By Kelsey Maggott
This article was originally published in Print Edition 3 of VARSITY News, 2018.
Africa is home. I take great pride in being born in Africa and knowing that my ancestral lineage goes back three generations in this continent. However, I feel obliged to identify as a white African. By doing so I wish to acknowledge my skin colour and culture as a marker of my privilege and positionality within Africa. It acknowledges the oppressive and exploitative history of my people in this land. Additionally, the term reinforces that I should not allow this history to hold me back, but rather to support my commitment to transformation within Africa. This transformation being white Africans shifting their Eurocentric worldview to that of honoring and valuing the African way of being.
In Africa there is a diverse amount of black African cultural and religious traditions that have been held sacred and honored throughout time. Being born in Africa I have the privilege of being a witness to the resilience of black African people within a dominantly western culture. This resilience inspires me to keep challenging my western conditioning.
Although my lineage departs from European origins, to my knowledge, I have no living relatives who were born outside the continent of Africa. Thus, my African identity is very important to me as I feel that I have a responsibility to embody and advocate for equality by engaging in open and truthful dialogue and challenging social constructs in an African context.
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