She held out a four-strip traditionally woven Kente stole. Kente cloth held the distinction of matching everything even when it clashed.
Scotch Bonnets are some of the world’s hottest peppers. They rank anywhere from 100000-350000 on the Scoville Heat Unit (SHU) scale. This is a measure of how hot a chili pepper is (or for that matter, anything derived from a chili pepper). The scale is named after Wilbur Scoville who developed the test in 1912. Your…
I could “talk proper” and “articulate so well.” And by year three I got compliments for having no accent: “no one would be able to tell you weren’t from here!” I was ecstatic. I even let them touch my hair. After all, they were “just curious.” And I relished in the fact that I “wasn’t like them” because being the kind of Black I was made me acceptable. I was the “safe” African/Black woman.
The “safe Black” aka the African immigrant does not have the history of slavery imprinted on his/her DNA; this NAB is not “angry” because really, what do they have to be angry about? They are being offered a piece of the American Dream, they need only work hard. Which they do, supposedly in contrast to the American Blacks, who though failed by the system, are meant to bear the brunt of this failure.
Americanah is a story of love, culture shock, transition and transformation, discovery and adaptation, and finally race and hair. The latter two fascinate me because they also seem to be what Adichie really wants to talk about, subtly touches on but often does not return to.
I feel her crawl over and slowly start pushing the comforter away from my face. Discovering my shut eyes and limp arms she proceeds to poke at first my eyes, then my nose, and finally my fingers. She settles on my ring finger and grabs it firmly. She finally lowers her body next to my pillow still holding on to my ring finger. I watch her clementine-sized hand clasp my finger for dear life. She begins to make soft chewing sounds until her breathing evens out and her body goes completely still.
What would this world be like if people could be all of themselves with the people who matter the most to them?