In this episode, On Black Hosts talk about seasonal depression, their experience as immigrants or children of immigrants, and their forced African-American experience. For more, follow On Black on Instagram.
Creators & Guests
What is On Black.?
A WKNC commentary podcast about living and evolving while Black, hosted by Alexis Grant, Jeanine Ikekhua and Hamsata Mazou.
Hamsata Mazou 0:00
We can talk about seasonal depression.
Alexis Grant 0:02
Yeah, seasonal depression. That's light.
Hey guys, we're back.
Hamsata Mazou 0:05
And this could be in November, you know, because the season has officially, you know, settled in.
Jeanine Ikekhua 0:09
This actually is. I know people who have seasonal depression and it started like two days ago.
Alexis Grant 0:12
I have seasonal depression.
Jeanine Ikekhua 0:14
You do? Oh no.
Alexis Grant 0:16
Hold on, we'll get into in a second. Hello. Hi, guys. It's me, Alexis.
Hamsata Mazou 0:22
And I'm Hamsata.
Jeanine Ikekhua 0:23
And I'm Jeanine. And you're listening to WKNC 88.1 FM HD-1.
Today, we're back.
Hamsata Mazou 0:38
We're going on a high note into a very depressing topic.
Alexis Grant 0:41
That's okay. Cuz we can, we can talk about it without being
Jeanine Ikekhua 0:45
Hamsata Mazou 0:46
Yeah, I agree.
Alexis Grant 0:47
Guys, today, we're gonna talk about-
Hamsata Mazou 0:49
Dun Dun Dun.
Alexis Grant 0:51
Oh, wow. Okay. Oh wow.
Hamsata Mazou 0:55
I'm feeling this holiday.
Jeanine Ikekhua 0:57
I feel that. I feel that.
Alexis Grant 0:58
We're gonna, anyways, we're talking about seasonal depression. I don't know if you could catch that from the intro, but I don't think you could.
Hamsata Mazou 1:05
The begginning wasn't really happy.
Alexis Grant 1:08
Jeanine Ikekhua 1:09
That's the case sometimes. We'll get into that.
Alexis Grant 1:11
Yeah. Starting off with do any of y'all suffer from seasonal
Jeanine Ikekhua 1:16
Oh not suffer.
Alexis Grant 1:18
Hamsata Mazou 1:20
Seasonal depression? Let me put it this way for me, right. I think seasons never had an impact for me. But, the, I've recently started to feel a lot more happier because of summer and appreciating the sun in nature and being outside more. Do you see what I'm saying? So I feel like now that those things are going away, will I go into a depression, or will I stay constant or like, like, you know, be able to find another thing to appreciate within the fall weather? I don't know.
Jeanine Ikekhua 1:52
See. I see what you're saying.
Hamsata Mazou 1:55
Jeanine Ikekhua 1:55
The thing is, like, I don't know if it's like seasonal or just the time that we're in meaning like the stuff going on. Yeah, cuz like right now we're in the middle of the semester. Right. And I also don't know if it's just I have just been putting on a front, but like, I haven't cried all semester.
Hamsata Mazou 2:11
Jeanine Ikekhua 2:11
I have not cried all semester. And then yesterday hit and it was back to back to back to back.
Hamsata Mazou 2:15
You are a strong soldier, but I don't know if I should dab you up or not?
Jeanine Ikekhua 2:17
Don't dab me up.
Alexis Grant 2:18
She just said she was crying back to back to back to back yesterday. You just missed that part.
Hamsata Mazou 2:22
Jeanine Ikekhua 2:22
I don't know, I don't know no if it's because like I'm just so used to putting on a front-
Alexis Grant 2:26
Because it's in the middle of the semester.
Jeanine Ikekhua 2:27
I don't even, yeah, I think because like, I'm just so used to putting on a front that I've been doing it for so long.
Alexis Grant 2:32
That it just now happens to be hitting.
Jeanine Ikekhua 2:34
But I also, I thought, I kind of feel like because like things are getting darker at night.
Alexis Grant 2:40
I mean, that's part of it.
Jeanine Ikekhua 2:41
And like, I'm also staying in more because things are getting darker because we're at college and on a college campus. I think that's kind of contributing to it because now I'm with less people. Also, I like being by myself, so I really don't know if it's like just the weather or something. I don't know if, I don't if it's depression.
