Tag Archives: africa
by Guest Contributor Brian Robinson
At the conclusion of the first part of this article, I mentioned that it was obvious that South Africans viewed me as American before considering my race. Well in the next country I visited, Zimbabwe, it was even more obvious I along with my two travel partners were ”the Americans” of the group.
It wasn’t a negative view they were taking, it was just that the color of my skin did not get me immediate access into the Continental Club of Africans. There was no window at the Harare airport for all black Americans to visit and receive a “Welcome to Africa, Cousin!” pin upon arrival (and, yes, I was expecting one).
Many Americans know next to nothing about the continent of Africa, and it appears that they are just fine with that. As a matter of fact, even adding the word ‘continent’ in front of the word Africa would probably be a reminder to many of us that it is indeed not just one big country. What is to follow will not be a polemic about how clueless Americans are about the rest of the world. I think we all have already gotten the message that our citizenry isn’t the most well-educated in many important ways.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not defensive about our collective ignorance of the continent because I am African-American. Unfortunately, most African-Americans I know have no more meaningful interest in that part of the world than the rest of the U.S. population. Most African-Americans feel more like Americans than Africans. And if you ask most any person from a country in Africa, they will agree that you are NOT an African. How do I know this? I have been to two countries on the African continent and have heard that message loud and clear.