa, I experienced by encounters with people who thought that Africa is a country, or a European telling me that they have a friend in Ghana, and wondering if I know them! Imagine! The misconception about this continent, and the way in which it is so horribly misunderstood is REALLY saddening. However, what also irks me out is the LACK of people from OUTSIDE Africa, wanting to be more knowledgeable about this continent. It’s almost like its the forgotten continent, and in some ways, some of the things that happen on our beloved continent and what Europeans, Americans, Austalians think of this continent takes me back to Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” novel.

    Lovely post!!! (By the way, i LOVE Ngozi Adichie too!!!) 🙂

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