Alexis Grant 2:58
I don't know. I honestly don't know though.
Jeanine Ikekhua 2:59
I really don't know.
Hamsata Mazou 3:00
I feel like time, you know. Time will tell. Yeah.
Jeanine Ikekhua 3:04
But that's the thing, it's just a part of my life. Like-
Hamsata Mazou 3:06
Jeanine Ikekhua 3:07
I'm an immigrant. It's what I deal with.
Alexis Grant 3:08
It's what I do. It's what I do. It's what I do. Me, I would say it's more severe than that. Outwardly, I would say I'm pretty consistent. But like, Oh, my chest. I'm sorry.
Hamsata Mazou 3:24
You good? Are you sure?
Alexis Grant 3:24
Yeah, I'm good. My chest got, I think I had a little heartburn. I don't know if y'all be getting that.
Hamsata Mazou 3:29
Alexis Grant 3:29
Yeah, I get heartburn.
Hamsata Mazou 3:31
I thought that was old people things.
Alexis Grant 3:32
Jeanine Ikekhua 3:34
Alexis Grant 3:34
Wow. So, so I started getting mine in like, fifth grade, sixth grade, I started getting heartburn.
Jeanine Ikekhua 3:39
I have a sensitive stomach and a sensitive throat. Like, like, very acidic things-
Alexis Grant 3:45
Gives you heartburn?
Jeanine Ikekhua 3:46
Yeah. Like, my body's like, ugh, no, it's good. I need a spicy something. I think also just like the Nigerian diet in me.
Alexis Grant 3:52
I just be getting heartburn sometimes.
Hamsata Mazou 3:54
These are fascinating things to me, I feel like you guys always be talking about something. I'm always on the outskirt of it every single time.
Jeanine Ikekhua 4:00
And thats why we didn't do it.
Alexis Grant 4:04
But, I feel like mine's more severe. And I feel like it's the seasons, but it's more the seasons because of the sunlight. Like, once the sun starts, like I will literally start having mental breakdowns just completely over the fact of the lack of sunlight.
Jeanine Ikekhua 4:18
I see that for sure.
Alexis Grant 4:20
If I especially when I took, oh my gosh, I used to get so mushed up, like messed up, I would take a nap. And I would wake up and it'd be dark and I'm thinking it's like 8pm and I look at my phone and be like 5:30 and I would start like hyperventilating and like freaking out I don't know why though, like-
Hamsata Mazou 4:35
It makes sense.
Jeanine Ikekhua 4:35
I mean, I can see it.
Alexis Grant 4:35
It makes sense?
Jeanine Ikekhua 4:38
I can, I get it. I think it's, I know like personally for me, that would happen and it kind of just, I don't know how to explain this, kind of like a, like a jolt in my, I don't know how to explain, like I would wake up and it feels like I'm supposed to be somewhere else to do something else. And then like, but I'm here. I just get overwhelmed. Like if I think something's supposed to happen, and then it's like it's not happening, my brain gets very confused.
Alexis Grant 5:00
Jeanine Ikekhua 5:01
There are points in time of being like overwhelming. It's like, oh my God.
Alexis Grant 5:03
Yeah, it does overwhelm me. And it, and it sucks because it's just like everyday because I'm just waiting for the sun to be setting after seven again. I'm just like freaking out a little bit every day and I'd say-
Hamsata Mazou 5:13
I like daylight savings.
Alexis Grant 5:14
Yeah, and it's funny because I go, I still go out and stuff but mentally I'm way more home during the winter than in the other seasons like even when I'm out I'm mentally like clocked, like I'm checked out. But I'll still be out and about doing whatever, because, especially February, one of the coldest months, one of the worst months for the sun. But it's also my birthday month and a lot of my friends birthday so I'm, February is always one of the busiest months for me like event wise, like I'm out so much in February.
Hamsata Mazou 5:41
You know what's crazy? We met in February.
Alexis Grant 5:42
See, I'm telling, like, February is always so heavy for me. February is always heavy.
Hamsata Mazou 5:49
Alexis Grant 5:49
Jeanine Ikekhua 5:49
Personally, that's probably my favorite time of the, like, it's my favorite semester.
