We all have something we can remember about our childhood some fond and others not, but it is the very existence of our culture and customs that help form us to the adults that we are today.
Life for me was a little different I am an American but I was raised by a Yoruba family so I have the best of both worlds. I often can sympathies and relate with Bio-racial children who do not claim rather they are black or white because the fact is its hard trying to fit in both worlds. Though I am a black American, I had always felt like I had one foot in the Yoruba culture and one foot out.
I learned how to speak, dress, cook different foods like eba, egusi fry plantain with rice and stew majority of my fondest memories, and friends are Nigerians. Growing up in the Yoruba cultural was somewhat of a rite of passage for me Yoruba people are a very proud group and you have to meet up to their standard and believe me if you are not doing it right they will let you know.
I have enjoyed both sides of the coin yet coming from two backgrounds can be somewhat difficult because you face stereo types who try and place labels on one as an “oyinbo” which means white it took months before the neighborhood children would stop singing the well know street song. “Oyinbo pepper… if eat pepper you will yellow more” as I walked down the streets or “Akata” which is a demeaning name for American. Then you have the American side that ask you demeaning questions like “Did you sleep in the jungle” or “Were there animals walking through the street” and “How did we find food to eat?”
I have learned to embrace both sides and use them to my advantage It’s great to show up to a Nigerian party and play the American and listen to what they have to say about me before I introduce myself because we women love to gossip. On the other hand, the American side tends to look at me as just another black female until they get to know me. Then they are impressed that I have such a diverse background and want me to say something in a different language every minute as if I am Rosetta stone software.
Never the less I am comfortable now being the “In between” as I playfully call it, there is nothing wrong with being a little different; it is what makes us unique in our own way. Look at our 45th President Obama he made history being the first black man to sit as President in American history and Mr. President comes from a very diverse background. I think that is what makes him so great is because he can relate to others cultures.
Therefore, this write-up is for all my in-betweens embrace whatever background you may come from whether your mother or father is Yoruba and Ibo or an Hausa married to Chinese or a Nigerian born and educated in foreign land; because it is our uniqueness and difference that make us the great people that we are.