Calling all African Booty Scratchers!
Growing up as an African girl in the boogie down Bronx wasn’t the easiest experience, especially if you didn’t speak English. For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, Black Panther -first, what’re you doing sis?- go see it! Black Panther is more than a movie; featuring beautiful Black people (yay for representation) and authentic glimpses into different African cultures, Black Panther (the movie) is a movement. The characters live in a mythical African country called Wakanda, which is an image of a successful Africa most of us have never imagined.
The Black Panther film movement seems to be uniting Black people everywhere, which is a new phenomenon. Although all Black people are members of the African diaspora, separated only by slavery and immigration, there has been a division between Blacks around the world. From African Americans to Caribbean Blacks to Africans born in the motherland, we have often focused on our differences and ignored our unifying lineage.
The Pre Wakanda Era
Before the Black Panther film movement, we lived in a “Pre Wakanda era,” and it was brutal for us Africans! I experienced the most teasing from other Black people who looked just like me, but did not want to be classified as African. It seemed like all my Black classmates thought that being African was a curse or a disease. I got hit with everything, from being called an African booty scratcher to being asked about fighting lions. People used to make clicking sounds at me and ask if we lived in huts back home. It all sounds funny today, but for a 14-year-old girl who felt like she didn’t belong, it was scary to experience an identity crisis because of where I came from. Lucky for me, I still proudly repped my heritage.
Fast forward to 2018, the Post-Wakanda era, everybody’s W O K E and wearing African print dashikis! Where was all this hype about Africa when I was in middle school?
The Post Wakanda Era
As important as the movie and this idea of “Wakanda” is, we need to be careful not to get lost in the hype. Don’t just talk about it because it’s “in style.” BE ABOUT IT. Make this Black pride and African brother and sister-hood a way of life. Proudly build yourself and your fellow people up by supporting black businesses, investing in your community, and most importantly, investing in yourself to serve as a role model for others. Learn about the culture and support the culture! Educate the youth so that they hear more stories than the slave narratives we are fed in our school systems.
I could be bitter about this movement and not want to invite other Black people in because of the teasing I endured. However, that’s not fair. Many of our brothers and sisters around the world didn’t know about our beautiful history because it was taken from them. We have a chance to come together now more than ever before. Let’s take advantage of this movement and maintain it as a culture. #WAKANDA FOREVER
My African Booty Scratchers…Unite!