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.
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.
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.
Dear readers, your thoughts are important.