Thembi Talk

Coming To America

A lot of people don’t understand that there is a complete difference between being African, and African American.  Yes both groups can identify as black, and yes both groups have African roots and ancestors; however, when it comes down to it, there is somewhat of a disconnect between the two.  I am 100% African born and raised; both my parents are Africans, and I was raised with African traditions, values and culture.  I moved to America when I was 14 years old, and seven years later as a 21 year old, I have observed and experienced surprising scenarios.

Sometimes there is a little bit of a disconnect within the African community because we all think our country is better than the other.  However, I always feel at home when I hang out with other Africans here in America regardless if we’re from the same country or not because there’s a sense of being home away from home.  The times I would hang out with African Americans they would always tell me I was too white, or I wasn’t black enough or even ask me, “why are you so proper?” Which is why I gravitated more to other races because they embraced every part of me without making me feel like I had to prove my blackness.  I was the black friend and I loved it!  I never really hung out with the black crowd until I went to a university that was predominately white so all the black people stuck together in a sense.

I ironically had to go to one of the whitest places on earth to finally have black friends.

This blog post was inspired by a conversation that was sparked between my girlfriends and I while watching an interview of Rachel Dolezal on The Real.  One thing I disagree with is when people’s reasoning of why Rachel can’t identify as black is because she hasn’t walked the path of a black woman.  I think that is an unfair thing to say because not all black women walk the same path and not all black women have the same struggle – some don’t even struggle at all.  As a black African girl, I can guarantee you my experiences, struggles, or path is different from a Black British girl, or Black American girl, or any black girl in general.  In my opinion there is no specific path a black woman walks.  Some of us are born into privilege, some of us are born into poverty, and some of us are somewhere in between.   Some of my girls seemed to disagree with me on this because they still feel as though she didn’t experience the stereotypical black woman struggle.  We agreed to disagree, however, I have noticed that whenever I disagree with an African American on the topic of being black, I always get the

“yea but you’re not black, you’re African”

response.  What do you mean I’m not black?? Seven years I’ve lived here and I’m still trying to figure out what that even means!?!?

I’ve said before that I feel as though white Americans are more accepting of me than black Americans.  Why you may ask?  Let’s start off with the fact that I’m mostly approached by white men LOL!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m approached by black Americans, but what is it about me or other African girls that is more approachable to white American men than black American men?  On the flip side of that, if you know or have any male African friends in America, you may have noticed that 9 times out of 10 if he is not with an African girl, he is with a white, or foreign girl, and rarely ever an African American girl.  What makes white American women more approachable to African men than African American women?

According to the conversations I’ve had with my male friends, both African and African American, it seems as though African women are too high maintenance for African American men and African American women are either too independent or not traditional enough for African men.  I’ve heard many different theories as to why that is, but I’ll leave it open for discussion so I can continue to hear other points of view of the disconnect.

I love you for reading, and remember…

Keep it cute, Keep it Classy

-T..xo

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Clast
    December 21, 2015 at 4:03 pm

    Love the page / blogs ?

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