Welcome/Akwaaba

“African booty scratcher!”, “She’s too black”, “Do you speak African??”, and of course the hundreds of insulting, yet creative, jungle jokes were just a few things I would hear while growing up as a Ghanamerican. The kids had no mercy when it came to teasing people who were “different” at my school and I always wondered how they were able to configure these preposterous thoughts of where I came from. It is fairly difficult to believe that my people were not always accepted just less than 10 years ago! Particularly because I can now turn on the radio and hear some of my cultures music playing, I can log onto Instagram and see a plethora of people wearing my cultures attire, and, just recently, I witnessed multiple people spend their Christmas holiday in my country. My how times have changed…

I will admit, growing up as a Ghanamerican was not always easy (Hell! It has never been easy, even today). While all the teasing (well….most of the teasing LOL) has ceased, I find that the current battle is tradition vs. current personal beliefs. My parents are older West African and Pentecostal believers who are very traditional. And I am…….well, let’s just say I’m not very traditional. We have different beliefs….different ways of thinking….different mindsets….different everything!!…(OK I promise I’m not always hostile LOL) and sometimes we can butt heads on certain topics. And if you are young child expressing your different point of views, then you are considered “being disrespectful” so it’s best to either not say anything or to just agree with your parents; and this still applies even in my early 30’s. Yes, girl!

So in case you have never heard of the term before, I know you are probably wondering, “What is a Ghanamerican?” A “Ghanamerican” is simply someone who was born in Ghana (or of Ghanaian descent), West Africa but raised in America. So for those who are of a similar background, you have probably nodded your head maybe once or twice while reading this. And for that reason, you should stick around and share some laughter and possible frustrations with me. For those who are unfamiliar with this term, I invite you to take a closer look at my culture from my point of view while growing up in good ol ‘Merica ;-).

-The Ghanamerican.

6 thoughts on “Welcome/Akwaaba

  1. “Colorism” has been an issue forever, it seems. I deal with it the same that I deal with ANY kind of racism; I try to consider that folks are ignorant to the fact that they are being insulting and/or I distance myself from whatever conversation they are having and from the people on the whole. I have learned that I will not be able to change their minds—I used to try. Now I save my time and energy on activities and conversations that bring me joy. I also do not take it personally; their racism reveals more about them and lets me know how insecure they are and does not define me nor change my mood. And even if this person has an opportunity that I had wanted to benefit from, I walk away disappointed with them, but knowing that I don’t want to owe—or work around or for—anyone who doesn’t value me. Thanks for sharing on an important topic.

    Liked by 1 person

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