Alexis Grant 5:53
I like fall better just because I feel like it's warmer better. It's warmer longer in fall.
Jeanine Ikekhua 5:57
I don't like fall because I have to put on the front for longer. Because like, I'm not energized when I get back from summer because I'm always doing stuff.
Alexis Grant 6:05
Jeanine Ikekhua 6:06
And then going into school is kind of just like what the fudge.
Alexis Grant 6:08
Jeanine Ikekhua 6:08
But it's like, there's, there's that break in between like winter and-
Alexis Grant 6:12
The winter break?
Jeanine Ikekhua 6:13
-the second semester, like nobody expects me to do anything but have fun. So it's like I literally just-
Alexis Grant 6:17
Take a real break.
Jeanine Ikekhua 6:18
-I literally take a real break from stuff and when I come back for spring I'm like, Okay, I could actually do this.
Hamsata Mazou 6:23
I like spring because there's no break. Like, I really do appreciate-
Alexis Grant 6:27
We have spring break.
Hamsata Mazou 6:28
That's the only break. And it's like, I feel like I like fall break because the breaks are like split up. It's like,
Alexis Grant 6:34
Because there's that one and there's Labor Day, and there's what, you got Thanksgiving.
Hamsata Mazou 6:38
And then you have winter, I like those little segments for me because like I really lean onto those as like little you know, restoring myself and then going back into the semester. Spring break, it's just one after the other after the other after the other. I meant spring semester. And then you have spring break. And then after that, it's back at it until like, you know school is over. Essentially.
Jeanine Ikekhua 7:00
I think it was also the way I designed my schedule. Like I always I hit everything hard in the Fall.
Alexis Grant 7:06
In Fall? That makes sense.
Jeanine Ikekhua 7:06
And then when it gets to spring, I start chillin. Spring is more broad, spring was when I did-
Hamsata Mazou 7:13
When I joined my sorority.
Jeanine Ikekhua 7:15
Spring is when like all the good things happen. It's when I got a relationship, like, I be poppin' in spring.
Alexis Grant 7:25
No, yeah, I think mine, first time, I don't know because I can think of the first time I got like, I was truly not doing okay, mentally. Sophomore year of high school.
Jeanine Ikekhua 7:37
I thought you meant sophomore here at State, like what you're in now?
Alexis Grant 7:39
No sophomore year of high school I had a really like, I was struggling some academically. And then I stopped being able to go out with my friends because my grades were slipping. So then I was being isolated. And I was doing bad with this. And I was like, I was just always doing something it felt like and that was the first time like, I felt like crap. Like I literally felt completely, horribly, awful. Like, I would just be in my room and just like, lay down and just have to remove myself from my feelings and just sit there just like blank. Because I just could not handle like I would start freaking out or hyperventilating or whatever was like going on. Like, I'd start like freaking out. And then I just be like, what's the point? And then like, I would literally be in the middle of tears and just, just dead face. I would just sit like that, for like an hour.
Jeanine Ikekhua 8:33
You detached yourself?
Alexis Grant 8:34
Jeanine Ikekhua 8:35
See, I've learned to like detach myself from people. But I haven't learned how to detach myself from my feelings.
Alexis Grant 8:41
It's not necessarily good.
Jeanine Ikekhua 8:42
But is that even healthy?
Alexis Grant 8:43
It's not really.
Hamsata Mazou 8:45
Like with people?
Alexis Grant 8:45
Jeanine Ikekhua 8:46
See, I don't, hmm, I don't know what the feeling is.
Alexis Grant 8:48
Sometimes it, it can be useful, but it's so easy to overplay and overdo and make it into a bad thing. So like now I feel like I can't really detach my feelings like I used to. And as much as I don't like it, I'm more don't like it because it's not normal for me, because I'm used to being able to detach myself from my emotions very easily. But I know in the end, it's better for me to not be doing that. But that was like that winter was like just awful for me. Like, it was just awful. And then I feel like every winter since then has been really like not good. Like normally I would say like between summer and winter like I was the same. Since then I have not been like every winter I definitely go downhill.
