2016 was a very hectic year for me. I spent it in five different countries: Germany, the UK, Senegal, Mali and Italy.
I have documented my experience in Germany in my blog (https://farafinna.wordpress.com/) because it was the only space I could vent and find refuge from the toxicity of Whiteness. I was living first-hand everything that I had learned about Whiteness, White privilege and micro-aggressions.
I have no idea how I survived those 9 months but I guess knowing that I would go to Africa helped me through it.
Senegal saved me. Seeing so many beautiful Black faces and all that glorious melanin made me forget the ugliness of Europe.
My stay in West Africa was therapeutic, I could finally live. I saw the beauty of my two homes, met my family and talked to my grand-parents. According to plans, I should have stayed in Mali for a year, but life is unpredictable and I found myself back in Italy.
I was extremely disappointed and sad, so much so that I fell into depression for a couple of weeks. I saw it coming, for I knew that going back to the place that traumatised me and haunted me with anxiety wouldn't have been good for me.
But not all is lost. I can try and go back next year. As for now, I take everything I have been through to learn and grow.
Personal growth and self education are things that we, as a people, should constantly strive for.
The US elections showed us that there's nothing like a post-racial society. Trump is definitely what we needed to wake up and understand that we have no friends out there. As Steve Biko said: “Black man, you are on your own”. It's high time we understood that we have no allies and that if we want to be free and to get the respect we deserve we have to fight and stick together.
2017 must be the year where we stop seeking for external validation and approval. We are enough.