Question: Like we discussed earlier, there is so much discrimination against black Africans. Can you tell us how it feels being a black African?
Charles Umerie: It’s amazing! When you look at it from Africa's standpoint, it’s the best feeling. Africa is the beginning of human race, so everything in Africa is organic. The people, cultures, languages, and the ideas are all organic. The African wisdom is priceless. Being a black African is the best thing that happened to me.
But when you look at it from the world's standpoint, it’s a disaster. It takes a lot of mental strength to be a conscious black African and not lose your mind. I tell fellow black Africans not to read too much about slavery, because reading about slavery will only fill their mind with hate and anger. But it’s impossible to skip that part of history because slavery was how black Africans were introduced to the world.
They used chains and whips to put our ancestors at the bottom of mankind. And we the new generation black Africans still face the same treatment, but now it’s more psychological. We are not in chains anymore, but we are tagged poor, unqualified, rude and criminals. And funny enough, racism it’s even about skin colour and race.
Racism is just generational hatred. Racists are racists because their ancestors were, so they picked it too. If it’s about skin colour, people wouldn’t be paying money to tan their skin. Before the industrial revolution in Europe, people hated tanned skin because only the poor have tanned skin. They were the ones working outside in the sun, while the rich stayed indoor. But after the industrial revolution when poor people started working indoor in the industries, while the rich went to the beaches and vacations, tanned skin became loved by people. You see? It goes beyond skin colour.
In ancient Egypt and Ethiopia, only royal families were dark skinned, and it had people darkening their skins at the time. That proves racism goes beyond skin colour. If Africa was the richest continent in modern time, do you think racism would be against the black Africans?
Well, having said that, being a black African is a blessing. It gives you something to stand for, and what you stand for is what gives you life.