Toubab

Jocari Peralta - Senegal


September 24, 2017

Stop!

Don't tell me that I'm not African just because my skin don't match the bottom of that pan when neither does yours!

Just because I don't speak the language know the culture breathe the lifestyle feel the blood of what's her name pumping through my veins don't mean I don't know… cause if that's the case then neither do you…

I find it painful to sit back and relax as people with darker skin claim their ancestry proudly.

It's something I just don't have the privilege to do.

I'm just too light- my skin that is- only I didn't choose to be.

I didn't choose to be raped slaughtered bleached straightened or beat…

I didn't choose to have more European descent, but I do, and that's okay.

Cause you see I don't deny the melting pot that I am.

I know I'm black, and white, and gold and silver and slaves and Indians and a little bit of Moor…

More… Oh you want more?

Yeah I know.

Question is do you?

-A product of Multiracialism

Being a light skinned Latina from la Republica Dominicana in West Africa brings back supressed memories of slavery I didn't even know I had.

Turns out I've been a slave all of my life because when you don't know the truth, you might as well be in chains…

The other day I saw this light skinned woman shopping at a “boutique” or as we say where I'm from- a bodega.

You could tell she was a local, but her skin wasn't that much darker than mine.

I remember robbing a couple of glances as I walked pass the boutique until she finally noticed me…

Maybe I made the moment up in my head, or maybe not, but it was as if she let me know that she understood my story- that she understood the darkness behind my light.

If I had one CFA for every time I heard someone call me a “Toubab” (The Wolof equivalent of Gringa/Gringo) I would have one million USD by now!

I am sorry to anyone who has ever been called a Gringa/Gringo…

I get it now.

Jocari Peralta