In the African-American community, we have been witnessing a disturbing pattern of Nigerian-origin hateful rhetoric towards American descendants of slavery while burrowing themselves into the very same ecosystem that African-Americans have fought to create to give people of Nigerian-origin the pipeline to pursue opportunities in America.
What is more disturbing is these Nigerian-origin individuals engaged in hatred towards African-Americans appeared to be “sanctioned” by liberals/progressive platforms who are attempting to use black people from the Caribbean and Africa to appear as the “black narrative” in America.
Ihuoma Ofordire, who works on the HBO “Lovecraft Country” series, has revealed in a tweet she was warned by her mother about dating African-American men with the use of a Nigerian-origin slur called “Akata” that has a derogative meaning towards African-American people.
First of all, my reaction to this is probably the same as yours— this is weird and awkward, why would a bunch of Black people in Nigeria come up and devise an ethnic slur called “Akata” towards another group of black people in this world? Then their black Nigerian mothers are telling their Black daughters, not to date First-World African-American men like we some pieces of garbage out here? All of this makes no sense and unwarranted hatred considering how African-Americans actively contributed to the advancement of Black people worldwide in an unselfish and sacrificial manner. One of our Civil Rights heroes, Whitney Young died in Nigeria going over there to support them.
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Furthermore, Ihuoma talks about being a proud “Igbo” — we African-Americans were the ones who accommodated the “Igbo” people from Nigeria in the 1970s when the state was massacring Igbos and taking over the Igbo kingdom — they got grisly macabre YouTube videos in case someone wants to forget their history. We African-Americans took Ihuoma people in here in America and the thanks we get is Ihuoma mother telling her about “Akata” and not to date them — that’s the thanks we get from Ihuoma moms and her.
The average African-American person like myself do not even know what is the context of “Akata” because this is something we don’t even expect to even realize a Black-on-Black slur word existed — we always thought of Black people around the world as our common family in the struggle against global white supremacy and oppression.
Let me make something clear with anybody from Nigeria using slurs like “Akata” to African-Americans, this kind of hatred and slurs against African-Americans is beneath us and don’t even register on our radar. I can care less about some Nigerian old woman telling her Nigerian daughter not to date an African-American man — that sounds stupid and silly to African-American people that earned our position through blood, sweat, and tears to be the standard-bearer of blackness in this modern world.
I’m not even going to go there with how bad the actions of Nigerian nationals make everybody Black looks in this world — I can write a whole book on that with annotations if I want to go there. When I travel in remote parts of this world, you know what I get asked by people out of caution? They ask me if I’m Nigerian. I say no, I’m American and they start smiling and talking about Muhammad Ali and James Brown — you Nigerians don’t have nor earned that kind of social capital to go around making up “Akata” slurs towards African-Americans. I’m not going to bring up the Nigerian and South African thing but we African-Americans are very well aware of that whole spat as well.
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Furthermore, no one in America is going to protect anybody from the African Diaspora thinking they can come here to America and start disrespecting African-Americans. I don’t care what company, what liberal billionaire or what social media platform or blog platform is out there — African-Americans ain’t scared and we stand up to our oppressors and we don’t play with anybody around here. We fought and sacrificed too much to reach the station we are at today to play with crumb snatchers and bootlickers trying to undermine the legacy of African-American people and calling us names like Akata.
I will be in formal contact with AT&T as well as HBO over this Ihuoma Ofordie and her “Akata” hate tweet as well as other African-Americans who will not tolerate this mess. The sad and perplexing part is African-Americans have to figure out why the hell Nigerians even made up the word “Akata” as if we African-Americans has done something to the people of Nigeria to deserve this kind of hateful sentiment? The first thing our Black mayors have done in America in the 1970s and 1980s was to create opportunities for Africans to migrate to places like Dallas, DC and more — the hell our African-American people done to Nigeria to be called something like “Akata” or Nigerian mothers telling their daughters don’t date African-American men? I’m very confused about that.
This “Akata” slur doesn’t even make sense to us but African-Americans will not be tolerating any more undermining hate towards us from anyone in the African Diaspora and we will come for any progressive/liberal groups and organizations sponsoring these Africans/Carribeans to feel empowered to come at African-Americans like this.
This article appeared on Medium. It is reposted here with the permission of the author, Ed Dunn. Read the original.
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