Today, after a morning in town, where I received scornful glances for wearing a Nigerian cloth headscarf, I dreamt of moving to Africa and being surrounded by dark, African people. I daydreamed about blending in with my sisters at the market, of dancing to the drumbeat and watching my son play soccer with the boys–children who looked just like him.
But, repatriation is not that simple for many Africans in the Diaspora. Especially, as a single mom in Canada, I’d be trading one oppression for another! I live in a town that is 95% White, which keeps me very aware of the unyielding white supremacist attitudes towards Black people on a daily, constant basis. But this awareness is not a negative thing. If you do not like where you are living, then make it great!
Canada has great potential for nation-building and connecting with the Motherland without making a dramatic decision like repatriation. I have visited the West Indies, US, England and France and I do like living in Canada. I am afraid of ladybugs, I don’t think I’d do well with flying cockroaches and geckoes.
But as a Canadian who is aware and empowered of my link to the Motherland and the connection to other Africans in the Diaspora, I know that we have a unique advantage in Canada to nation build, unite and conquer. We do not face civil unrest and economic struggles like in Africa, or violent racism South of our border in america. Black Canadians have education, opportunity and the added benefit of having the most diverse city in the world (Toronto).
I am trying my best to funnel my money towards African owned businesses, and Black businesses that are interested in solutions towards Black liberation by starting funds or charities, by creating art or literature, etc. Some Canadians are way ahead of me
But, on a smaller scale, we can be the change we wish to see in our community. In my predominantly white community, I have created a reputation for myself as an unapologetically African wombman. I may not be particularly liked or welcomed, but the community sees me and I particularly go out of my way to connect with the small Black community. If a small, white town can emphasize African unification; so can the main cities like Ottawa, Vancouver and Montreal. We nation build by uniting, despite our differences, so we may come out of bondage and start a new era where across the whole world, the African people can be empowered and be free from oppression.