Jeanine Ikekhua 9:33
Oh, that's interesting. I think I just like, because this winter, it was literally like an overnight switch. Like I literally woke up and I'm like, why am I so sad? All of a sudden, it's like 6pm time to cry. But I feel like it happens for me during winter too. I don't, I don't know what it is because I mean, I do put up a facade during spring, I guess the rest, but like still spring is very-
Alexis Grant 9:54
Jeanine Ikekhua 9:54
-long, like we talked about Hamsata. I don't know maybe it is the sun.
Hamsata Mazou 9:58
No, I definitely believe, because you know-
Alexis Grant 10:00
It's the sudden weather change.
Hamsata Mazou 10:00
-what makes you happy.
Jeanine Ikekhua 10:02
Alexis Grant 10:02
I mean, that's the whole point of like, hold on, I'm going to look up the official definition for us.
Jeanine Ikekhua 10:07
Yeah look it up, because I just feel like, I don't know, with seasonal depression like, I think-
Alexis Grant 10:12
Jeanine Ikekhua 10:13
Alexis Grant 10:13
Say it. Seasonal affective disorder occurs in climates where there's less sunlight at certain times of the year. Symptoms include fatigue, depression, hopelessness, and social withdrawal, a mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year.
Hamsata Mazou 10:27
It reminds me I was watching a TikTok and they said like it's scientifically proven we don't know this right. And so they said countries where they get more sunlight people there are just feel much more happier.
Alexis Grant 10:27
Hamsata Mazou 10:27
And countries where they don't get as much sunlight, they're usually a little bit more groggy and grumpy.
Alexis Grant 10:40
Yeah that's why, you know that's why, um, Seattle has such a high depression rate. Because it's always raining there. Because of the weather. The weather is affecting their mental health.
Jeanine Ikekhua 10:49
Oh, no, when it's rainy, like, I want to be inside. I just want to be like, I'm from a tropical area, like, back in Nigeria, the sun is sunny.
Alexis Grant 10:57
The sun is always sunny.
Jeanine Ikekhua 10:59
And I like it like that-
Hamsata Mazou 11:00
Jeanine Ikekhua 11:00
I, you know, also, partly grew up in Florida, the sun is Sunny there, too.
Alexis Grant 11:04
Yeah I just came from there. The sun was sunny.
Jeanine Ikekhua 11:06
Yeah. And then like coming to North Carolina. It's not bad, but like, maybe like smile some more sun, like, just saying.
Hamsata Mazou 11:15
Well, I kind of got the opposite. You know, I grew up in the north. It's like a mixture. You know, we get like four seasons there. We get the sun, we get everything, so. And then here, I feel like here's just the same thing, but it's a little bit warmer longer, if that makes sense.
Alexis Grant 11:29
Hamsata Mazou 11:30
That's the difference for me.
Alexis Grant 11:31
Hamsata Mazou 11:32
From like Pennsylvania to North Carolina.
Jeanine Ikekhua 11:33
So you don't feel like you have seasonal depression or anything?
Hamsata Mazou 11:36
No not necessarily. But going back to like the month thing. Recently, I was going back to, I have like, I have like multiple little journals. But in one of them, I was looking at the dates because I was feeling sad one day, right. And I looked into one of the journals I write in by hand, it was around the same time as September, I was also feeling sad. But also through my other journal. I haven't touched that in a lot of years. But that same date, like three years ago, I was also sad during that time.
Jeanine Ikekhua 12:04
It's a sign.
Hamsata Mazou 12:05
And I was like, this is a pattern, but I just realized this recently, you know what I mean? So I don't really have much interpretation from it from that. But also, with that being said, I'm the type of person like, although I'll feel these things, once they pass, like I'm no longer in that feeling. And that could kind of be as me like, dismissing them, and not really dealing with them. But if they're off the top of my mind, I just can't remember to go back and like, you know, deal with the situation properly or anything. I sat outside, I had my cry, I move on, you know. So I feel like-
Alexis Grant 12:35
Hamsata Mazou 12:36
-to me, I feel like it's something that hasn't been handled with correctly that just keeps popping back up. That's how I interpret it as. Yeah.
Jeanine Ikekhua 12:43
So you're, like, like unfinished business.
Hamsata Mazou 12:47
I, that's what I think it is. I don't know. Perhaps? Or it could just be seasonal depression.
