Monthly Archives: May 2018

Where to Fit?

Being a  half Sudanese who has fallen victim to this kind of racial policing, I am always curious to see in what ways non-Sudanese react to our racial ambiguity. By racial ambiguity I am not only referring to the color of one’s skin or the texture of one’s hair. The majority of us carry different combinations of African, Arab and Muslim identities. In non-Black Arab spaces I avoided speaking Arabic for fear of spawning confusion. And in Black spaces, I feared that my Arabness undermined my blackness. Even being around just African American you sense of “belonging” gets lost. Them not accepting me because I am not fully “black”. Just because your hair texture is different, your skin shader is darker or lighter, you speaking a second language should not affect where you fit in. It’s still a real issue today but my younger generation are nothing and becoming more aware of it. Today I now speak Arabic whenever or wherever.


Identity Problems

White Arabs and North-Eastern African have internalized whiteness making it subconsciously acceptable to participate in colorism. Being “whiter” in Sudan is such an issue. Females are continuously bleaching their skin. Men prefer “lighter” women because that’s considered more “beautiful”. White Arabs are feeling like Sudanese are “too black” to be Arab. North-Eastern Africans are not considered to be apart of the Middle East because of the colonization back then. Another issue is North-Eastern Africans not identifying as being African. North African benefits from being linked to the Middle East. Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt share not only a colonial past with the rest of Africa, but also a physical continent. All those countries don’t speak the dialect of Arabic, but we are Arab and we are African.

Google Images

Google Images