February is nearing its end—the month when black people from all over the world, including myself, unite and celebrate the achievements of many of their own. It is a time when we all look back and reflect upon the struggles our forefathers and mothers went through to give us the rights that we all take for granted. It is also a time for all black people to unite as one and believe that no matter where our fellow brothers and sisters came from, we should appreciate each other for living life to the fullest in spite of all the negative stereotypes thrown our way.
Unfortunately, not everybody believes this. Every single day I see African-Americans make fun of one of their own for talking with a different accent or coming from a different country. I used to experience this in middle school when I was one of the top students in my grade. My black classmates would make fun of me because of my name and would spew such epithets at me as “Kunta Kinte” and “black monkey.” Those comments would hurt my feelings because these weren’t coming from white kids, these were coming from kids who were the same skin color as me. Instead of solidarity there was division over something as trivial as a person’s origin.
In order to be treated as equals by other people, black people need to treat each other as equals, and by doing that we would have come a long way.
–Jimi Alade ’11