Why Black Americans Dislike Africans: A Response to Zara Chiron

Let me preface this by stating that I DO NOT hate African people. I have many loved ones who identify as African. Although I can’t directly trace my lineage back to Africa due to the Atlantic Slave Trade, I am of African descent and it seems really stupid to me to hate African people, who are essentially the same race as me. More true for West Africans, we are closer than cousins. We are brothers.

This title was generated as a response to another article with a similar title of This is Why Africans Hate Black Americans, which I will link here. As I read this article, rebuttals started to form naturally in my head and I decided to make a response based on my experience. I wrote this with the goal of inspiring much-needed dialogue between Black Americans and Africans, in hopes of bringing about a bit more understanding between the two groups so that maybe we can get along better!

Well, let’s get right to it!

Keri Hilson and Serge Ibaka wear African Royalty garb.
Keri Hilson and Serge Ibaka wear African Royalty garb.

Once of my best friends told me a story about how she confronted the African Student Union at her school. She was at some type of forum put on by both the Black Student Union and the African Student Union and she went up to the mic and asked, “Why do you guys act so stuck-up? You walk around campus with this ‘I’m better than you’ attitude.”

I was shocked when she told me this. (But we’re both G’s like that.) Secretly, I thought I was just flat-out “in my feelings,” so I was glad to find out I wasn’t the only one who noticed some Africans’ air of superiority. She said that people were shocked in the audience, too.

In response, the ASU answered with, “Well, a lot of Africans don’t like how Black people don’t take advantage of their opportunities here in America.” Understandable.

Bestie retorted with, “Well, we’re in school getting an education and doing what we need to be doing. You need to take that up with the folks who aren’t doing anything with their lives,” and this anecdote leads me to my first point.


ATTN: “the next train’s coming” has moved!

Finish reading this article at thenexttrainscoming.com.


5 thoughts on “Why Black Americans Dislike Africans: A Response to Zara Chiron

  1. I enjoyed reading your article, having never lived in or visited the USA, i find this article educative. Growing up in Rwanda, me and my friends were fascinated by Black American culture. Kids who had BET or MTV would record Awards and videos on cassettes and later on DVD’s, to this day, American hip-hop dominates the airwaves though Congolese and know Nigerian music are popular too. We learn MLK speeches at school and we watch Black American movies.
    All over Africa Buses are painted with names and pictures of famous Black American Hip-hop artists, i use to go to school on a bus called Air Force One after Nelly’s song, it was all white and was made to look like the Nike shoes, after changing neighborhoods i started going to school on a bus called G-Unit.
    Africans, in this case Rwandans (Africa is made of 54 very different countries, and i can’t speak for all of them), are fascinated by Black American culture because even if different we can see ourselves in it, the way you talk and act seems familiar. Rwandans are a silent and soft spoken people, showing emotion or raising your voice is frowned upon in our society, to us Black American culture seems more similar to West and Central African culture and way of being, than ours. But we still see many similarities. And it is not limited to Black Americans, Caribbean culture too, Bob Marley is a god to some and a prophet to many in Africa, his birthday is celebrated across all the continent, and his Africa Unit still carries power.
    From my point of view Africa is depicted as badly in popular Black culture as it is in White media, Africans may also have negative stereotypes about Black Americans, but we try harder and with far less means to know about you. I felt proud when i saw Beyoncé flying Mozambican dancers she saw on YouTube, to the US, to teach her a South African dance (Kweto) for her Run the world video, yet i doubt if she learned anything about the township culture that created that dance. I am still waiting for an African superstar like WizKid, Fally Ipupa or even P-square to perform in the BET Awards.
    In Rwanda this last 10 years 30 000 Chinese and 8 000 Indians have migrated here to live and work, we have 13 000 strong Dutch community, but how many African Americans have visited? It is true that Rwanda is far from the regions where the slave trade took place, but I doubt it’s any different in Nigeria. From my perspective African American are not very interested in Africa, if they have the means to travel, it is not the first place they will think of, if they have the means to invest outside of their countries, it is not the first place they will go.
    Black Americans may be poor, but compared to most Africans they are quit rich, http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/10/what-if-black-america-were-a-country/380953/ , with more means comes more responsibility. If Africans make the effort to know more about our diaspora, the diaspora should make an even greater effort to know about its motherland.


    1. I loved this comment! Such beautiful thoughts from you. You make me even more excited to visit Africa! I can’t speak for all African-Americans, but the vast majority of the ones like myself who are educated DO actually yearn to visit the motherland and put it on our dream places to visit, but maybe not to migrate to. That being said, a lot of us are still ignorant about Africa, but this is changing exponentially. Even a lot of the ones who can’t afford it have African artifacts in their homes and feel some kind of connectedness. The ones who have been often speak of an indescribable sense of a “returning home” if you will. I’m definitely putting Rwanda on my list of places in Africa to visit. I had no idea how popular Af-American culture was there. I wish African culture was as prevalent in the U.S.A., but I feel as though we don’t get media access to it like I Black American culture dominates American culture I feel. Thanks so much for reading and commenting, Habarugaba!


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