Here Is Why I Think The African VS. African American Debate Is Tired, And Should Be Buried

A house divided cannot stand

Photo credit:Photo: Marvel | Black Panther

| August 09 2018,

3:47 pm

Black unity is a concept that one would believe would be very simple; a concept that relatively has no disadvantage for the members of the same race. But for some reason,  we can't all lock arms and sing songs of joy as we embrace each other and celebrate the one thing that keeps us bonded: our black skin.

Why we as black people continue to divide ourselves is very unfortunate and I would even go as far as saying it is a tragedy. In this article I will make the case both sides in regard to why the division exists. But ultimately this article intends to bring an end to this debate, and hopefully bring unity to our black race. While there are many generalizations and although they might not particularly reflect your feelings or might not be your experience, these are in fact the feeling of some people and are the experience of many.

We have all heard the infamous slur “Akata” before. There is a debate as in what this word means, and whether it is derogatory or not. I’d like to put that argument to bed and let you know that it is, in fact, derogatory and extremely offensive. Never have I ever heard this word used in a casual fashion. It has always been volatile and filled with disgust when saying it. Never have I heard: “Wow those Akatas over there are working hard” or “Wow look at those well dressed Akatas”. Instead the song goes more like this: “Those stupid Akatas over there” and “I would never be with an Akata person, ever”. Or even the following.


                                                                              Photo:  Twitter


                                                                                 Photo:  Twitter


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Using divisive language such as the word Akata tears us apart and creates a wall where there should be a bridge. Please don't allow anyone to attempt to sweeten the meaning by applying historical context of the word to divert from the fact that the present tense use of this word is derogatory and mean-spirited.

These are just mere examples of the disconnect and the way that people of African descent try to distance themselves from African Americans. One might make the point that these are lighthearted jokes but every joke has a layer of truth to it. We also can’t ignore the language used in these screenshots that contribute to the common theme of us vs them.

This divide predates the people who are posting, it is an issue that has been around for years, and the disconnect is not simply a one-sided one. There has been heckling and ridicule that has been dished out to people of various African countries including insults like “African Booty Scratcher” or foolish questions of socioeconomic conditions like: “Did you hunt lions”.


                                                                                  Photo:  Twitter


                                                                                    Photo:  Twitter


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There seems to be animosity on both sides of the Atlantic, but does it help anything? The short answers is absolutely not. We are not being helped by this nonsensical debate whatsoever. So long as we live in this country we are all bounded by the same issues that affect us as a black race. When Mike Brown was killed in Ferguson the police saw a black man and felt threatened. When Matthew Ajibade was killed by police the officer did not ask what tribe he is from. We all occupy the same skin tone, we are all bounded by the same racial ills of this country. We are all one people. Wizkid can listen to Tupac and rap, and Shantavia can listen to Afro Beats and Shoki. We should be sharing our different cultures under the umbrella of the African Diaspora, rather than furthering this silly divide.  

There is no such divide in other races, and if there is one, it is not as polarizing and infuriating as this one. We owe it to ourselves and future generations to bridge this gap today.