This is a New Year and with it comes the opportunity to reshape, transform, and improve yourself. Newness often also brings with it a sense of clarity. I have dubbed 2018 the year of Doing Better, growing and improving. This welcoming of the new year is also a recognition of the fact that i am not at my best potential, my work is not the best reflection of me at present, I need to expand in ways I view my art and all in all how I can #DoBetter
The question "who am i?" has come up many times in the lives of many individuals. Being a black person, especially, comes with a lot of questions as to your cultural identity. If you ask a non-African black person if they consider themselves an African, more likely than not, the answer will be no. Lots of historians have created this ideal of Africa as the homeland of Blackness and that all black persons are in essence Africans. However, I would not go around calling myself an African or proclaiming the continent my home. Of course i recognize my African background, but i am not African. I was not born there, I cannot speak the language, and I cannot identify with many aspects of African culture. I am simply i person of African descent who also happens to be a mixture of other ethnic groups as well. I have a bit of Indian, some Portuguese, some African, and a bunch of other mix ups which is to be expected as a person coming from the Caribbean. Being black goes beyond Africa and Africa is not home to solely black individuals. In saying that i am not African, i am not denying my forefathers and i am not denying the slave background which resonates with being a native of the Caribbean. I am simply saying that there is more to me than Africa and defining myself as a person, i have to consider all the other aspects and elements that make me unique. I am a unique blend of various cultures and peoples packaged into an individual known as Annetta. I no longer identify myself as an Antiguan, because my identity is broader than that. I am a Caribbean girl, which encompasses all the unique elements that are found in the Caribbean and relate the unique elements that are found in me. Gaining an understanding of Africa is great, because that is where it all started... but that is just it, Africa is only the start. Many other things came in along the road and we shouldn't let generalizations define us. Why are people African Americans or Afro-Caribbean and not European- Americans. It is simply to remind us of our negative past, but we need to look beyond our past and stop using it to identify our selves. We must chose a path of progression or else we become nothing else but our history and we should not let this happen as a person is more than just their past.