Now I'm proud to be Nigerian, but I take even more pride in being
black. Looking at the various struggles that we as black people face
in society, not to mention the ordeals that we have overcame, there
still remains one problem that merely adds to the discouragement of
racism in society, that being the eternal battle that we face with
The growing feud between Nigerians and Jamaicans is an example of the
ignorance that exists within the black community, 'black community'
being a word that I use loosely. The word community is used to
describe a union of people, a description that falls short, when
referring to black people.
A community is a group of people that work together for the benefits
and growth of each other. As you may have noticed there is clearly a
huge difference between this description of a community and that of
the black community.
Now in the twenty-first century, the unity with our Nigerian and
Jamaican brothers and sisters is far and few between. The question
that we have to ask ourselves is: how did this feud begin?
When the question is asked: why is there a feud between Nigerians and
Jamaicans? The common answer is:
'Nigerians sold Jamaicans to the Europeans, when the slave trade
began'. As an African man I am sickened at the movement of African
traders, selling their own people to European traders such as Nicolas
Owen, and as a result the slave trade did destroy life in Africa,
dividing cultures, traditions and lives. Now the only problem with
the above answer is that it wasn't Nigerians that sold Jamaicans to
the Europeans. It was Africans that sold Africans to the Europeans.
Now before the introduction of Columbus in 1494 Jamaica was inhabited
by Arawaks, a peaceful people who formed fishing and hunting
communities. However the interference of the Spanish, much like that of the
Europeans in Africa left Jamaica in turmoil. The Spanish Occupation
(1494 - 1655) saw these peaceful communities break up and eventually
migrate from their homes. This then saw an influx of African slaves
into Jamaica to help in the conquest of the Americas.
Looking at the facts the harsh reality is that we should be more
ashamed of the disposition of our ancestors; rather then let the past
implications of others have an ongoing effect on our future.
The dilemma now is that the youth of today are being taught the same
negative views by their parents and grandparents, therefore
continuing the feud between Nigerians and Jamaicans.
Like I said before I take pride in being Nigerian, however taking
pride in where come from is one thing but if you don't have the
knowledge of where you come from, you should really asks yourself the
question: Why don't I know? Black people tend to only unite when it
is convenient for them, unity with your brethren should not be a
trend, but it should be something that makes you feel good, a way of
learning and communicating with your people.
However our inner turmoil's as black people, fighting amongst
ourselves is merely a small problem, compared to the oppression of
racism, that we face. Today is an example of the struggle that we face, as the racist
society that we live in has begun to brake us up. On job application forms for example we are classified as Black-
African, Black-Caribbean, Black-British, White/Black African and
White/Black Caribbean. Living in a world where our society tells us
our ethnicity, black people face an upward struggle for an identity
in their own environment.
With society clearly dividing black people into sections, there is
undoubtedly an ongoing effect on the black community. As these
divisions black people are put into have seen some black people begin
to no longer classify themselves as black, but as the ethnic
classifications our society provides. One thing that I've learnt from
analysing the negative urban policies the government issues is that
when we look at the bigger picture our eyes tend to see things which
our mind or our ignorance had previously blocked out. Racism exist
within society we just have to recognize the facts, for example the
events that occurred after the hurricane in New Orleans, the Steven
Lawrence murder April 1993, the Rodney King beating March 1991, the
murder of Malcolm X 1965, the murder of Martin Luther King 1968, why
guns and drugs are so accessible in poor areas populated with black
people and the list goes on.
In the 'Land of Opportunity' when Hip Hop music and culture was
introduced into mainstream America, many critics in society including
those within the Government saw Hip Hop as nothing more then a
passing trend, that would eventually end up being brushed underneath
the carpet. The majority of white America didn't pay any attention,
as they clearly felt that black music and culture didn't merit
The problem was, when groups like Public Enemy and The 2 Live Crew
began to appeal to white America, it was at this point that black
music gradually became a threat, a threat that is to the Ethiopia
constructed by a conservative and racist society. This then of course
led to various campaigns being introduced to restrict the influence
black music had on a country dominated by white supremacy.
In a country that claims to be democratic why was Hip Hop music
challenged on so many levels? Could it be that freedom of speech is
optional in America? Especially when the views of black people are
used to express the discrimination of a racist society.
Though slavery was abolished over three centuries ago, black people
still remain slaves to their racist governments and respective
societies. We count for 12.9% of the worlds population, second to
white people, so why are we are under-represented on a political
stage? When we look at it black men and women are the trendiest of
all races, which is why society tends to adapt to our music, fashion
and culture. Could it be that we are seen as such a threat to a white
world that our governments restricts us in order to control us? As
society has systematically structured a method to box in black
people, hence the word 'Urban' which now seems to describe any form
of black culture and _expression, it is apparent now, more then ever
that a change in both social and democratic equality in needed.
I swear to the Lord I still can't see Why Democracy means Everybody
but me. ~Langston Hughes,(The Black Man Speaks)Many racists see the skin of black people as a disease. The only
disease that black people have suffered from is Insomnia, because we
have been asleep for far too long and until we unite as a race of
people we will orever be living this nightmare as our reality.