We have the same heritage, skin color and prejudices against us, yet for some reason there is a “racial” divide between us! I’m talking about African vs African-American stereotypical blocks.
Where did it come from?
Do African- Americans believe we are so removed from Africa that the Africans who come to the US are minorities to us?
Why do Africans who live in America rarely have African-American friends outside of business?
I am very fortunate to have a close friend and mentor who is from Africa (although he's been in the US for quite awhile). We often have sit downs where we discuss the differences between us as well as the similarities. No matter what you may perceive to be the truth, to racist America we are quite the same…some of us just do not have an accent!!!
In a recent discussion we spoke of the cohesiveness and power we would possess if we were to unite our strengths we bring to the table. Africans who come over to the states have no preconceived “Can’t do” mentality when it comes to business opportunities like many African-Americans. They don’t have 250 years plus of mental control to fight through. So, when they have an idea for wealth they move forward without hesitation. This does not mean they won’t face stiff resistance from mainstream America.
Now, African-Americans due to our assimilation know the systems and have over the years figured out how to get around certain roadblocks. Our names often do not signify Nigerian decent so at the very least we may not get thrown in the trash just because of the spelling of our names (let me point out that we do have certain issues with this from time to time as well…you know who you are!).
Imagine what our two mentalities could accomplish if we were to unite as a powerful force. We could possibly experience growth and power much like our Hispanic brothers and sisters. Those who speak English and know the US systems pave the way for their families and race. In the coming month (hopefully in Aug) we’ll be hosting an open forum for both communities to be able to communicate our differences. It is my hope that many will come and this forum will allow a positive dialogue to occur creating lifelong liaisons.