I AM SOMETHING ELSE: CHILD OF AN IMMIGRANT WITH THAT BI-CULTURAL THIRD EYE
Updated: Jun 6, 2020
For Black Girls Who Have Considered Genocide/When Being an "Other" Was Too Damn Tuff
I was born to an African father and African-American mother, so I'm Black on both sides. Unfortunately when you live in a country and a society where Blackness is primarily considered a stain to erase or overcome then doubling down by also being African had me left out in the cold, literally (but that's another story). The cultural dissonance was real, ya'll. How does an African child in America reconcile being disdained by both Black and White folks alike for the same things that makes her proud? On one hand, Nigerian drive and ingenuity was my legacy, but on the other hand I was called "African Booty-scratcher" so many times I thought some kid had caught me scratching my ass one day! On one hand, I loved my big natural afro puffs, but on the other hand you weren't cute unless you were light skinned with long, "good" hair.
“I discovered an admiration for the weirdos, the outsiders, the folks who found their freedom by not giving a fuck.”
I wish that I could say that I easily learned to love my cultural heritage like some plucky heroine in a coming-of-age YA novel. Instead I found multi-cultural tribes who embraced my uniqueness. I learned to code-switch like a pro (or a muhhhfukkka (see?)). I discovered an admiration for the weirdos, the outsiders, the folks who found their freedom by not giving a fuck. And then, somewhere in college, maybe when playing Killer Uno with Spaniards while watching Def Comedy Jam, I learned to love all facets of my Blackness!
Along with appreciating all my bi-cultural ends, my respect for all things "Other" also grew. Another legacy of being born of Black parents, one of whom was an immigrant, is that I am unafraid of "foreign" smells, heavy accents, or names with more than three syllables. I quickly get over being the only one (Black, female, African, what have you) in a room. I also don't limit my interests and entertainments. As long as I can find a subtitle or translation I'm good! I listen to, watch, and enjoy whatever TF I want! So yes, I like Korean and Japanese television, along with my African and America shows. Yes, I've been known to binge watch some Indian rom-coms on a weekend. And yes, I do believe that Kenny Loggins is the freaking god of music!
I am lucky to live in a technological age that brings all sorts of peoples and cultures to me. I am grateful for the opportunity to be exposed to the new and the different. Once I fell in love with 2005's "My Lovely Samsoon," starring Kim Sun-ah and Hyun Bin, there was no going back. I look forward to being entertained by the world.
So, welcome to Black Girl Seoul. Now you know a little about me and I hope to get to know you as we enjoy these shows together!