Its A Black Thing…
*Disclaimer* The views which are about to be expressed in this article are not meant in a deragotary sense and I do not attempt to refer to every single black person in the universe…just a few.
Hi guys. I thought I would write a post today as it feels like I haven’t wrote one since forever. Lately plans for world domination with my fellow BWNGs and women various other activities have left a brother stretched for time. I also just arrived back from my first visit to the motherland (whoop whoop) and have been dealing with the after effects of travelling, namely those cheeky mosquitoes who were enjoying the foreign cuisine whilst I was visiting. My post today was actually supposed to be Mario Balotelli inspired “Why Always Me?” but my mind is still processing all the wonderful and crazy things I have experienced in the last couple of weeks so I thought I would draw inspiration from that (I’m sure that I can squeeze Balotelli in this somewhere).
My recent trip has made me look at a lot of things differently, particularly from a cultural perspective and I feel like I understand my people that little bit more in a few ways. This is not to say I ordinarily feel like a stranger amongst my own people, I’m just a little more clued up now I have witnessed African culture first hand. I recall a conversation I had on the journey with an older lady whom I made travel buddies with as we were sitting next to each other. Our plane was delayed because there was a problem with hand luggage and until it was all safely on the plane we couldn’t take off. The problem was that 80% of the people on the plane had twice as much hand luggage as they were supposed to have and were busy speeching all the staff to not watch them as they tried manoeuvres which looked in direct violations of the flight code.
The woman next to me then proceeded to tell me about why this was the part of the holiday that she enjoyed the least and this is why she tries to fly with Virgin; but its a recession (unfortunately we were flying budget). As we conversed sitting underneath people who were attempting to climb over us and force luggage into impossible space above our heads, I laughed to myself and thought, lighten up its a black thing. In fact my whole trip made me realise there’s quite a few ‘its a black thing’ characterisations.
Here’s a few little things that we do worldwide that some people may not understand so I’ll try to explain a little.
Most people who do not understand black people will think that black people are more aggressive than they actually are. We speak loudly, its just our way, it takes getting used to but you gotta try unless of course you plan on living on the moon (The only place black people haven’t emigrated too but I still need to see proof). In Nigeria, everywhere I walked for the first few days I thought I was in a war zone where everyone argues; one time I thought seven people were in heated discussion, only to actually look and see two friends having a normal conversation…we’re just loud.
I wasn’t going to conform as I saw this as unnecessary at first, but I soon had to get with the program when I noticed my soft spoken voice was not respected in the Lagos market place. Prices seemed to go up the softer I spoke forcing me to get my Barry White on by day 4 before I went broke without actually buying anything.
We love designer labels (especially Gucci belts)
In my week in Nigeria I saw more Gucci belts in Shoprite than I have probably seen in my entire life. This is not me trying to imply they shouldn’t be worn there, or that only black people love designers, I’m just saying these belts are popular yo. I’m not a hater, so rock your belt and play on playa I aint trying kill nobody’s game. I’m rather thinking about the fact that almost every T-shirt I saw had a large designer name etched across the middle, some in a rather suspicious pattern and complimented with the most random items of clothing.
Seems we love our labels, but we already know this. Its a well known fact that many a brother in London take their Louis/Gucci game seriously; all of us have seen the guy with his clothes tucked in so you can see his Louis belt…yep. Shoe/trainer game is also very important to many black men in the UK, with some people even ready to fight for you stepping on those freshly washed shoes that came out of the pillowcase.
We Push it To The Limit
Black people timing is increasingly looking like a worldwide phenomenon, I’m on holiday number 7 and have yet to see any evidence of this being false. If you tell someone lets meet at at 6 pm don’t be surprised if you see them one minute before you were due to get pissed off. Almost everyone was late all week. The people on the plane was a prime example of pushing things to the limit. The problem on a flight to Nigeria is that it means almost everyone is going to do push things to the limit…the hand luggage limit was pushed to the limit. I know some will argue that this happens everywhere but its the first time I’ve ever witnessed it and any other time I hear similar stories it happens on flights to either Africa or the Carribean…its true.
We Worship God Differently
This is something I definitely realised within 2 hours of being on the plane when the women 2 rows behind us broke into a full out sermon with her friend next to her, loud enough for everybody on the plane to hear. I have probably known this from about 12 years old when I was asked why my aunties were walking out of the community centre dressed in all white with no shoes by my friend who was sure we were not the same religion despite my assurances that I was a Christian, and that the community centre was being used by us as a church on weekends. I think some of the people on the plane were surprised by the woman, some even became nervous. The white people on board just didn’t understand, but im sure if they had been to church whilst out there they would have understood if it happened on the flight back and maybe even got involved. We’re just a bit louder and longer with our worship than others.
These are just a few things people may not understand about black people that is good to know if you don’t know already. There’s tons more but I would go on forever and I don want to offend and start any internet beef. Do you have any to share? if so feel free.