10 Facts About BLACK PEOPLE You Should Know

Op-ed

Black people are very unique people and I've been meaning to write about "us" for some times now, but after the death of George Floyd, a black man whose death has aroused a lot of buzz in almost all parts of the world and on the social media, I decided this was a perfect time to really write this article and share with the rest of the world the things they may not fully understand about the predominant race of the black people. So here are the ten facts, in summary, that I, a black girl can say for the rest of my country people.

1. Our skin colour is not abnormal

Most of our problems are linked to this, some people see our skin color as abnormal. It may surprise you that many people especially in the eastern region (the asians) believe we have dark skin because we're dirty!! That's a very horrible misconception and it's a shame that people can be so ignorant.

If you don't know the main reason why our skin is black, then this is going to enlighten you. Africa, which is the main land of the blacks, is a continent with a prominently hot weather condition, this high solar intensity increases ultraviolet radiations on our skin and as a result, our skin produces a pigment known as "melanin" to absorb this radiation in order to protect us from cancer and other related skin diseases thereby darkening our skin colour.

That's the major reason we have dark skin. This trait has been transferred from parent to infat as an evolutionary survival characteristics. While some of us may be lighter in colour, the majority are quite dark and we love the way we are, that's why we always say "Black is beautiful" and I couldn't agree less. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being dark, afterall, it's our different skin colours that makes the world much more beautiful.

2. Not all of us are violent, most of us are actually very hospitable

This is another stereotype that even movies and social media help to promote. They've put it into so many minds that most black people or "niggas" are very violent which is not true. Though some of us may be very violent when triggered or when our life is being threatened, it applies to anyone regardless of their skin colour. Our majority are very kind and hospitable. We are wonderful hosts and always put on our best behaviour when we ought to.

3. We have and very strict cultures and principles (Especially Africans)

One of the greatest undeniable characteristics of the black nation especially in Nigeria is our culture. Nigeria is the country with the richest African culture with more than 200 tribes and ethnic groups. We value our culture and even in this modernized era, we still find ways to celebrate and renew our cultural beliefs and practices. We celebrate so many festivals and events annually, one of the best being the popular "new yam festival"

I can't speak for the rest of the African countries but in my country Nigeria, spanking isn't considered a crime, infact it is considered a form of discipline and is widely embraced by majority of adults.

4. We are Versatile

Did you know that black people make up 1 percent of the students at Harvard business school? It might not seem like a big number but it's great. Black people are almost everywhere! You'll find us in Asia, America, Antarctica and even Australia. We do very well everywere we go and that's because we are very flexible and versatile.

Like the famous saying "act like Romans in rome", we easily adapt to any new environment and we tend to make the best out of any situation we find ourselves in.

5. We have a great sense of humour: comedy is definitely our thing

Want to have a good laugh? Watch our comedy (Kevin Hart is a witness) We are very fun to be around and our sense of humour is excellent. We have so many talented people that are Godsent to instill happiness and our comedians are the best of the best. Nigerian comedians are amazing, just watch Lasisi Elenu, (laa-si-si Ee-le-nu),Taaoma (Ta--oh--ma), AY, Basketmouth, Bovi, Akpororo (aa-po-ro-ro), Maraji (ma-ra-gee) and lots more on YouTube.

Another good thing about us (especially in my country Nigeria), is that we always find a way to laugh no matter what. We make jokes out of anything, our bad economy, world war, bad government even Corona virus, we have memes for everything and we do it to keep ourselves distracted and we are strong for that.

6. We are not inferior

Many Africans or blacks may be uneducated but quite a handful are, we are talented all-round (education, entertainment, politics, etc). From Martin Luther king Jr and Kofi Annan to noble prize winners; Prof Wole Soyinka and Chinua Achebe, black people have definitely contributed a lot to the world.

You can also read;100 greatest African Americans

We may not be as developed as the western world but we certainly live in the 21st century (at least most of us do), not everyone in Africa lives in huts and runs around naked like the media depicts and we are definitely civilised despite our old customs and traditions.

7. We are very sensitive.

Especially when it comes to issues like slavery, racism and colorism. I once visited an old slavery museum in Calabar, Nigeria. We were told how black people were sold into slavery as though they were properties or cattles and how their white "owners" used hot rods baked in fire to imprint identification marks on their skins. The thought is disturbing and the scars (not just physically) are things that won't go easily.

Discrimination, prejudice and favouritism based on race is also something we greatly suffer, which we are hopefully fighting bit by bit, thanks to our collective efforts.

8. We are very diverse

Black people are like snowflakes, so similar yet very different so don't judge every black person because of a particular black group you see.

It can be very annoying when someone from another race comes up to a black person and ask them "Can you speak African?" Or when people from other countries fail to understand that Africa is a continent not a country and so, think that every black person falls under one nation or state.

They're 54 countries in Africa and these countries have very different cultures and ways of life. Some countries even have other different tribes and nations within it. Take Nigeria as an example, we are one country but with over 200 different tribes and cultures, it's hard to classify us under one nation at times. Tunde from Yoruba may not know Ihuoma from Igbo and Clara from Senegal doesn't know who Appiah from Ghana is.

If you really want to know us, get to know each one of us differently- never make assumptions about black people, our differences are striking.

9. We are very bubbly and we know how to party!!

We throw the best parties in the globe. If you ever go to a party hosted by a white man and you go to another one hosted by a black man, the difference will be very clear. We know how to celebrate and "food" is a very big part of any celebration especially in Nigeria. Where I am from, a party isn't complete without the traditional "jollof rice" or "swallow" with soup. Drinks are also very essential especially the custom "maltina" and local wine.

10. We are proud of our race

Yes, we may complain a lot. After all, we are part of a world that is still developing and most times, our leaders don't make things easy as some of them are corrupt and selfish. However, we love our country no matter what, though most of us have always wished to live or study abroad (I inclusive), we know that no matter what, nothing compares to our homeland.

We are proud of our different customs and traditions, we are proud of our skin colour and most importantly, we are proud of our race.

Ikwuegbu Ihuoma
100k+ pageviews

A very creative Nigerian teenager who is passionate about content and digital creation. She loves music, playing the piano, chess, puzzles and any other thing that challenges her intellectually. She also loves learning, meeting new people and taking on challenges. Be sure to read her blog!