Black, on Both Sides

Living between my Nigerian and African American identities

“How could I have forgotten the “I” for my Nigerian name? Omitting the Nigerian parts of my identity was something I’d mastered in childhood and adolescence. I was certain that I’d broken the habit as an adult.

That missing initial on the cover of my notebook reflected what was inside — brief jottings about young adolescents who, like me, had been conditioned to omit aspects of their Nigerian identity due to Western colonial depictions of Africans as barbaric.