Alexis Grant 12:52
Hamsata Mazou 12:52
I don't know because it's also the same month.
Jeanine Ikekhua 12:55
But I think mine is just like-
Alexis Grant 12:56
But does it last the whole s-
Jeanine Ikekhua 12:57
Yeah does it last through exams?
Alexis Grant 12:59
No, because mine literally lasts till like March, April, like from now till March or April, I start feeling like crap.
Hamsata Mazou 13:05
I don't think I get sad, often as a person, right. But more recently, specifically, after the pandemic for me, I've been having breakdowns a lot more consistently, like per year, like before for me-
Alexis Grant 13:19
So it's more just throughout the year overall, it's been more consistent?
Hamsata Mazou 13:22
Yeah. But I feel like it's more specifically during this time, if that makes sense. But yeah, 'cause I'm type person who like never had a breakdown, or it was like once a year type thing. That was my normal. But now it's starting to extend past that. And that, to me is kind of like, I'm trying to navigate what that means for me.
Jeanine Ikekhua 13:39
See, I can't tell if it's the season or if it's school, because I feel like-
Hamsata Mazou 13:44
Yeah, either or too.
Jeanine Ikekhua 13:45
I feel like maybe-
Alexis Grant 13:46
Yeah, my, mine I know for a fact is season.
Jeanine Ikekhua 13:50
Maybe you did, oh, I definitely think that regardless of what it is, I think school stresses it and takes it to like-
Alexis Grant 13:56
Jeanine Ikekhua 13:56
'Cause, like, I'm trying to deal and you wanted me like me to write an essay. Like, I don't really care about the Wife's Tale. Like who cares for that man? But I don't know.
Alexis Grant 14:04
That's funny. Yeah, and like for a long time, I was just like, yeah, it was a rough patch. But you know, I toughed it out and we're good. But then I talked to especially my friends who have been like, actually diagnosed and who have had like, really bad chronic depression, stuff like that. Like, once I opened up to them about it. They were like, Alexis, you were depressed. I'm like, but was I?
Jeanine Ikekhua 14:26
No for real.
Alexis Grant 14:28
I was like but was I, like am I? I feel like, I feel like I'm putting, I feel like, and they'd be like, like, no, Alexis like you were depressed like
Jeanine Ikekhua 14:42
It's so crazy though.
Alexis Grant 14:43
I guess I mean, if we want to put it like that.
Hamsata Mazou 14:43
I feel like it's so hard to discern like if you were actually, because I feel like you don't ever want to like mislabel yourself or put yourself in a situation that you don't want to be because you don't-
Alexis Grant 14:54
Hamsata Mazou 14:54
-want to like, you know, take away from somebody else's-
Alexis Grant 14:56
Hamsata Mazou 14:56
-experiences, so it's hard to like, you know, navigate that.
Alexis Grant 15:00
I think also, on top of that is because I think I was high functioning. And more of my friends who struggle with hard depression, I don't have, I have more for what people like to think in the traditional case, like, can't get out of bed then I have high functioning. So because of that, and because I was high functioning, I didn't see it as, like depression, but one of my friends had to come around and told me like, no, Alexis, like you were depressed. You were just high functioning.
Jeanine Ikekhua 15:28
Yeah. Because like the movies be making it seem like, oh, I can't sleep, I can't eat.
Hamsata Mazou 15:33
Jeanine Ikekhua 15:33
No, not change my sleep a lot. I like, I'm in my bed 24/7. But when I had like, what I look back on, and I'm like, you were probably depressed. I got my best grades. I got my best grades.
Alexis Grant 15:33
Jeanine Ikekhua 15:33
Nobody knew around me, but like the people who I told which was a.k.a like two people, but nobody knew, like I had like on the outside.
Alexis Grant 15:52
Jeanine Ikekhua 15:54
Yeah, my worst states, I'm the best on the outside. And nobody has a clue.
Alexis Grant 15:59
Jeanine Ikekhua 15:59
It's just so crazy. But I think that goes back to, again, my immigrant experience. I know how to put on a facade. I know how to fake it.
Hamsata Mazou 16:08
Let's expand on that.
Jeanine Ikekhua 16:09
What do you mean?
