This Sunday gone (21/08/2016) I went to Aunt Jean’s Afrikan Culture Market. Most of it consisted of speakers raising issues about building up the ‘black’ community*. Two of the speakers brought up something they personally witnessed: an interracial couple (‘black’ man-‘white’ woman) walking down the street, holding hands, kissing, smiling, and just unable to get enough of each other. A few seconds later came a ‘black’ couple, but according to one speaker you wouldn’t have known they were a couple. She was making sure to walk ahead of him, they weren’t holding hands, kissing, not even smiling at each other. Nothing!
* On a side note, everyone seemed to agree there was a general lack of “manly identity” among us. I’ll go into that in another post.
According to them there’s a palpable lack of affection between ‘black’ men and women – and pride! We’re proud of not being lovey-dovey toward each other! My now ex-girlfriend confirmed exactly the same thing back in her country. It’s like Africans, men & women alike, are too tough (read: cowardly) to express genuine emotion.
This begged the question in my mind: WHY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!? Some answers came to mind.
Number 1 – Christianity. Not exactly the most affection-friendly religion out there, what with all the “original sin” and even “marital sex is a necessary evil” doctrines.
Number 2 – It doesn’t match our image of being strong. We’ve bought into the typical dichotomy of strong vs. loving, when it may be more helpful to think of loving as another expression of strength.
Number 3 – Internalisation of the stereotype of lacking emotion, especially men. Because we see it in films, TV shows, music videos (especially modern rap), Youtube vids and like so often we identify with it.
Number 4 – A lot of Africans (pre-colonial that is) come from cultures where intimacy and affection aren’t celebrated. Men and women are expected to just carry on with life as normal, perform their gender roles and done.
Number 5 – Most of us, especially the younger generations at present, don’t trust each other. Women think men are out to bang everything that moves, and men think women are constantly trying to rob the blood from their veins!
Number 6 – ‘White’ people don’t like ‘black’ affection. Deep down ‘whites’ are genuinely disgusted at the prospect of us loving each other, because it implies solidarity and any public solidarity is taken as an act of aggression. Not to mention the current media focus on interracial relationships, implying love can’t exist among our own. Many of us, again especially men, believe it.
This is why ‘black’ love really is a revolutionary act.
Number 7 – We’re English.
But all this moaning gives me a good excuse to lay on more beautiful pics!