When I was growing up in Lagos Nigeria, the concept of ‘being black’ was absolutely non-existent, some might agree that we where all black after all so why think as such. Upon moving to the United States, I had to learn a new identity–being black.
What exactly is being black? Yesterday I discussed the shaping of an identity in light of religion, at least, religion is something that can be done away with and an identity can be rebuilt on something else. What about when your identity is what you cannot do away with, like, your skin color; in my case being black
I have thought of the concept of blackness in America and though the physical slavery is done with, there is, lying somewhere, somehow, the slavery of the mind. I’m starting to wonder how the black identity can be de-shaped until I came to this understanding:
We hand to others how we need to be addressed. If we want to be seen as the typical ‘black’, we would be treated as such. That’s not to say, some wouldn’t initially approach with the stereotype on mind; forgoing it, I came to realize it is one of the ‘add-on’ that comes with the color.
I’m still trying to understand how to effectively demystify the shaping of my identity as a black person, I would prefer to have an identity as a person whose skin color is black, it is tough to make the mental breakthrough (especially when one is continually treated as a black person) but I’m striving and helping others along in the strife.