In this era and time it is a perilous existence to be young and black, any where in the world. The black race has had its share of burdens, from slave trade to racial segregation.
In Africa, the yoke of colonialism reduced a human to a cheap commodity that was walked for thousand of kilometers of chains towards the sea, and then shipped in the lower decks of stinking ships in the most deplorable conditions during which most of them died.
If they survived they were sentenced to a life of servitude for the rest of their lives and even in their death.
In Asia, the caste system curiously places the darker peoples below their lighter skinned brothers. In the United States, the continued suffering of African-Americans has fomented a formidable civil rights movement that has albeit restored the black man to his rightful position as a human being.
All over the world, black men are ridiculed on buses, given double stares and numerous crosschecking of their passports at international airports.
Talented footballers of African origin who earn millions of pounds and ply their trade in some of the most famous football clubs in Europe have educated European fans enraged with their bigotry hurling abuses and making monkey signs at them.
Interestingly, in recent history the black man’s luck has taken a remarkable turn. In the United States, African Americans at first began to excel in sports and the arts leading some corners to suggest that blacks could only succeed in the ‘easier’ sports and arts and would miserably fail in the sciences, let alone politics where it was thought that whites could never overwhelmingly and genuinely vote a black man.
Sports like basketball and music genres like rap were relegated to ghettoes and denigrated for being let outs of the Blackman’s rage and in ability to proper.
In Africa, the story of young struggling nations was labeled least developed, failed states, poor countries, banana countries or any name which emphasized the downtrodden attitude.
Now the times are interesting. The all white sports like lawn tennis and gold are being dominated by the Serena sisters and Tiger woods.
Majority of the basketball players in the United States are among the richest sportsman in the world. The reigning formula one champion is young black Briton with a magnetic charm called Lewis Hamilton. The world’s most powerful man is a Black man with another from Hawaii and a dead Kenyan man.
In the days past, the death of legendary entertainer Michael Jackson has seen him surpass music greats like the Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Bob Marley in global popularity.
He not only is the proud owner of the highest selling album is the history of music in Thriller, but in his death, he has surpassed Barrack Obama as the most popular man on Facebook and has also won the enviable record of his funeral being most watched event in the history of television.
In Africa, Nelson Mandela is perhaps the most respected politician alive today. Our own President Paul Kagame has recently been named as one of the most influential people in the world by the globally respected Time Magazine. Africa, despite its tepid history of military coups, famine and hunger, disease etc is suddenly offering hope in many places.
Emerging stock markets are growing at speeds previously unseen. Today Zimbabwe’s stock exchange, despites the country’s well chronicled economic woes is one of the best performing stock exchange markets in the world which means with a well managed economy the sky is the limit for that stock.
For a young, black man and woman, there has never been so much hope of what one can turn out to be in their lives. Prosperity is spreading all around and black people are getting their fare share of things.
Perhaps it is time for black people to take their rightful place in the world. But as always it depends on what each of us want to do and what we are prepared to sacrifice in order to be the stuff of our dreams