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Stephanie Busari needs Us to Recognise Our Privileges as Africans



Stephanie Busari, a supervising producer at CNN, wrote a piece about African race privilege and why we must take the time to understand why black Americans are angry, hurt, and tired.

As a mum, the award-winning journalist found it mind-boggling to explain the death of George Floyd to her 9-year-old daughter. No parent would want their child viewing the disheartening clip of how he was suffocated to death. How do you even pass on such news?

She eventually had to start a conversation about racism to her daughter:

…I took a deep breath and tried to answer her questions as honestly and openly as I could. I explained that moving to Nigeria was partly because I wanted her to grow up in a world without racism and micro-aggressions, and the mental exhaustion that comes with them, just like I did when I was her age. A world where her capabilities would not be pre-determined by her race. A world where she would be part of a majority and not a tolerated minority. A world in which she would be fully accepted and simply belong — without the need to explain where she was from, or to justify her existence.

In the article, she spoke about different times she had an encounter with racial discrimination, like the time she had a door kicked in her face, she was referred to as a “dirty African”, her college advisor told her to consider another career path because of her colour, to being followed around by store attendants while shopping in south London.

There’s more:

The one that cut really deep — and that hurts even now, when I recall it — was the time I was walking my daughter, then aged three, home from nursery and a white woman saw us coming along the road and clutched her bag tightly in response. Even with my young daughter by my side, this woman thought I was going to rob her. There was simply no respite from it.

Returning to Nigeria has given Stephanie a respite from the burden of oppression that black people abroad have carried for centuries, from slavery to Jim Crow, to the fight for civil rights and now Black Lives Matter. She wants Africans to recognise their race privilege, what she describes as “the privilege that gives us the mental safety net to move to America and pick up opportunities that African Americans have fought and died for”.

In the same way that white folks are required to educate themselves about race issues, Africans too must take the time to find out about this struggle, and to understand why African Americans are so angry, hurt, and tired.An encounter with the police should not equal a death sentence. And yet that is all too often the stark reality for many black people, not just in America, but in the UK and parts of Europe too.

There’s no sliding scale of equality. We are all humans and deserve the same level of humanity.

Black lives matter.

Photo Credit: stephaniebusari

1 Comment

  1. Dora

    June 11, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    Nice piece and I couldn’t agree more. But we also need to face some dark truths about the black community and culture. Could it be that the white woman had indeed been robbed by an African American before? It’s called trauma- would you blame her if it were the case? Or should we deny the crime rate and violence in black communities? How about black on back violence nko? No one complains about the way blacks kill oneother like chickens in America from gang violence? But if it’s a white person that killed a black, the whole world comes falling down. No one should kill- not white not black. So let’s not turn a blind eye at our irresponsible black cultures. And we just need to become upstanding peoplein society really coz an average black person in the hood is waiting for handouts from the govt or selling drugs or something ILLEGAL! Even the George Floyd who is being painted a saint was a serial felon- including armed robbery to a pregnant women. A black woman for that matter. Where is the love then? Again not a reason to be killed brutally but we just need to look inward guys. The white man is not the cause of all our problems- they are responsible for some not all. Ok in Africa, why are still soooo wicked to one another. Are we not all back here. Can we still blame the whites for our corruption, selfishness, greed and killings? The Ferguson guy that was gunned down, he robbed a shop, caught live on CCTV and he tried to take the officers gun. Co’mon guys, We need to address some of these issues too. It’s not okay to go about robbing. It’s not okay selling and dealing drugs. It’s not okay to be violent, it’s not okay to keep going in and out of jail and leaving your kids fatherless. A lot of our culture is not okay!


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