Feeling your Skin Color
The difference for me, (cause you know everyone is black in Ghana) so you have a different social hierarchy that goes from, if you’re educated, how much money do you have, and how many degrees, also what is your degree in? So you know its a different and then moving here [U.S.], I realized that I’m treated differently. Not because I don’t have the money or don’t have resources, its because you’re black and because you’re from Africa you should have this particular trait. So you realized how they actually treat you and that’s why to me it was like “OH” I now see the attachments of being black.
When we have students who there parents came here, or they were born here to immigrants parents or they came here when they were really young. They have there African side of things in their home, but when they are outside there just African American. So you tend to occupy a very weird space because you are African but your not really African. Its like sometimes you don’t know where to fit. Because you find yourself saying I don’t fit here, I don’t fit here, I don’t fit there. How did you develop that racial consciousness? Like “Oh” I’m actually black. Because when you are back home in Africa its there but its distance. You go to America and maybe you might experience racism, and we think it’s the KKK or anything, but I don’t think we understand that embodied experience of feeling. You feel your skin color, and to me that’s where that racial conciseness comes from.
African Immigrants who are three years removed will when it comes to identifying will say, I’m African there is nothing more to me. I’m not black I’m African American. But, after three years they realize that African and black mean the same thing in the U.S. So I think I would tell somebody that, you will try to distances yourself from African Americans and I think it is a natural thing to do right away. But in the end you’re still in the U.S. racial discourse. Whether you’re from Camorras Islands or you’re Australian black, it’s like your black your black.
“Who am I? How do people identify me? Do they identify me as one of the Drake football players, or I am I just a black guy walking down the street, so at the end of the day I want to understand how we negation those social identities.”