What to talk to my daughter about George Floyd taught me about my race rights as an African

Avoiding a beat in my heart. My daughter is nine years old, and I expect to protect her from the brutality of the video.

“I wanted to protect you,” I replied, completely disappointed by the conversation.

“But Mom, you have to tell me these things. I have to be prepared to deal with it because I’m black.”

My little girl is already preparing herself for the hatred of others because of her own skin color.

“Is that why we moved to Nigeria?” He asked.

I took a deep breath and tried to answer his question as best I could

I understood that moving to Nigeria was partly because I wanted him to grow up in a world without racism and petty aggression, and the mental fatigue that would come with them, just as I had when I was his age.

A world where his powers will not be pre-determined by his race.

A world where he will be part of the majority, not the minority.

A world where he would be perfectly acceptable and only included – without the need to explain where he came from or to justify his existence.

Freedom from racism

I was born in Nigeria in the late 1970s and lived there until my family moved to London when I was 12; I wanted to get rid of his racism to remember that day.

But times have changed. We now live in an interconnected world. And here my beautiful black daughter was telling me that I could no longer protect her from racism than to stop her from breathing.

CNN journalist Stephanie Busari and her daughter immigrated to Nigeria from London four years ago.

My daughter was born in the UK. She was five years old when we moved to Lagos and was already aware of her race in a way that was not my age.

I remember when I was nine years old, in the 1960’s, living in a majority-black country.

The conversations were completely different then.

I had no idea about skin color until we moved to London in 1989.

More infamous forms of racism, starting with “African Bubu”. I once gave a kick in the face. On another occasion, a white school friend told me that one of his classmates asked him why he was hanging out with “dirty African”.

I was born into a well-to-do middle-class Nigerian family and grew up with all the privileges I brought.

In London, however, it soon became clear to me that our situation had changed – I was now an outsider, an “other” whose daily interactions were marked by his race.

From college counselors who told me that there aren’t many black journalists, so I should consider one more career path to follow when I attend store attendants while shopping in south London.

The one who was cutting really deep – and it’s still painful, when I remember it – was the moment when I was walking my daughter, three years old, home from the nursery and a white woman coming down our street and holding her bag tightly in response.

Even with my young daughter beside me this woman thought I would snatch her.

There was no respite from it.

Daily micro aggression

Minor aggression has been described as thousands of paper-cut deaths. In London they were going to happen almost every day – a city that considers itself very cosmopolitan, diverse and a “top” conversation about race.

So, when the opportunity came back to Nigeria, I grabbed it with both hands. I instinctively knew that I wanted to protect my daughter from the inhumanity of racism.

England gave me a chance at the world, but even after living in London for three decades, I was ready to move on.

And going back to the motherland, I jokingly mentioned Africa, letting me breathe, unloading a heavy burden that I didn’t even realize I was carrying.

I jumped at the chance to raise my daughter differently.

Nowadays, she likes to watch Nollywood movies, where the heroines wanted to look like her and she can imagine herself as the top lady of her story, writing no other story for her without being a story partner.

For him, every day is a month of black history – it’s not just sent for a few weeks of the year as a token gesture.

He knows that his history does not begin and ends with slavery.

I taught him that black history IS history.

We learn about strong African women warriors: Queen Amina Of Zaria, Nzinga, Ya asanteva, Some of whom colonized colonial masters and won.
Now I will add the books Harriet Tubman, Rosa Park, Martin Luther King, And Malcolm X. – Among many others – on our reading list.

He has shown that he is ready and can handle these more mature conversations.

The burden of oppression

This unexpected but urgent exchange with my daughter made me realize that as Africans we also have the privilege of racing – because we don’t just have to fight races.

In a country where everyone is Krishna, your identity is not in question. Instead, we have a strong idea of ​​who we are.

I went to the village where my grandfather was born, I speak my language and I know all about my culture and heritage.

Black people around the world whose ancestors were chained from Africa during the slave trade could not so easily claim this lost identity.

Returning to Nigeria has given me respite from the oppression that black people have endured for centuries abroad.

From slavery Jim Crow, Fight for civil rights and now Black Live Matter.
Stephanie Busari and her daughter in Lagos, Nigeria.

The burden of being black is no longer my reality – although life in Nigeria is far from perfect and the identity division, mostly on ethnic and religious grounds.

But as Africans, we are not tired of fighting any invisible and cowardly enemy, much like the coronavirus epidemic, which slowly puts life on your neck like a knee.

Fellow Africans, now is the time to examine the rights of our own peoples: the opportunity to go to America and gain the opportunities that African Americans died fighting for and the opportunities they died for gives us emotional security.

In America, we “Promote minority statusChristina M. Groer, a professor at Fordham University, mentions in her book Black Ethnicity: Race, Immigration and the Pursuit of the American Dream.

“Blacks of foreign descent are often regarded as white and even black Americans as hard-working and productive citizens as distinct and special than their black Americans,” Greer writes.

Prominent Africans have spoken out against police brutality And the assassination of George Floyd and silent solidarity demonstrations in several African countries.

But there has been a lot of deafening reactions from Africans in both the United States and the countries behind, echoing the sentiments I have heard many times in the past.

There is a video African women in one of George Floyd’s protests In Washington DC. “You’re not oppressed … Black Lives Matter is a joke … You’re lazy … Go and get a job” is heard.

Africans also face our own struggles, but we always reject the Black American struggle, and therefore fail to show sympathy.

Both sides have long been at odds.

Staying away from “playing the hunt”, we need to recognize that black Americans are the real victims of the enduring and sustained traditional persecution that continues to contribute to the repeated “we are tired” during George Floyd’s protests.

The truth is that your Harvard degree, your work status and your attractive accent will not deter you from experiencing racism – or being a “model minority”.

Amadau dialoThe 22-year-old, from Guinea, West Africa, shot and killed four plainclothes police officers 41 times outside his home in New York in 1999. Unarmed, Diallo hit 19 times. Officers later testified that the fatal shooting was a tragic mistake. They were Pardoned from murder charge.

Just as white people need to educate themselves about race issues, Africans should also take the time to learn about their struggles and understand why African Americans are so angry, injured and tired.

Encounters with the police should not be equated to the death penalty. And yet it is a very real reality for many black people, not only in America, but also in the United Kingdom and some parts of Europe.

There is no sliding scale of equality. We are all human beings and deserve the same level of humanity.

The matter of black life is important.

About the author: Dale Freeman

Typical organizer. Pop culture fanatic. Wannabe entrepreneur. Creator. Beer nerd.

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