Personal Narrative: My African American Culture

796 Words 4 Pages
My upbringing was different from most American kids because I 'm not just American, I 'm African American. More specifically I 'm Ivorian-American. Immigrating and assimilating into the American culture was a feat. Everything was significantly different from what I was used to in Abidjan. Suddenly, I was aware that I 'm different and even those who I thought were the same as me, weren 't. It wasn 't until I became older and grew to understood myself that I was able to make sense of it all.

I was born in Cocody, a suburb of Abidjan which is in the Ivory Coast. My mother was a news reporter and my father owned a carpentry business. My family was considered privileged, and my mother certainly gave me the best. I had two live-in nannies, attended
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I wanted to love apple pie, get grounded and eat Hamburger Helper for dinner. 1998 Americana translated into white American Culture. Even though my community was a melting pot, my school was predominantly white. After taking ESL, I learned English without slang or vernacular so I didn 't sound like what I should have. It never dawned on me that I was supposed to be a black American and I never made this distinction between the two kinds of American culture. My only example of black America was the Banks family from Fresh Prince. They were affluent, cultured and exuded American life. It was familiar since I always watched that show and it reminded me of my life in Cocody. Black Americans in Korea-town were nothing like the Banks and that in itself was a culture shock. They were underprivileged, violent and often drugged up. They were every negative stereotype that plagues the black community. My mom had a negative opinion of black Americans. She would always tell me, "Don 't be like those black Americans, remember you 're African." I struggled to make the …show more content…
While some believe that it causes separation, I think it brings understanding. An African American is someone who is African who becomes American. It seems presumptive to call an American who has no direct ties to Africa an African American. We are both black, we may share a heritage but culturally there 's a difference. When I was young, I felt ashamed to be an immigrant. I 'd always been a target of harassment if I said I was African. Once I became naturalized, it changed my outlook about myself and the black community. It suddenly made sense why I was different from the average black woman. It didn 't bother me that I don 't have a typical vernacular when I speak and I definitely didn 't feel ashamed to be

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