Why us???

Jean Ulysse - Brazil


October 21, 2011

Everyday when I am walking down the streets of Bonfim in the lower city of Salvador, Bahian people mistake me for African. Why that is I do not know, but I am eager to find out.  People of African-descent throughout the diaspora need to dialogue with one another, so I asked aloud  “why do you think I am African”, and their answer was,” you are Black”.

Reflection with self: “Then, if I am not Bahian, I have to be African, as if there are no other Black nations in the world.”

We are living in the 21st century where we should be doing something meaningful about race relations but we are not, we prefer to be “post”….

As John Lennon once said ” Power to the people”. I am thinking: “do these people I live amongst now have power?” I doubt it. Well, I do not let the fact that some do not know that there are Black people all over the world put me in a irascible mood. I live in a house here in Brazil where sometimes I do not have running water, I have to use a small bucket of water to shower. As a Black, young male I realize I have to go through pain in order to become myself.

I am not trying to judge you for what you are doing, but you might have a guilty conscience about somethings.

We as Americans, we are very lucky to have purified water to drink and be able take care of our daily needs. I have witnessed people die from diarrhea. People in Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Haiti and Brazil do not have purified water to drink or running water in the home as you are using running your shower — a bad imitation of a waterfall.

Be mindful about this, but how? I will say the first step is consciousness. You have to be in these people shoes who live on the margins of society here in Brazil to see what its like to be them.  Trade shoes with them to see what its like. For sure there are other steps to accomplish this but you have to start by conscientization.

You, that are reading my blogs, if you are interested in knowing how to accomplish this I will tell you when I find out with the kids at my apprenticeship.

I will let you know. Or maybe even better you will let me know.

Jean Ulysse