We Are All Africa

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Africans live in huts. The typical criminal is a five-foot six-inch 150-pound Black male. All Africans are starving or every African country is in a war.

African-Americans are lazy and all want hand outs. Africans sold African Americans into slavery.

These are some of the stereotypes that sometimes stop African-Americans, Africans and Black people throughout the Diaspora from communicating effectively with one another—sometimes even going to the extend of hating each other.

Mohammed Toure a store owner in the Jamaica section of Queens, here in New York, had an unfortunate experience wherein he got into a cab with one of his friends who was a cab driver and started to converse with him in their native language. Another passenger, who happened to be an African-American female in the back seat started to curse them out assuming that just because they were talking in their native language that they were talking about her. 

Toure, who is from Guinea-Conakry, West Africa, could not understand why the woman so insecure. He feels that more African-Americans should try to learn more about Africa and not adopt just the American stereotypical perception; this can come about by more interaction and by traveling to Africa.

Toure relates a story about how one of his friends traveled to six different African countries including Gambia, Ivory Coast, and finally Senegal. He said once his friend, who is African-American, reached Senegal he stayed there and never came back. “He said he finally found the one thing he was looking for all of his life and that was dignity,� Toure recalls.

Now his friend has been living in Senegal for nine years speaks both French and Wolof and convinced his brother to move to Senegal with him. “We have to stop treating each other as if we are the enemy, we were all colonized and enslaved by the same enemy,� Toure says.

Umar El Hadi an African-American Muslim who resides in Jamaica Queens looks at Africans and African Americans from a Quranic standpoint. He says the Quran relates that Allah says human beings should not be divided.

Umar feels that both African-Americans and Africans have a lot to learn from each other and that African-Americans and Africans are as close to each other as neighbors when it comes to our lineage and who we are as a people. “If we can all learn from one another as long as we
just follow what Allah tells us in the Quran no matter where we come from,� he says.      

Monet, a young African-American woman who regularly shops on Jamaica Avenue thinks the issue is deeper then that. Although many African-Americans take pride in their African heritage, many have not visited the continent. She also says many African-Americans wrongfully accuse Africans of selling them into slavery; there were slave raids, pillage and captures by white slavers. “A lot of us do not really know our history,� Monet explains. “Africans were tricked into selling us as slaves by the slave masters,� she adds.

Malick Gieye from Senegal does not buy into the stereotypes of African-American men as criminals. He blames educational neglect which condemns people into poverty and crime.

Leroy Bridgewater a young man from Trinidad feels that Black people throughout the Diaspora have too much to share culturally to hate each other. “We should all operate from one common denominator and come together as one,� he says. He proposes regular community events to share and benefit from our common cultural heritage.


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“Speaking Truth To Empower,� is our motto.

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