Saturday, April 4, 2009

365/8 Alfred

When I was growing up my family moved back and forth from continent to continent.
I was born and raised in Zimbabwe. When I was born the country was "Rhodesia" and in the 1970's there was a civil war, ending in the countries independence and a name change to "Zimbabwe".
My family lived in Zimbabwe through this tumultuous time. My father fought in the civil war, his brother was killed. I have other family members who also lost their lives. Few people who lived there through this time were left unscathed.
In elementary school there was this boy, Alfred, whose family moved to the USA when the civil war broke out and did not return until after independence. Alfred was born in the USA.
Alfred was incredibly mean to me. He would call me "whitey" and say that my family did not belong in Zimbabwe and that we should be killed.
I never understood why the color of my skin should make me "less" African. Although Alfred was the first person in my life who overtly claimed I was not "African", it is a sentiment I have encountered many times in my life.

I am African, not because I was born in Africa, but because a piece of Africa was born in me.

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