Its pronunciation can sting if coming from relatives both extended and direct, and from prejudice strangers close enough to “observe” then irrationally label. The term is Akata. Akata is a widely known term amongst many Africans who deem blacks from America as lacking respect for elders, having poor manners and behavior, and talking in a senseless way.
When raised in America and like any other region, individuals naturally become a product of their environment; speaking with a distinct accent, different dress and mannerisms, and perhaps may even speak the common language of the place in which they live. As an African living in America those facts of life counts no one out.
Moreover, in America, Africans are under-represented as seen on surveys inquiring race and background, only being able to fill in African-American, and having the closest form of representation only from black American leaders and politicians. Despite the state of the society, the feeling of being lost in America is only until the visit or a temporary stay in Africa.
Undoubtedly life In Africa is different; the people and the lifestyle. What doesn’t change however, is no matter where one is raised the culture and tradition that native parents instill in their children enables them when matured, to have an understanding on what it means to be African and therefore are proud and appreciative of their rich culture. Though when in Africa, that true pride is clouded. Often times we are mocked having the way we speak made fun of and are repeatedly reminded about how different we are, so blinded by our similarities. In America, where people struggle to assimilate just to fit in, the same struggle is had with Africans raised in America when going to Africa.
Home is where our hearts are, but we want our hearts to beat for home.
For many years myself and others raised in America have been so lost in America, assimilating with the closest thing we can relate to, to feel included. In Africa, where we should feel most at comfort, we are instead labeled something we aren’t and never desire to be. The realization of being lost in America happens after the trip from Africa because you leave questioning “Where do I fit in?” It was my personal fascination of my sights in Nigeria that allowed me to have such a special love for Nigeria and Africa. It was hard but no one could change my feelings for how much I fell in love with Africa. –An Akata has no place in Africa because no African is an Akata. – Ashley I. Okonkwo