Excuse me, Stop Calling Me Black!

While I agree that Africans are called black race today due to social construct, I will argue that it was a grave and an ambiguous choice of nomenclature. The reason being that in over thirty years that I have come of age and be in consciousness of happenings around me, I can’t remember ever coming across any person that is really black in the real sense of it.

Although, I’ve seen many really dark Africans in Nigeria, Senegal and among the people of Southern Sudan, Uganda and other Africans from elsewhere, both in real life and on TV screens, still, I was not convince that neither they nor lighter dark-skinned people like me are black.

Back then in my growing up years, each time I entered my mama’s kitchen and saw her pile of cooking wares already blackened by soot from long time cooking, I couldn’t but wondered why I am being called black. Even now when I pick up a piece of charcoal or some strands of my hair and I notice the stark difference from my skin tone, that only reminds me more that I can not be black.

So, with many years passed, all these weird encountering will not depart me still. Instead, they have got me thinking: why do Africans agree to be called black race when in actual sense they are dark-skinned. I feel a dark race would have been more appropriate.

Literally, black is defined as having the colour of coal or soot.

dark skinimage 2image 6image3earth_67_image__1316034959image 4

Africans have different variations of beautiful brown and dark skin (Pictures are for illustrative purpose only)

I have heard claims that Africans are called black so they don’t get confused with Latinos and I also read somewhere that our forebears were forced to choose between that and the N word a long time ago (of course everybody knows they were in a disadvantaged position then during the slavery era).

But the most unfortunate thing is, we the sheeple of Africa have since then unrepentantly accepted that we are ‘black’ and we keep passing down the fallacious belief from generation to generation by teaching our history as black race to our children in schools.

While I can confidently say that I am proud of my God-given dark skin, there are countless Africans who do not feel comfortable wearing their skin due to many reasons brought forward by being referred to as ‘black’ one of which is, calling and perceiving it as ugly, thus driving many to bleaching or skin whitening (I haven’t seen anyone with white skin either! snow on my mind).

This pernicious act of bleaching has put my country Nigeria, alongside India and Pakistan, on top of the list of countries with most bleaching women thus making them susceptible to skin and other cancer types.

Anyway, while musing on how to put all these thoughts together, I stumbled on many postulations that Africans are endowed with many variations of dark skin from the very light dark to the darkest. None said we are black-skinned, so I can easily conclude that I am not black, but dark and that Africa is a dark continent and not a black continent.
skin colour

While a quest for a change now may sound very ambitious, unrealistic and somehow too belated, I still hold high hopes that a change could happen somehow, someday in the future.

Africans are not black, we are dark! images

Dear readers, your thoughts are important.


9 thoughts on “Excuse me, Stop Calling Me Black!”

  1. This topic is one I have always considered. Also, the term African-American to loosely refer to everyone that is dark in the United States. Maybe they aren’t American at all – but a visitor from Nigeria. Or maybe they are an immigrant from Haiti. Perhaps their ancestors were from African hundreds of years ago. Does that still make them African-Haitian? Why am I not called Slovakian-Russian-Irish-English-American. It really makes no sense. Unless you are having to describe someone you are looking for, why refer to their color or ethnicity at all?


    1. Exactly my point Margaret. I want people to describe or address me as Ms so and so from Nigeria or even from Africa. Why say: that or this black or white lady; whereas no one is black or white in plain sense.


  2. Good work again Noimot, keep it up. ℓ̊ quite agree with you, Africans Ʀε̲̣̣̣̥ not black, not at all. We Ʀε̲̣̣̣̥ simply dark skinned and that’s where the difference ends between us and the so called “white” (again ℓ̊ agree with ƔU̶̲̥̅̊ ℓ̊ am yet to see a white in the true sense). It’s a battle long lost and considering the stubborn nature of the people we Ʀε̲̣̣̣̥ dealing with, its a forgotten matter. May the Lord help us. Cheers dear.


  3. If the so-called black aren’t black, then the so-called white aren’t white. Right? Is the term ‘black’ derogatory? And ‘white’ abominable? Does it matter whether you’re black or white?


    1. Skin colour shouldn’t matter but unfortunately, history has thought us that it does Bayo. Use of black, in most case, is derogatory and that’s part of my perception.


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