Often when I blog about race I either blog about my locks or about some stupid incident involving an ignorant white person….well today I’ve decided to take on some of my people who I consider to be ignorant. To clarify when I say ‘my people’ I am not limiting it to Kenyans; I mean black people…
A lot of times when I meet a black person for the first time they will automatically assume that because I have dreads I am a ‘conscious’ ‘rootsy’ ‘pro-black’ ‘soulja-sista’. Usually if we end up having a conversation that involves race you can see them confirming their assumptions. Somewhere along the way, it could be within the first meeting or even months later, it transpires that I have a white fiance.
Some of the black people are bold/dumb enough to shout out, ‘ You are engaged to a white person?!!?!’, though more often than not I just get looks of disappointment, shock and betrayal. Not much has to be said but it becomes clear that I am no longer the ‘soulja-sista’ they thought I was. I am sure some may even go as far as to use the O or C word (Oreo/Coconut). If I am lucky they must just settle for the term ‘sell-out’.
There are two things that piss me off about the aforementioned type of black people and because this is my blog I intend to list them both.
Firstly, it is not the fact that someone decides to place me in a box based on my appearance/interests/choice of conversation that annoys me. We all box people. What gets to me is when someone gets mad at me because after further investigation they find that I do not fit into the box they put me in.
Secondly, and this is the one that really annoys me, is the notion that I can not have a relationship with someone of another race and still be proud of my own race. Since when were the two mutually exclusive? I am no less proud to black and no less vocal about my pro-black views than I was nearly 7 years ago when Mich and I started going out. If anything it has made me a lot more racially aware.
I remember in the first year of university, Mich and I had only been together about 2 months and one of the 5 black men on campus asked me if I thought that they (meaning the black men) were not good enough! This was coming from someone who I had known since day 1 of uni and who had never once expressed an interest in me and now he was acting as if I had rejected him.
In the second year I became president of the African Caribbean Society and there were murmurs from some of the black people that having a white boyfriend made me unfit to be the president! Some of them didn’t take it to kindly when I reminded them that the ACS was not a black only society and if we were to apply membership strictly and soley on the basis of nationality, they would not be allowed to join as they were neither African nor Caribbean.
I am not sure if these people are actually aware of what it takes to be involved in an inter-racial relationship. I can honestly say that had I not been 100% proud of my race I would not have lasted 3 weeks in this relationship. Not only did I have to put up with the many ignorant white people but I also no had to deal with the ignorant black people too.
One thing I have always maintained is that I have never have to prove that I am black or African. There is nothing to prove. I am black, I am African and I am proud to be both. I do not censor my conversations or put them through a colour filter to make Mich or any of my white friends feel comfortable . If I see an ignorant white person whose ignorance is based purely on the fact that he/she is white – I will bring it to the attention of anyone who cares to listen and the same goes for my people too.
I am saddened by those black people who feel that the measure of a black person rests on who they associate with. If that were the case I would have distanced myself from quite a few ignorant black people because some of us know that we are not doing our people proud by carrying on like ignorant people.
So there you have it..Kui the Malcolm-X-loving-dreadlock-wearing-soulja-sitser is ‘sleeping with the enemy’ and proud.