WAW confam home-boy, Vincent Nzemeke is back again. He’s on The Lectern for the March edition, and spitting controversy as usual, this time on the topic of the black man and racism.
It’s not polite, it’s not prim, nowhere near proper…but well, Veen wrote it anyway.
– or not – let us read whatever you think of it in the comments section, and have a fantastic month ahead.
…that we might be read
Black is Good
She’s a pauper – a poor little thing in a skimpy, worn-out and ragged dress. But because she was born on one of those days when the sun shined for just fifty miserable minutes, built a snow-man in winter and her skin pigmentation is brighter than yours, she thinks she is better.
In her head, she is up there and you are down there. Her life is the script you and your generations yet unborn should aspire to follow. She wants you to pronounce her name the right way by rolling your tongue even if it hurts. But she says it is illogical when you tell her the ‘K’ in Akpos is silent and should not be pronounced as ‘Hakkpos’. The society taught her to see herself as superior and you as inferior. So from now until the afterlife, you will always be black in her mind even if you die trying to be white.
You are black and will always be black. That’s why you are always alone on seats that should take four persons when you are on the train. When that boy with the curly hair and his friends board before you, they occupy the seats with their bags and legs sometimes. And when you ask them to take their bags so you can seat, they marvel at the audacity of a black man.
Because you are black and will always be, their stomach aches when you make meaningful contributions in class. They are red with envy and disdain when you tell the professor that the capital of Australia is Canberra and not Sydney. It is more annoying when you discuss the history of Europe with so much accuracy, especially how the allied forces made a mess of Hitler’s tactics. They say Boko Haram is running your country, you tell them the myriads of problems in their own backyards.
So when you have to work in groups, they assign to you what they think is the easiest task. Just because you are black, they think you lack the intellectual wherewithal to do that which they can do. At the meeting, they are stunned when you tell them 15 subtracted from 103 is 88 without using a calculator.
You know why that lady with flabby breasts at the store made you wait longer than you should when you paid with cash for all those items you bought? It is because a black man should never have that much. She says it is a normal procedure but it is normal only because you are different.
That cocky dude still can’t believe you beat him in a scrabble game. You compound his woes when you play soccer and you also dazzle him and his brothers when you have the ball. They play like machines; you are sleek, cunning and always scoring beautiful goals. That must be some African magic at work. That’s what they say in their minds.
You exceed their expectations in different ways. How can you be black and not be a beggar at their mercy? How can you be black and not kowtow to their whims and caprices? How can you be black and offer to pay for their meals when you eat out? How can you be black and not fit into the box their society has taught them to put you? How can you be black and not be ashamed?
It hurts their ego to say you are better than them. So they will remind you at every opportunity that you are black and will always be. Don’t try to argue because it is an argument you will never win. Just keep performing and prove to them that white is not always good and that black is not always bad.
By Vincent Nzemeke
Vincent ‘Veen’ Nzemeke is a Nigerian currently studying in Germany
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