Hamsata Mazou 16:10
Jeanine Ikekhua 16:11
The facade part?
Hamsata Mazou 16:12
Yeah, and you faking it, like, what does that look like for you? Like, what do you think that stems from like, deeper into your immigrant experience?
Jeanine Ikekhua 16:20
I think it's just like this is getting real deep. Jeez guys, don't make me cry now.
Alexis Grant 16:23
She was crying before this.
Jeanine Ikekhua 16:24
But I just feel like I didn't grow up, y'all gonna make me cry.
Hamsata Mazou 16:24
Alexis Grant 16:34
Jeanine Ikekhua 16:35
I didn't grow up in America. And every time I step out of my room, like, I know it, and like, I feel it. And like, I'm aware that I'm not African American, I'm aware that I'm a different type of black like I know, just the way we talk just the way people like the things that people say like today, like we're talking about soul food, and like everybody was like, yes, yes, the collard greens and this and that.
Alexis Grant 16:59
You're like, I don't know what the hell we're talking about.
Jeanine Ikekhua 17:04
Like, it's just like certain things that are said, and it's just like, I know that I'm different from everybody else. And it's like, I appreciate the black community. But like, there's the black community, and that works for people. I need something else.
Hamsata Mazou 17:22
No, I agree.
Alexis Grant 17:22
You need the African, like-
Jeanine Ikekhua 17:24
Yeah, not even just an African. It's so annoying, because it's like, it's not just the African.
Alexis Grant 17:29
You need the Nigerian?
Jeanine Ikekhua 17:30
I need the Nigerian immigrant who gets it. Never found that in anybody, I find that, actually maybe one person. But like, even that is still growing. And like, that's not gonna last long, because they about to leave. But like, at the same time, I have never truly found somebody who-
Alexis Grant 17:45
Jeanine Ikekhua 17:46
-Yeah, who just gets it, which I think is why-
Alexis Grant 17:48
It's very isolating.
Jeanine Ikekhua 17:50
Yeah, it really is. And because of that, I have to put on a facade, because if not, I will constantly have to face the fact that I'm-
Alexis Grant 17:56
Jeanine Ikekhua 17:57
-like, I don't fit in.
Alexis Grant 17:58
-you're not fitting yeah.
Jeanine Ikekhua 17:59
Yeah. And it's not that like, I don't fit in. And it's like, it's a choice. It's like, I want people to think I'm different. It's like-
Alexis Grant 18:03
I literally don't understand what y'all are talking about.
Hamsata Mazou 18:05
Jeanine Ikekhua 18:05
No legitimately. I don't, like if I don't try to put on the facade, I will literally just sit there and-
Alexis Grant 18:12
Be quiet. Yeah.
Jeanine Ikekhua 18:12
-I would have no social life, I would have no friends, I won't get to know people, I would be in my room. Because at the end of the day, I have never met anybody that I fully connect on 100%. That's just never happened. And for me to survive, I just have to put on a facade. So my favorite place to be is my room. Because that is the one place where I can be authentically myself.
Alexis Grant 18:34
So do you feel like when you're back in Nigeria, you are more likely to be outside?
Jeanine Ikekhua 18:41
100%? I know for a fact. I know for a fact. Like people think that I'm an introvert. I'm not an introvert.
Hamsata Mazou 18:47
I don't think you are either. I feel like the more I get to know you as well. I feel like that-
Alexis Grant 18:52
It's just these spaces you feel aren't for you.
Jeanine Ikekhua 18:54
Yeah. Do you see what I'm saying? Like, I'm not an introvert. I am not quiet.
Alexis Grant 18:57
It's just the connections not, the connection that you're looking for, you're not finding here.
Jeanine Ikekhua 19:01
I'm just not connected to the people here like I love you guys dearly.
Alexis Grant 19:05
No, I understand.
Jeanine Ikekhua 19:07
There's this lack of connection that we just can't make up for. Because it's like-
Alexis Grant 19:10
It's cultural. It's, you grew up with it. Yeah.
Jeanine Ikekhua 19:12
-I promise I didn't mean it like that, and it's just like, it is what it is like, I don't, there's nothing else to do. So you put on a facade, you deal with it. You go about your day, you go to your room, and you just keep on pushing. And that's why I'm so excited to go study abroad because I can finally step into a space that I've selected that I know is going to help when I need.
