It is amazing to me that prior to marrying my Nigerian (Ijaw) husband I was so very disconnected from Africa–the
I remember the first time I saw an African male was when I was a pre-teen growing up in Wildwood,
Our family use to watch National Geographic all the time, and it was through that program that I discovered things about
In February, which is our Black History Month, was the time to purchase an African garment and wear it to some sort of celebration to salute our ancestral heritage. It is amazing how we did this year after year, and still we had no genuine and tangible connection with the
When I told African Americans, who were my friends and co-workers, that I was engaged to my then fiancé, some of the first things they asked me is “Is he ugly, for you know those Africans are ugly?” Or they wanted to know if he could speak English, and of course, many of them asked, “Does he have AIDS”. I realize, through my personal experience in my past, and the many questions and negative comments concerning my engagement and then marriage to a Nigerian man, that many African Americans have misconceptions and prejudices against Africans. I told them if they can see the beautiful women and handsome Africans that I encountered in
I was so impressed how many languages Africans can speak when I flew to
I observed how many Africans have adapted to their environment very well, for they endure high temperatures in the heat of the day. Once, my husband and I were driving down the rode and there were bush fires along the side of the road. I believe they started because the bushes were very dry and the temperature was high. Along side of those burning bushes, which burned in spots, walked women carrying buckets of water on their head with a baby strapped to their back. If African Americans were dropped off in that spot (along side of those burning bushes carrying a bucket on their head and a baby on their back) and told to endure, I know we probably could not! I came to, not only appreciate even more the many blessings that I have in America by having air-condition daily in my home, on my job, and in the car, but I also came to admire greatly the enduring power and determination of the daily survival of my African brothers and sisters. We just go to our faucets and turn on the water and it flows, but many Africans have to buy water for cooking, bathing, and cleaning and walk great distances (some of them) to get that water back home again.
My marriage to my Nigerian husband and my visit to