Scars of a whipped slave (April 2, 1863, Baton...
I earned my stay!

I like the blog AfroSpear. Correction, I like the thinking and writing of Asabagna a member of AfroSpear.

Also, I appreciate, while reading, when my emotions go what! hrrr! hmm! Or ok!

That’s what happened when I posted “To the Black on Black Racist“.

Then,  on “The field Negro” I stumbled on a post titled “Tribal intellectualism?”  Of course, I couldn’t help giving my 2 cents.

I am European in culture and lived on the three sides of the divide, Europe, America and Africa. Now, look at me!
“You black.”
“That’s right!”

I am mystified by the struggle of blacks, not from the African continent, striving for recognition and their search for identity.
I am mystified by the non acceptance of being what they are and acquiring misplaced psychological complexes about their origins.

I am European and a citizen of France. It is the same for my parents, grandparents, great grand-parents and, skipping few steps, my ancestors the survivors of the greatest holocaust of all time.
My ancestors gave me my West Indians roots, my nice skin colour which bronzes even on cloudy days and a confident brash attitude which is outside the African continent.
I repeat; my ancestors gave me my West Indians roots.

Blacks, through slavery, formed new countries, societies, cultural identities and new shade of races in North, Central, South America, the West Indies and a few other exotic places.
The world is an unequal diversity and not everyone share the same ideas.
That’s life and so what!

You have doubt, you want reassurance then listen … the world emulates our Blues, Jazz, Zouk, Latin Music, Reggae and Samba.
Let’s get up from our chair and move our feet too. The dance steps belong to no one else but us!

I don’t argue with bigots or race haters.  They malign while licking their fingers on our Cajun style dishes or our codfish and ackee, lechon asado, tostones, corn bread, lambi with djondjon rice, arroz con pollo, feijoada, and the like.
Ignorant people have to eat too!

We are Jamaican, Trinidadian, American, Martiniquais, Barbadian, Brazilian, Columbian, Dominican, Panamanian, Cuban and we have more than 30 countries with our influence in that part of our world.
Isn’t enough recognition?  

Africa made ephemeris wealth on the flesh and sweat of our ancestors which they sold into slavery.
Africa sold our ancestor to cut sugar canes and now we drink its rum.
Africa sold our ancestors to pick the cotton fields.  Now, we design the clothes from that cotton.
We are as a group more educated, more artsy, wealthier, brainier, avant-garde with many more adjectives than Africa will ever catch-up with.
So what is the problem?

I have a name which I carry due to the enslavement of my ancestors. It is mine, I have earned it.
Former masters, I gave you fame but thanks for the name. Our journey started as unequal.  Lo and behold! Even unwillingly, I am your partner!

The world is a place of inequalities and I will not bow down to anyone oppressing me with my minority.
I have a place and will fight any misgiving you have about the colour of my skin and its misrepresentations.  It is a grace, a remembrance of the triumphs of my enslaved ancestors.
I am here to stay!

When you speak of Africa, do not look at me, I do not want their stereotype to splatter on my being.  I am not the martyr of their corruptions and own shortcomings.  I have my country and my culture to look after.

You think of Africa as the motherland.  Go, see for yourself and notice that it does not move.
Africa has always remained a standstill from the time it was the cradle of humanity, a kingdom of spears, a colony and independent.
My ancestors moved and shake the world. They went from the cradle of humanity, chased out with spears, broke the chains of slavery and gained liberty.
Do you have another name for freedom?  

Africa calls “come back, come back to mama Africa. Give to mama Africa”.
I don’t understand their languages.  My tongue moves to English, Spanish, French, Dutch, Portuguese and few others which my culture created.”
I am not going back; I don’t want to be Africa’s house Negro.
I will not give either. I will not give back the sweat and flesh of my ancestors.
I am European, from the West Indies, and quite happy about my diversity!



9 responses to “I EARNED MY ROOTS!

  1. Patrick-Bernard… very thought-provoking and powerful! Hope you don’t mind me linking it at the AfroSpear.


  2. This essay is is the plain truth. I have never been confused about my identity. I love Africa but I recognize that I am a daughter of the Americas and belong to a New World country( Panama).

    I love Panama and the Americas(North, Central,South and the Caribbean) much more. Panama is my homeland because it represents me and I adore what I am all about.

    I love Panama’s flora, fauna and all her inhabitants are my people. I adore her tropical climate with its mysterious, awesome and unpredictable rains.
    How can I forget and not love a place where in the early mornings, before the sun rises, birds come out to give private symphonies.

    I will never give up my Panamanian culture, native language, traditions, Christian beliefs and family name because they make up my entire essence.

    Most of all, I admire the beauty, faith , goodness, enduring hope and fighting spirit of my people.
    I belong to a happy race of people, in love with themselves, who love God, life and country.
    I am the daughter of the New World(Americas).

  3. Ana,
    Very well, very well said.

  4. Mr. Bernard, This is the first time I have visited your place. I want to thank you for this post. It says so so much for our true diversity. Years ago Black Uhuru released a song entitled The Whole World is Africa. I think you have summed up much of what they conveyed in that song.


  5. Correction. I believe you took what Black Uhuru was singing to it’s true depths.

  6. You have said what I have often thought but couldn’t articulate in such expressive language.

  7. America cannot be my only identity. America treats me like a secondary citizen. This culture still does not accept dark skin. I may be physically in America, but my soul is connected to the motherland.

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