"So do you like Beyonce?" and other American generalizations

"Is this a black history month BOOK BAG? lol""Oh you have a car in America, you must be wealthy.""But don't your parents pay all of your bills back home?""You were a cheerleader!? A REAL American cheerleader. So you were mean to all the other kids at school right?"

From Love and Hip Hop, Pimp my Ride and American Idol, I can see how easy it is for people from other countries to get a hand full of assumptions regarding American culture.

Assumptions, however, aren’t based on fact.

And a foreigner’s opinion on your culture cannot be taken personally.

But I took each question about Black rights activists, Christianity, Hip Hop and R&B and my views on the American government personally.

Partially because my mother told me religion and politics just aren’t things you openly discuss with people you don’t know, and because I wasn't expecting an interrogation.

After walking around a foreign city looking for plain grape jelly for four days with my friend Dominique, I already feel as though I have “LOST AMERICAN” stamped on my forehead. So yes, I took every judgmental question about America personally.

This guy obviously watches a ton of American television.

Two conclusions that I have drawn so far from my South Africa experience:

  • Whatever I do in the future WILL combat false depictions and negative stereotypes found in the media. I will work towards spreading and uncovering the truth of the universe.

  • Don't take life too personally.

PersonalTyeal Howell