Alexis Grant 19:33
Yeah 'cause there's a lot of immigrant Nigerians in the UK. Yeah.
Hamsata Mazou 19:38
Oh my gosh, I'm so excited for you.
Jeanine Ikekhua 19:40
No, for real like I'm stepping into where I've always wanted to be. And I'm here for the money and let's keep it a buck like I'm here because they're paying for my school and it has good resources, to an extent. But other than that, like if they said go where makes you happy, and she said would never be on the list.
Hamsata Mazou 19:56
Yeah, wearing an NC state shirt.
Jeanine Ikekhua 19:59
I mean, if they give you money you not gonna rep them?
Alexis Grant 20:05
I'll spend my little 50 here just, you paying for my tuition.
Jeanine Ikekhua 20:09
It's free so I'll wear it.
Alexis Grant 20:11
Jeanine Ikekhua 20:11
How about y'all? How do y'all like, y'all like have communities?
Alexis Grant 20:17
I feel like I have more now with CSA and it's not, I don't know if this is how it is for you, it's not even like I need to be talking about Caribbean stuff.
Jeanine Ikekhua 20:31
Oh, no, for sure.
Alexis Grant 20:31
It's just being, like you said just people background who get it. And I know for me, it's a little different than some of the other people's CSA or for you. Like I was born here. And I know for a lot of times, to immigrants, like people from their homes, they see us as almost fake. And I can understand, yeah, and I can understand that. But at the same time, there's still like, obviously, there's nuances that I'm going to understand or like be able to relate to to African Americans that like, you Jeanine, might not be able to relate to because I did grow up here. But there's still things like that come up every day that I'm like, I've never heard of this. I have no idea what this is. And neither do my parents because they weren't born here. Nobody was there to teach me these things. I don't know about these things. And sometimes it's the small things. I always bring up like the movies, like the black classic movies. I haven't watched those until I came to college. Because my parents didn't watch half of them. And they don't know it's like a cultural thing that you're supposed to get your kids to watch. Like, they just happen to watch them because their American friends told him watch them you know what I mean? Like a regular movie recommendation. So like little things like that people making those little references and stuff like that, like, it just be going over my head. And I used to have like, I feel like I might have talked about this before, but that used to like really bother me because I just didn't understand what was going on because I was born here. I was always just like I just always saw myself and how people treated me was African American. And it took me until I was in high school. I was literally in a BS, BSB, BSU, yeah BSU meeting. Right before it got created at my high school, and they were talking about I think it was the Black Wall Street. Like you know about blacks. I had never heard about it before then, but they were all talking about that and something else. And somebody like asked me something. I was like, I'm not, I said I don't know, I'm not African American. And that was the first time I've ever said that out loud. It was the first time I ever recognized like I said it and then I realized what I said I was like, Oh my gosh, like, like this is not actually my history. Like I'm connected with it just for the like, it's weird how America works for the pure reason that we are all black, we are automatically connected to this African American history.
Jeanine Ikekhua 22:46
Oh not even-
Alexis Grant 22:46
Whether it's ours or not.
Jeanine Ikekhua 22:47
-not even just connected. Like none of us in here-
Alexis Grant 22:49
Jeanine Ikekhua 22:50
-like full blown African American. None of us in here are African American. But we all have, not even had, we're all forced to share the African American-
Alexis Grant 22:57
Jeanine Ikekhua 22:58
Alexis Grant 22:58
Jeanine Ikekhua 22:59
Everybody who is not black, treats us like we're African Americans.
Alexis Grant 23:01
Jeanine Ikekhua 23:02
They assume you're black? African American.
Alexis Grant 23:07
Yeah. And it's weird, especially growing, I don't know if you had this since you came here. But you might have this where like, because I grew up. Like always being treated as African American, I do have emotional ties to African American history. But now I feel kind of weird about it. Like, like, even I made jokes because you know, people will be talking about reparations, stuff like that. And like some places start actually giving reparations. I'm always like, yeah, I'm not gonna qualify, like, I'm, I'm the first one here. But it's weird because at the same time, I feel connected to some of the African American history just because of the way that people have projected that onto me. And I've been forced to take in that culture. Even though that is not my family's culture. That is not my roots.
