So which of these have you heard?
“You are African? Cool, do you speak Swahili?”
“You are from Nigeria? Waoh. I know this guy from Nigeria too. He just got arrested.”
“You are from Africa? So you speak another language right? Like not English or French or like a real language though. Yeah? Cool. Say something.”
“You are African? what does Shaniqua mean in your language?” (this one almost started a fight)
“You are African and you don’t celebrate Kwanza?” (open mouthed shock)
“You sure are big for an African. I thought y’all was starving down there”
“That’s your family home? In Africa? Y’all got houses like that back there?”
“Stop playing! You from Africa and you ain’t ever seen a lion? For real?” (once again, open mouthed shock?)
“You are from Nigeria? Is that near Jamiaca?”
“You are African? So how come you can’t speak Zulu.”
“Oprah said one of her ancestors is Chaka the Zulu. You African right? Maybe you and Oprah are related” (to which I say, I would NOT mind)
“You are African, right? Did you ever see the God’s must be crazy“? Y’all be running around all scared of a coke bottle!”
“You are African, hun? I guess that’s why you talk like Eddie Murphy from Coming to America”
“How come African names are always so difficult to say?”
“You are African? I heard y’all got like Zebra’s and all just walking all on the streets and all. That must be so cool.”
“I just knew you were Nigerian, how come y’all always have a’ uppity English accent.”
“You are African, can you do voodoo?(…so well, it’s a spell. Makes me wanna….)
Looking at a picture: “that a Mercedes! Yo, y’all got Benzo’s in the motherland? That’s what’s up!”
…and now for my absolute favorite. This happened quite a few years ago, but it made a lasting impression on me. Granted he was only about 14, but…..
White boy: “So you are from Africa right?”
W.B: “So how did you guys get here?”
Me: “uh..we got a VISA”
W.B:Yeah, I know that. I meant, how did you get here. I mean it’s not like y’all have planes and stuff in Africa right?”
Me (Completely flagabasted): “No we don’t actually. We had to cross the Sahara by camels and then take a boat from Egypt to Spain and then caught a plane in Spain to New York.
W.B: Waoh, that must have taken a real long time.
(Apparently, my sarcasm does not translate well. Maybe it’s the accent, so I simply went with…)
Me: “Yeah, it took about two weeks.”
And that my dear is a true story.