Thursday, March 4, 2010

How it all began

When I arrived in America in 1992, I was very excited and looking forward to new experience and adventure. The most important was to get an education, so that I may go back home and share my knowledge. That has not been the case for God Had other plans for me. So that is why I am choosing to write now, because there is much to be said about my experience and I truly believe that those who are open to listen, may appreciate my insight. I am glad that California was my destination, because after all that I have witnessed, any other place would have been difficult to bear. I will be the one talking about the gorilla in the room that everyone is trying to avoid and hope that it will allow my readers to pause and reflect on what I am trying to say. It took awhile to get to this point and I am ready to face it head on. I have learned much from each and everyone of you and I am better for it, I want to be honest and transparent in letting you into my thoughts and point of view.

On arrival to The USA, my expectations were high and America delivered in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Everything was beautiful and clean, it was raining when we arrived at our new apartment and I was overjoyed to be apart of this new life. As we continue to familiarize ourselves with the culture and traditions, it didn't take too long to see that something was not quite right. Back home in Nigeria I felt comfortable and confident wherever I was or went, it never occurred to me to think that somehow I am not welcome in certain places, I was perplexed about the idea that some how I may have sticky fingers when I go into a shop, so was constantly followed or will have to wait longer to get service while I can see that I had been waiting longer than some people. I was so naive, I thought maybe they didn't see me, so I will go and approach someone, only to be told that someone will be coming to help me... but who? It took awhile to catch on, and when I did, I fought back with everything in me. How dare someone actually look down on me when I have only shown them respect. I was raised to respect everyone, and when I come in contact with people to show them value and acknowledgment. Of course not everyone was this way, but I must say, the ones that were have left a mark. I never knew what racism was, this is where I came to learn about it and experienced it and let me tell you, it was not fun. It changed who I was, but I made it my duty to learn as much as I could about it and to understand the reasons behind it.

As a Christian today, I question why? Why did such ever occur? Christians are not supposed to be that way, that is if Scriptures are what we use as our examples. So I started writing and wanted to publish my life experience in America, with a focus on the Black community and what I know is true based on all that I had studied and drawn from my life growing up in Africa. It is not a simple subject to discuss, but it is imperative that it is, because I believe that there is a gross understatement of the impact of what such an experience can do to someone. I say this as an African immigrant who had the great and blessed opportunity to have been born and raised in Africa. I am at least able to separate the lies and focus on the truth of what it is to be who I am. To be continued...

No comments:

Post a Comment