“If I didn’t define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people’s fantasies for me and eaten alive.” Audre Lorde
I guess I am not what y’all were expected.
I usually get one of the two reactions when I disclose that I am from France: “nan, you’re not!” or “oh really?”. Then I have to give them the “look” (they call it the French look)… Who do YOU think YOU are to tell me who I Am, huh?
Then the REAL question arrises: “but where are you originally from?” – STILL the same answer: France!
Do I get it? I get this is a quite ill-informed vision some people have of France. Maybe I should wear a beret and walk around with a baguette under my armpit…
I guess they are wondering where the melanin comes from -Nigeria – but I won’t give them that pleasure. Don’t get me wrong: I am proud to be Nigerian, but don’t come at me telling me WHO TF I AM. Also, just stop asking brown people where they are from.
Since I am in a good mood, I will tell you all about meh-self today: I was born in Los Angeles, then I was brought to France where I spent 23.5 years, and been living in NYC since ’04.
So I guess I am an American-born, Franco-Nigerian, or Afropean (that sounds about right).
I hope that was helpful to you, but just so you know, it does not really informed you who I am, cause you can’t box me like that.
©️ Daphne Mia Essiet, 2011