On opening weekend, thirty-seven percent of North American movie goers will be African America [let’s just say Black]. Before today, fifteen percent had never bothered to see Marvel movies. Come rain, come shine. Why? Too white. A sprinkle of racism and white supremacy in real life, makes fantasy punishingly preposterous. “Black folks ain’t paying to underwrite and entertain their own systematic denigration.” Still, thirty-five percent will be unambiguously white. But who cares? I am African [Nigerian-rowdy]. Dressed in a leather jacket (I like to play it cool, under the radar. Ethnically-ambiguous). But by God it pleases me something fierce to see the world pay particular attention to Black Panther, to Africa, to topical stratums of the botched rapport between Africans (allegorically, this is T’Challa) and African Americans (Killmonger). Between Blacks and whites. Marvel and DC fanatics. And its all happening on the big screen, tonight. Post-colonization, post-slavery, post-exploitation, post-rapes, post-Tuskegee, post-Captain America, post- it all [insert all the hyphens you can fit into a Black Studies lecture class].
Boy, ask not what it be to be a man, Black, Here comes the white casket, an excellent fiction. Here comes the bastard in the story, The ballad man they called, Mr. Black F. Masculine, Seize a stool, boy, B. F. Masculine, will daze you.
I caress the battle scars of your open city, Moping faces turn concrete, People nursing little disgusts, Little sicknesses, little envies. People forcing God to bend this way, People doing yesterday things in tomorrow ways.
Twilight finds me a white man again, in a bit of a pickle. And in this painful occupation, In this second skin, In this adopted sepulchre of mine, If ever I prospered well at this classic treachery, As I do sometimes on my evening prowls on the fish market street, Where I finally become something … Continue reading Hank, If Ever I Were A White Man
In Nigeria, we refer to a newcomer to a foreign place as a Johnny Just Come (JJC), a play on Johnny-come-lately. This story is about one of such – a JJC to America. The story is a comical narrative on the travails of immigration for a Nigerian student who bumps into original encounters of racial quirks in America observed with some hilarity and lightheartedness - and some confusion (America is examined through the eyes of members of a family spanning three-generations). Chinuam runs a blog in America - called the JJC Diary - where he summarizes his new friendship with America. He writes back to his know-it-all, loquacious grandma who cannot read to dispel all her long-held American stereotypes. His father has a fantastically unsound view on America as well. The story focuses on a formulaic viewpoint of Black America often held by Black Africans from without, lopsided but ultimately emancipating, with a cast of unforgettable characters.
It was simply an unbecoming case of the pot and the kettle. A curious occasion of friendly-fire, if you want to be poetic about it. It had become so vilifying in novel ways to find that some members of the black community now echoed the exact same racial stereotypes of anti-black racism on fellow blacks, not from the slant of ‘Uncle Tomness’, no not that, but from a deepened sense of a misplaced heritage and the need to not further murky the waters. More black bodies arriving at airports, struggling to fathom the wrinkles of America, would invariably, result in even increased effort to, as per usual, explain and validate ones black existence in America.