I have had my fair share of being called a ‘coconut’, black on the outside and white on the inside. Simply because I listen to ‘white music’ and do things in a ‘white way’.

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But, what is White and what is Black? Who even determines what a certain race should do and what a certain race shouldn’t?

When I open my mouth, they say I speak like a White person. A Caucasian friend of mine once told me that if I had a radio station, most people would think it was a White person on the other side. An African friend of mine told me that if I went to the rural settlements (kumusha), they would all think that their oppressors had come back for their farms.

Despite what people say, I still think that I am the most African Brown person I know. I am not BLACK, I am BROWN. I believe that in Africa we have different shades of Brown and not Black.Dark brown for those with a darker pigmentation and light brown for those who are lighter(yellow bones).

No African is Black, we are all just different shades of Brown.

As a Brown woman, I can be civilized and I can also be rowdy. I can be classy just as much as I can be ratchet. I will put on a head wrap (doek) if I feel like it. And yes, at times I do let my coarse hair be a little unruly and yes I do turn into an angry ‘black’ woman when I feel my rights being violated. I am a Brown woman who is not ashamed of who she is. I am proud to be Brown but I am not proud to be Black because that is not who I am.

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Black is the colour that is usually tainted with negative things. Black clothes for funerals, blackmail, blacklist, blackout, blackheads, black the colour that absorbs all the light yet it reflects none and Black the same term used to refer to a person of African, Aborigine or Maori descent.

Why?

Simply because history wasn’t good enough to them.

The colour White has a positive connotation. White clothes worn at christening ceremonies simply because they resemble purity, White lies the term used for lies that are not really lies and White noise the term used for any nondescript noise used for background or to mask or drown out other noise.

Everything white is somehow good while everything black is bad. Then why would I want to be called Black? Why would I want to wear this societal badge and be proud of who people say I am, eventhough I know it is not me?

I am not Black, I am Brown. Black is not the colour or the label that I want to be associated with, unless you are referring to the little BLACK dress in my armoire.

“Black is the badge of hell, the hue of dungeons and the suit of the night” – William Shakespeare

Then why would I want my beautiful skin to be referred to as black? Why would I want people to label me as the black girl? Why would I even call myself black of all colours?

Brown, a colour like chocolate or coffee. My skin is brown like chocolate and rich like coffee. It is definitely not as black as the night. I am all things beautiful, natural and set apart. I have embraced my chocolate skin, my hair, my thighs, my breast and my heritage. I am Brown, but I am not Black. I know who I am and I am proud to be who I am.

I have never heard anyone referring to dark chocolate as Black chocolate.. it is called dark chocolate because it is a darker shade of Brown. So then why should people with a darker shade of Brown be called black?

I am not Black, however I am Brown. I could be the darker shade or Brown but definitely not anything close to Black.

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So please do not be surprised when I speak like a White person or listen to White music because before society labelled me as black and the girl next to me as white, I was just a human being. A human being with no boundaries. A human being with the freedom to become anything.So I will not accept any label from society unless it describes me in my fullest splendor. If it is going to demean me then I will have no part in it.

Call me a rebel if you must but I am not Black, I am Brown.

Mind you, when all of us were born, we were all white, we had one pigmentation. Meaning that we were all human before society put us in a box.

I am and always will be proud to be Brown, just not Black.

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4 thoughts on “NOT BLACK, JUST BROWN

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