The new trend: Africa.
I remember when the world started to wonder about Africa again. I remember it because slowly and all of a sudden black girls and ankara prints were all on my news feed. Head ties were high to the sky and melanin was popping. I mean pure melanin, like black. Like black black; the kind of black that they used to make fun and now is popularized. Wow. How things change!
I love the awakening definitely, especially amongst our brothers and sisters who are reconnecting with their roots. I mean shoo, I myself as a Cameroonian am still reconnecting with my roots. However, something has been on my mind as we begin to main stream Africa again. Is it possible that we could be re-appropriating our own culture? Before you chop my head off think about it. When you are painting your face with those 3 dots down your forehead and nose for the next afro punk festival do you think to know what it means? Do you know where it comes from? You cannot just say “o, it’s african” because what does that mean? Africa is a continent, so which country are you talking about? Which culture? From which people? You know not all Africans paint their face like that and not all do it for good reasons (if you know what I mean).
And let me not even get started on Ankara fabric. Guys, it is not African fabric stop calling it that. It is, however, most definitely part of African culture because it became popularized by Africans. However it was not made by Africans. It is still not made by Africans. And again, not all Africans wear ankara. So when people label it as African fabric I’m like…..um……no.
I myself have to be careful at times. I did not grow up in Cameroon. I grew up in America. Majority of my life was spent here and majority of the culture I know and have lived so far has been here. To be honest, sometimes that colonial mindset of America will sneak in every now and then. So when I draw inspiration from Cameroon I always have to remember to be very specific, factual, and credible. It is very easy to get lost in all the excitement but even in Cameroon itself there are over 50 languages and cultures.
So now Africa is the new hot thing. What can we do about it? Media can be so hard to control sometimes! Basically ladies and gents let us make sure we are not being hypocrites ourselves. Let us do all things with PURPOSE and KNOWLEDGE, not just because the last person looked cute doing it. And most importantly don't be a trend hopper. If it really means something to you then make the awakening meaningful in your life. Africa, or let me say, being unapologetically BLACK (because I am seeing that the two continue to tie in together via social media) is not a "one day your in one day your out" kind of thing. It is quite permanent.
"Once you go black you never go back."
lol, that fits in quite perfectly huh.