Raven-Symoné just posted this image on her Facebook and polish, it’s made me MAD. This is what I write about it on Facebook:
As an African this image is infuriating to me personally.
1) Africa is a continent, not a country
2) Africa has prosperous, beautiful big cities with wealthy, comfortable, happy people as well as people in dire states of need.
THERE ARE EMPOVERISHED PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD AND THEY ALL NEED OUR HELP. This common image of Africa as ‘Land of the Charity Cases’ makes me furious. You think of Africa and it’s all pitiful starving children, tears, hands extended, begging for your spare change and off cuts. I feel like Western Asia often gets tarred with the same brush. Charity is needed in Africa like it us needed in Asia, Europe, The Americas, Australasia, all over the world. I’m not saying STOP giving to charity I’m just saying that there are millions of people rich and poor in Africa and they demand respect not pity. We aren’t begging for your damned ice water, we are looking for ways to build pumps and wells in our villages. We don’t wan the food your child won’t finish at the table, we want the means to grow and buy our own. Africa is striving for Education, improved infrastructure, to create wealth for all of us that desire it, to create a future that isn’t war torn and tumultuous. We are more than just your ‘I’m such a good person’ trump card, we are millions of lives and languages and backgrounds and faces that are all grouped together, called primitive, with our hands twisted to look outstretched and begging.
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT.
According to an IRIN report in 2005, 82% of arable land in South Africa is still owned by Europeans and those of European descent through colonization.
Yet a lot of people be giving away dresses and bibles to “Africa” as a sum of thinking that is going to solve the problems persisting in specific countries in Africa.
Can we stop homogenizing the experiences of an entire continent for white saviour complexes please?
You are not helping the situations long term, and you are also continueing the racist perpetuation of Africans as “backwards”, “starving”, and “unable to fend for themselves”. When they are very much able to do so if it wasn’t for colonization and white supremacy, which you continue to perpetuate through unsustainable aid, and painting the picture of the “poor Africans”.