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George floyd death
As protests rock the US following the death of African-American George Floyd in police custody, Kenyan journalist Larry Madowo writes about the racism he has experienced in the country. The front desk sent me through an open courtyard to the back of the building, past residents' garbage bags and into a surprisingly dirty lift.
When I got off upstairs, my host opened the door mortified, all the colour drained from her face. I have worked in the complicated racial hierarchies of South Africa and the UK and have travelled around the world, but it still stung that an American butler did not think accomplished white people like my friend and her husband could have a black dinner guest. That early micro-aggression forewarned me that America may be the land of opportunity for many, but it would still reduce me to the colour of my skin and find me unworthy.
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It did not matter that I am from a black majority African nation, people who look like me here have to negotiate for their humanity with a system that constantly alienates, erases and punishes them. In Kenya, I may disappear into the crowd, but in America I always have a target on my back for being black. A day after investment banker Amy Cooper called the police after a Harvard-educated black man asked her to follow park rules and leash her dog, a white policeman knelt on George Floyd's neck for so long it eventually killed him.
As protests broke out nationwide to demand justice for Floyd and the countless other black people who have been killed by police, I held my breath. How could I grieve for someone I did not know? How could I own a pain I had not lived, as an African "fresh off the boat" in America?
I wondered if I would be appropriating the African-American struggle at a convenient moment. Then I saw a video shot at a protest in Long Beach, California, that was clear about allegiances.
I asked Tom Gitaa - a publisher of Mshale newspaperwhich serves African immigrants in the Midwest of the US - what he made of the protests, subsequent riots and looting that began in his city of Minneapolis. She is the paper's Global Opinions editor, a daughter of African immigrants - born in the US, but deeply connected to her parent's home continent. Karen told me her parents are now discussing race and white racism specifically in a way she and her siblings did not hear while growing up.
African celebrities like actress Lupita Nyong'o and comedian Trevor Noah are using their powerful platforms to support the agitation for justice and to call out the hypocrisy in some of the criticism of the protests. The African Union AU even released a rare statement condemning the death of Floyd, and asking the US government to "ensure the total elimination of all forms of discrimination".
The first enslaved Africans arrived in the US - in the then British colony of Virginia - years ago. Last year, some of their descendants made the journey back to Africa to mark "the Year of Return" to where their forebears were stolen from four centuries ago. We should stand up and fight together in solidarity.
Africans in the US have marched alongside Black Lives Matter activists, supported protests against white supremacy, donated money to social justice causes and organized their own events to show unanimity in the black community. Protesters with African flags or with s in languages from the continent have also been spotted at events in different parts of the US.
Because of the violent history of American policing for black and brown communities, parents are always on edge. Ifrah Udgoon, a Somalia-born high school science teacher in Columbus, Ohio, lives with that fear for her year-old son.
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Ms Udgoon captured a battle many other African immigrants feel: "I am expected to be grateful to be here. But have I sold my soul to the devil?
Mr Abdullah sees Afrochella as a platform to unite the black diaspora as they deal with seemingly intractable obstacles like this. Systemic racism affects us all. I've been pulled over, been through stop and frisk and racially profiled.
This fight is my fight. It is not just his fight for African-Americans like him, it is a fight for the right to be black safely in America. I replayed Karen's voice note to me because she had a powerful conclusion: "I think right now what is on display is anti-blackness and it's raising the consciousness about the connectedness of so many of our struggles, not the same but very much connected.
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An athlete, friend and father - who was George Floyd? I picked up some fruit for her and arrived at her building carrying a plastic bag. The incident forewarned me that America may be the land of opportunity for many, but it would still reduce me to the colour of my skin and find me unworthy. I was heartbroken.
There has always been tension between Africans and black Americans. George Floyd death.
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. View original tweet on Twitter. She worried about what awaits her two-year-old nephew who has special needs when he grows up.
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