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On Blackness, Beauty and Identity

“I believe that black is beautiful. Just as I believe that red is beautiful. And so is every colour in their own way. But I do not agree that all that I am, all my beauty and all my strengths, all my mistakes and all my failings, all my dreams and aspirations, all my being can be summed up in just one colour.

You may keep your opinion. I would keep my uniqueness. Thank you.

I am African, and proudly so. I am Nigerian, and proudly so.

I am AKPOVETA, Valentine ‘t. I am a human being. I am not a colour. I am not black.”

Well Said!!!

touchedbyapen

Benin Image

I have heard and read about several concepts, “Black is Beautiful Movement”, “Black Power”, “Emancipation of Blacks”, “Harlem Renaissance”, “Negritude” and other related themes.

These are some of the greatest and most important movements in the history of human rights especially as concerns people of African descent and they have made some of the greatest contributions to self-determination.

However, I especially regard one of their common themes with more than a little scepticism- the celebration of collective blackness.

I ask, where did that word definition come from? It definitely couldn’t be from us Africans. Just as a fish doesn’t know it is wet, having spent all its life in water, I imagine our forebears didn’t call themselves black, having spent all their lives being around similarly skinned people. Obviously, that definition must have come from without. It must have come…

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