What thoughts cross your mind when the gif above plays?
Most probably you’re inclined to not think much and so you’d just scroll past it. Unless, you’ve been through a ‘dark place’ and done something ‘positive’ about it which is to all of us.
I first found the gif on Tumblr probably because my searches centre on Afrikan culture and whatnot. I thought wow, dark place and positivity, intriguing.
Then it hit. This ‘dark place’ phrase in Kendrick Lamar’s mind was one thing but in my mind I was thinking Racial prejudice and Post-Slavery life. So here goes.
If one deciphers Lamar’s words in the framework I’m driving at, it would be safe to say that for a Black individual, a dark place can be in an African-American context or an African context or a Kenyan context or in an Individual context.
Not being an Inherent African-American as I was born and bred in Africa, and not having an understanding of the whole of Africa, I thus must be well acquainted with the concept of Dark places and Positivity in Kenya, my homeland. But then again, one’s dark place can never be their country. A Dark place is an individual journey and so there falls my Individual context.
My dark place has been entailed by Skin Colour, Surroundings and my growth as an Individual. As a black young adult in Africa, skin colour should not be an impediment to success. However, in Africa beauty is made ugly by the idea of Light skin and Dark skin. One finds themselves in Africa as a dark skin and having to suffer nicknames such as ‘Blackee’ or suffering the shame of being ghastly distinctive in images (probably not well acquainted with self). However, these are the theories I have witnessed. I know for one thing Dark skins have to be very careful about the type of makeup they wear. One must not wear bright pink because it will produce a contrast and one might never see nude shades anywhere close to their skin. Also, one must be careful not to apply foundation in a way that will appear ghost-like. Nonetheless, a dark place such as that requires the Sun, the positive side of it. I see beautiful images of dark skin girls on Instagram pages. Appreciation to the fullest. Sometimes though, one needs to be enlightened about these things even though some prejudice has been annulled.
Most people associate the African Narrative with Poverty and hopelessness and nothingness. Africa being a sort of ‘former rose that once burned bright but is now filled with decadence and pain.’ However, the Sun in our Africa seems to fall in our culture and music, the Afrobeats, and genuineness of the African Character.
From the gif, what struck me was the way I associated so closely with the word ‘dark place’ as we are all humans who have had to struggle with our human race to earn the respect we deserve. It made me recall so many memories of Individual struggle to liberty and uniqueness that we all suffer with and have had to suffer with. Then the ‘positive’ idea had me exploding into a million galaxies being that positivity is the end to all human atrocities.
Having drawn so much from one gif, it is safe to say that we all originate from dark places and that we all have done something positive about it, no matter where you come from. We still have more dark places, but we should always remember that the Sun will always be there. Let us embrace our flaws in ways that can benefit society to see good in themselves. Are you ready?
Cover photo of: @pauleoue on Instagram