My friends never understand me when I say that I am not “Black” by my own choice but by someone else’s so I figured I should take some time off to try and explain to them what I mean.
Every person who has ever been seen or referred to as a “Black person” in the world has not been seen or referred to that way by his/her own choice. For centuries African people have been seen as “Black people” because there are some people out there, European descendants to be specific, who see themselves as “White”. Someone said to me a while ago that “African people are seen as “Black people” because there are some very dark Brothers and Sisters out here” but for me that is a fallacious way of looking at this matter, you cannot call everyone “Black” because there happens to be one or two people you have met who have a very dark skin complexion. It would be like classifying every African person as Albino because you have met a couple of Albinos in your life.
This whole people being classified as either “Black” or “White” issue is one that is very deep and the sooner we realise the damage it is causing to the self-image of Africans the sooner we will be able to liberate ourselves from mental slavery. Our fight against mental slavery will never be won if the one document that is seen as supreme law in South Africa perpetuates mental slavery. Our Constitution, which is always written in capital letters to show its importance, classifies people as either “Black” or “White”. What this basically means is that everyone who is not perceived as “White” is automatically “Black”, this includes Asians, Indians, Coloureds, and Africans and all of this is done in the name of BEE.
My problem is being labelled as “Black” is not with the name/term “Black” itself but it is what it represents. A while ago I did some research to try and understand why we were labelled as “Black” to begin with and the results of my research “took me out of the dark”, no reference to my complexion. One of the most dominant religions found on earth, Christianity, which is the religion that was used to enslave African people, takes Whiteness and equates it to Godliness. “Jesus’s blood will wash you so you can become AS WHITE AS SNOW” are phrases you will find in the little Black Book with red text and these are some of the things that made European descendants see themselves as “White”.
They were pure, they were civilised, they has religion and were washed by the “Blood of the Lamb” and therefore “White”. These other people were Savages, they were “half Demon half Child” and had not religion, they were out of control and only enjoyed sex and drinking beer, which I personally see no problem with, so therefore they were “Black”. Even today the word “Black” is associated with everything evil, black magic, black sheep of the family, black is used at funerals, while “White” is associated with all that is good, people have white weddings, white is the colour of purity and even though lying is bad you are allowed to tell a white lie. Now all of this makes me wonder why anyone in their sane mind would continue to call themselves “Black”.
The unfortunate part about all of this is that as an African you have to spend your whole life explaining to people why you do not want to be called “Black” and when you do you have to listen to other African people tell you how too literal you are and how much you need to “chill out”, whatever that means.
So to all my friends, and possibly enemies too, I am not “Black” by choice, I never woke up one day and decided that I will be referred to as “Black” nor will I ever like being referred to as “a Black man”. The only reason I am “Black” is because there are some narcissistic people who insist on calling themselves “White”.