I am back, I had a good break away from here, wish I could say “its nice to be back” but alas….it is not so.
I thought blacks had it bad in England, but I gotta tell you, we have it worse here. Far much worse.
I hesitate to say this but it is a fact.. there is an insidious air of racism that lies under the surface of society. As a person of color you feel it and if one is not careful, it drags you down slowly. Danes are generally mistrustful of all people brown or black. The news especially print media is filled will endless stories of “foreigners” doing one thing or the other and 99% is negative. The general air is “if THEY were not here, IT (theft, murder, riots etc) would not be happening…. The only pages I now limit myself to are the job ad section.. thank you very much.
I’m not sure I can articulate what it is like being black here.. all I can say is that.. Denmark is not Black friendly at all. If you are black.. do not apply. I have been told it is worse in Germany and France.. what do I know, I have never lived there.. but at least you have black professionals in those countries.. in this country.. you should see how surprised people are when they learn of my qualifications and then smile and say.. “but ah, you don’t speak the language, it will be very hard for you to get work.” They are proving to be right on that front, but I shall not be beaten….
I find myself increasingly reluctant to bring up my children in this country. I fear that they will grow up with a “closed mind” that seems to plague most Danes….
Ok enough with the Denmark bashing… got my rant out… Like I said, if you are Black, come visit, just don’t come and live here.
October 25th 2013
Being Black in Denmark Part II
I decided this would be the best place for this update.
7 years later I finally feel compelled to say something about being Black in Denmark. I still get random comments from readers and after the last comment I decided to look into the statistics of this post. This month it recieved over 120 vists. That’s big for me. I never pulled numbers like that during my blogging era.
It all sounded good in my head, when I thought about writing this post. As I write the thought running through my head is “what do you want to say, what has truly changed, is it relevant and is it at all related to you being black”
A lot has changed. I have two children now, own part of a mortgage, got a steady income, still married to a great guy, still love and like him yet I still pine for home. I pine because I know and believe that my career life would have been different. Certain things would have been easier. My heart would have smiled a little bit more. I pine because I am at crossroads in my self journey. Trying to reconcile my dreams and my reality.
I feel that if I had not been in Denmark, my journey would have PERHAPS been easier. What do I know, PERHAPS NOT. I feel Denmark stripped me of my confidence and I haven’t fully gotten her back. My career died here and I have not been able to resurrect it. I still do blue collar work. I hate going into work everyday. Yet the job applications don’t pan out.. how come? Could be the economy, could be because I am black, could be my luck run out. Every other aspect of my life is perfect.
Socially…that is something else and that is all I am saying. Danes and non-Danes living here know what I mean.
There is a program on TV, a kind of docu/reality series called “Den Sorte Arbejde”, directly translated means “The Black Work”. It follows the life of a Nigerian couple who own a cleaning business. As a black woman it leaves a funny taste in my mouth, because when you watch this show, you are not laughing with them, but at them. Yet at the same time I feel such a sense of compassion and understanding because I get the way they are thinking, the why and how. It’s complicated. Last week, I turned it off because it was too much, I was embarrssed for them and irritated by them. The credit roll features 2 black sambo like caricutures and apparently that is ok…
Being Black in Denmark is complicated. That’s the best I’ve got for you 7 years on!
Chika Unigwe explains it best here
Before I go I would like to say that I personally know only 3 black african proffesionals. All three got thier jobs before coming to Denmark. One can hardly string a sentence in Danish, but works for a multinational. The other works for one of the UN branches here, does not speak Danish, another speaks enough Danish to get by. All the other black Africans I personally know work blue collar and are not university degreed. I say this to give you a perspective of being black and educated in Denmark.