The oppressed child


By Yahya Barrow

It is frustrating and demeaning to be born and see oneself in a plethora of shackles – manmade ones for that matter – that are designed to put one down. As a black African child who happens to be a victim of many ills by men, I feel defeated and oppressed in many aspects. My tone of completion is generally used to signify things that are undesirable to man.

Black would symbolize funeral, devil, poverty, inferiority and many other undesirable things. When people don’t perform well for a particular day, they call it ‘Black day’. Is black really something undesirable?


Usually and perhaps naturally, people take pride in their origin and genealogy. Let’s take a look at the very beginning: the story of Adam and Eve which is believed by many people and religions. The pair gave birth to the entire human race.

According to George Mendel, a famous biologist who is referred to as the father of genetics, “No two whites can gave birth to black, but two blacks can give birth to white.” Indeed, we saw over and over again two blacks giving birth to an albino who is white and has blurred eyes. Therefore, any logical person would have no choice but to acknowledge black presence from the very beginning.

The scripture said that, “In the beginning was darkness.” Certainly, man started in three layers of darkness in the womb. How then are black people brainwashed to believing that they are inferior creation?

When I turn the pages of history books written by other people who are not blacks, I see a whole lot of biases and inaccurate narrations which I’m trying to believe were intentional. Then I remember a saying, “The hunter will always be glorified in his story against the lion until the lion has the chance to talk.”

Where are our African writings? In Gambian context, where are writings that feature “Nko” “Mbimi” and “Maneh”? I’m caught up in a system which does not allow me to know myself. I read and write in a language that is not my mother tongue. I study using a language that is not mine, as if there is no knowledge in my language. Sadly.

My compatriots, are we satisfied and okay with the status quo? Remember, the food we eat, the cloths we wear, and even the ideologies we brag about and go by are all largely foreign. Are we ready to break the shackles and be who we really are?

Well, I believe there is a solution to every problem. And the most important thing is to diagnose the problem correctly. Hence the saying goes, “A problem known is half solved.” If you’d believe in yourself and refrain from arrogance, if you’d have confidence that you can do it, then you truly can do it. It all depends on the mentality, mindset and somewhat approach.

Break the chain of inferiority complex. Don’t allow the system to pull you down. Listen to your inner self that always encourages you. Be positive and optimistic. Let your mantra be, “I am not an inferior creation and I can do it.” With that, there’ll certainly be a breakthrough.