This video addresses the reasons why some African Americans, Afro Caribbeans, Afro Latinos & Africans from the continent hate each other.
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For a long period of time, there has been a long-existing history of an unfathomable and a silently raging rift between Africans and African-Americans or Afro-Americans. It should be noted that the relationship between these two related groups can never be erased or forgotten even though there seems to be a discouraging high-level of historical ignorance or lack of in-depth understanding, especially amongst the newer generations of both groups. The connection between Africans and African-Americans goes quite a long way prior to the era of slavery, which I believe warrants a brief trip down memory lane to refresh some existing knowledge on this subject.
How It Began
We begin by looking at the words of Audrey Smedley, who believes ideas about the difference in humans were developed during the era of African slavery. He believed up until the 18th century, Africans were positive people who engaged mostly in farming and cattle breeding. They had industries, arts and crafts, commerce and an existing form of government. After invading Africa, the Europeans realized Africans were better farmers and laborers, and immune to several diseases, which were perfect attributes in high demand within the colonialist world at the time. The colonists understood they needed the prowess and strength of Africans to meet their demands and as such, they developed the idea of transporting/trafficking them across Europe and America, which was then referred to as the “New-World”, knowing they would have no means of escape or return.
The Portuguese began the first slave trade agreement in 1472, which saw an influx of over 11 million Africans into America and across a few European nations as slaves. African slave trading became a lucrative business avenue amongst the Portuguese, Spanish and Dutch, and after North America was colonized by Europeans, there were vast lands in dire need of labor which led to the purchase of the first permanent African slaves from the Dutch in 1619. Due to their physicality and agricultural abilities, the slaves proved to be highly productive on the farms where they mostly cultivated cash crops ranging from sugar, rice and tobacco.
After the abolition of the slave trade (not slavery), issues of race got more intensified due to the non-acceptance of Black people and has since become the central point of human attention, interaction and relationship. It constituted the major form of human identity, a discouraging phenomenon that still gallantly exist in our world today. The creation and addition of a new ethnic group in the form of African-Americans started a new chapter in human existence and history, which has led to a whole new level of feisty societal restructuring, rebalancing and rearrangements. Although, whenever issues relating to racial or ethnic differences arise, most people would most likely always refer to the forever existing tensed-filled relationship between Black people and caucasians, but not so many would consider the possibility of any discord between other ethnicities within the same race, most especially Africans and African-Americans.
Africans Vs African Americans
The first reason to consider is the comparison debate between Africans and African-Americans, about who has suffered or continuously suffers the most. We begin by considering the latter’s historical slavery struggles which has obviously spilled over and transformed into the present-day inequality and inequity they are continuously forced to endure. History clearly made us realize the dehumanizing and disheartening low-level of inhumane treatments and conditions they had to go through before the abolition of slavery (which continues on, even today), and it is no longer news that the present American structure and system is continuously finessed to favor Caucasians who are majority over the minority Black population. With this understanding, some African-Americans always see African immigrants as opportunist who are profiting from their struggles despite not having shared in their pains or experienced the horrible and derogatory racial discriminations like they did, which is a reason for their mutual relationship with White Americans. They believe Africans do not share in their ideology and are unwilling to participate in their political and civil rights movements.
On the other hand, Africans can put their level of underdevelopment to colonisation and forced debt, which evidence suggest came as a result of the European invasion. As earlier stated, the entire African continent was developing at a steady pace but lost the plot when valuable human and material resources were taken by the colonialists. According to Nathan Nunn, slavery is the major factor for Africa’s underdevelopment to date; a phenomenon which has created ethnic fractionalization and undermined the effectiveness of several African nations. Recent studies suggest Africa’s 72% average income gap with the rest of the world would not have existed if not for the African slave trade. He believes the reason for the continent’s poor economy is due to the effect of the slave trade and colonialism which has led to the endless poverty and incessant conflict, poor leadership, and infrastructure, poor health and educational facilities, amongst other challenges. It also affects the present cultural and social outcomes of the continent responsible for the present ethnic division; amongst other factors that continuously push the continent back.
“They Sold Us”
Another reason to consider is the trust issues that exits between the two groups. So many African-Americans have some misconceptions that Africans cannot be trusted due to their willingness in allowing their fellow brothers and sisters to be taken or sold into slavery. To point out the fallacy with the former, studies have revealed that majority of enslaved Africans were captured through acts of kidnappings, raids and warfare, and through judicial processes, while only a few were literally sold by other African tribes. This video will address the myth that Africans sold their own people.
Furthermore on the factors to consider, there is a wide belief or notion amongst Africans about African-Americans misusing their available opportunities despite enduring numerous challenges and difficulties. It is important to note that Africans alongside other ethnicities also, share in the belief that America is a land of dreams and opportunities and will always be a dream destination for many. For Africans, one major reason why they migrate to the U.S. is centered around education due to the level of human and material resources invested in this sector. As widely known, education remains one of the best and golden ticket to living a better life as individuals, which also helps improve the socio-economic growth and development of the community. Another reason why Africans migrate to the U.S. is because of the availability of several decent job opportunities for both legal and undocumented immigrants.
On the other hand, some African-Americans blame the continuous influx of African immigrants into the U.S. to have negatively impacted the number of jobs that is available to them. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), the early immigrant influx into the U.S. between 1980-2000 resulted in 20% to 60% wages decline, 25% employment decline, and 10% rise in incarceration rates among Black people with high school education or less. Based on these statistics, it is understandable to see the plights and frustrations amongst African-American populations.
This video will delve a little deeper into the reason why their is a disconnect between African Americans, Afro Caribbeans, Afro Latinos and Continental Africans.