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In Ghana, Bibini blackman, is a popular comment that often pops out of people?s lips during conversations. It usually comes with a negative sting. Whenever Africans meet to share stories of their disappointment and betrayal by their families and friends of African descent, it usually ends with the statement, ?Blackman?. When we encounter people who are unwilling to embrace any form of positive change, we usually say ?Bibini Blackman?. And by and by, the word Blackman sounds so negative.

But in the Ghanaian Akan parlance, can ?Bibini? be exactly synonymous to ?Blackman??

I sometimes wonder what the definition of black has now become because when I examine the complexion of my African brothers and sisters, I do not see the black that we are labeled as. I see people of varied complexion, and not necessarily dark or black as we are all labeled as. A greater proportion of Africans in our various countries can attest to this. And yet, we are still referred to as black. I believe someone somewhere is colour-blind.

I believe the African was racially referred to as black in a bid to lower our self-esteem, and not really for our complexion. It is more for the usual stigma with which people identify the colour black; darkness, evil, shame, destitute, sickness, poverty, grief, hopelessness, to mention but a few.

Although an African and a proud one at that, I would prefer to be called an African than the usual word ?Black?. Yes, we tell ourselves, that black is good, black is beautiful. Black is natural. Of course, that is only a consolation. In truth, we live in perpetual fear of darkness. Indeed, anything negative, we do, is done under the cover of darkness.

I am proudly an African. I might be referred to as black, although my complexion might not necessarily be so. But what is proud about the colour black itself?

Our world has made it so. When someone wears anything black, we first ask if they have been bereaved; yes, it is a colour of mourning. When we encounter bad days, we label them as black e.g. black Friday, black Tuesday, to mention but a few. When we picture hell, we picture darkness; at least, the good book tells us so. When we talk about shame and anything sad, terrible or evil, we only paint them in black. Most people are afraid of their own shadows; because it is dark and scary! We loathe darkness! Darkness is sinister, mysterious or gloomy; no one wants that.

How then can black be good? How then can black be anything worth being proud of when we continually make such remarks as ?The black mentality??

Is then surprising that some Africans these days prefer to bleach? Oh yes, they hate their complexion!

As Africans, whenever we talk about backstabbing friends, relations, betrayal, we only lament saying ?Blackman?. And so, in our own ways, by our own actions and inactions, we further endorse the idea that anything black is negative. How then do I exclaim that black is beautiful?

Africa is known as the Dark Continent; the mention of her name, sends shivers down the spine of people and their imaginations, ablaze. Is there any positivity in that? Why is she dark? What was the rationale or criteria? Yes, Africa is known as the Dark Continent in the negative sense. We are presumably the poorest, suffer from disease infestations, war-torn, struck by hunger; it is all negative.

Who called the African ?Black?? Was it more out of spite than complexion?

And somehow, Africans have been born to accept it. And so, we call ourselves black, together with anything negative. And for that, we keep attracting negative energies. We embrace all things negative. For that, the continent suffers from deprivation, underdevelopment, pandemics, poverty, to mention but a few. It has been embedded in our psychology, and for that, the continent suffers. We are told that Africa and for that matter, Africans cannot do well for ourselves, and so, we keep depending on foreign economies. Africa cannot fend for herself. We cannot even decide on our own. We cannot even feed ourselves! Oh you African, wise up!

This article is not to promote any form of hatred or racially motivated attacks. It is only meant to evoke our thoughts.

Anna Esi Hanson ([email protected]), Takoradi; esociocomm.blogspot.com

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