White is not a Culture

white coffee cup with white milk splashing out top and sugar cubes near all against a white and light grey backdrop

I have seen, countless times, people ask why is it okay to say “black power” but not “white power”.

Let’s break this down.

Over 400 years ago, the North Atlantic slave trade brought lots of people over here to the new world (remember this is pre United States). Over the course of a couple of hundred years, around 60 million people, in fact, existed as slaves here, whose bloodlines originally came from people who were brought over from Africa.

You might be saying “okay so why don’t they say “African Pride?”

Well, because there are actually, as of today, 54 different countries inside of the continent of Africa. Just like how there are 51 countries in Europe.

Now, you’ll probably agree with me that people in Ireland are different than people in Italy, and people in Italy are different than people in Germany, right? Each of these countries have very unique and specific cultures.

I’m a Yankee by birth. Born and bred here in the U.S., but I still celebrate the fact that my ancestors came from Ireland, Italy, and Denmark. I don’t say “Yay European pride”. I say “Yay Irish pride and yay Italian pride and yay Danish pride” you know?

Here’s the problem tho. Our black folk here in the United States, most of whom have ancestors who were slaves, usually don’t know the countries that their ancestors are from. They can’t say “Yay Botswana” or “yay Cameroon”.

All they have to go off for their ancestry is their skin tone and the fact that somewhere along the line their ancestors were forced from their homeland and brought here to what is now the U.S.

“White” is not really a culture. “Black” shouldn’t have to be either, but it’s the only identity that most of  our black folks know.

Published by Jonah Sheridan Fenn

Nerd herder, word wrangler, working on the next chapter...

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