Hamsata Mazou 23:43
I definitely agree with you. It's like definitely, like weird to like, you know, sometimes you have to be like, hey, like, this is not me. This is not my culture, you know, and just like telling people that, yeah, this is for you, but it's not for me. And then sometimes people don't understand that all the time. They don't process it and, and like you have to go in and like self dive into your history and stuff. And that sometimes, that's uncalled for. Sometimes you don't want to do that, you know, but it's like, if you don't say that stand up for yourself, you know, then people aren't going to understand but since they don't understand that you have to like go into your history and that's not always called for you know, because you don't want to share your entire life story to like-
Alexis Grant 24:19
Yeah, random, yeah. I just like I'm just fine to say my parents are from here, and I just-
Jeanine Ikekhua 24:24
I know I think I heard you say that before too.
Alexis Grant 24:26
-leave it at that. Yeah.
Hamsata Mazou 24:27
Because I feel like sometimes I get confused onto like, what like background your parents are and aren't because for a moment I thought they were first gen and you were second gen.
Alexis Grant 24:36
Hamsata Mazou 24:36
But they're, you're first gen.
Alexis Grant 24:38
Yeah, they're immigrants like I helped them study for their citizenships, like-
Hamsata Mazou 24:42
My mom is trying to do that.
Jeanine Ikekhua 24:45
She is? Do you know, like when my brother because, we got ours like a couple years ago.
Alexis Grant 24:51
Jeanine Ikekhua 24:53
When my brother got his, because he was the last one to get it. I remember like we were all in the room and like, oh It's such like a beautiful thing.
Alexis Grant 25:01
Jeanine Ikekhua 25:02
Cuz it's like we're all in the room and there's like all these different like, we're all pretty much, we're all immigrants.
Alexis Grant 25:06
Jeanine Ikekhua 25:06
But like, there's all these immigrants in the room and like, we're all just, like, lined up. And it's so cute because like, all the families are like, really patriotic. And then there's me and they're like, National Anthem. I'm like,
Hamsata Mazou 25:16
I don't know the National Anthem.
Jeanine Ikekhua 25:18
Alexis Grant 25:19
You were saying, like, I could definitely relate to your experience more. Because like, you know, kind of the same playing field. But what was the? I feel like there's a question, that I'm supposed to be answering. That's what I want to stem the sprout.
Hamsata Mazou 25:30
We were talking about, like, do you find community at NC State?
Jeanine Ikekhua 25:36
Oh, yeah. I didn't even really. [inaudible chatter]
Hamsata Mazou 25:43
Like, I don't know if you remember this one. But like, literally me finding ASU was just for me to find my community.
Alexis Grant 25:50
I remember it, yeah.
Hamsata Mazou 25:51
Yeah. And I feel like I relate most, which I feel like it's so like, weird, but I relate most to immigrants than anybody else. Because they know what it feels like to kind of be an outsider within this community, even if I was born here. So because again, like my parents, they literally kind of created a wall outside of like, "this is our culture. This is what you're going to be surrounded with." Oh, sorry. I know, when I go out into society, like I'm interacting with people, but I wasn't to a cultural basis. It was just like,
Alexis Grant 26:21
Like, it wasn't in your home.
Hamsata Mazou 26:22
Yeah. So like me personally, I didn't start listening to like American music until 2015 to put that in perspective, guys. So like, I was already adapting my understanding and relating to other people. It would only be radio songs. Like if I was in an event, a space, and they're playing radio music, I would listen to that. And that was it. I go home. And my dad was an avid like reggae listener, specifically, he loved listening to like Bob Marley and the Wailers and stuff. So that was music for me. And then my mom loved listening to traditional music. So that like created a cultural gap and that's just an example of many within my life. So that's why like for me, like when immigrants come
Alexis Grant 26:57
Because they are very preserved.
Hamsata Mazou 26:59
Alexis Grant 27:00
That's the the other thing. Immigrant parents do different things.
Hamsata Mazou 27:04
Alexis Grant 27:04
Because some immigrant parents like they really force like, "become American, become American, become American." And then some are, yeah, some are like "you need to know where you're from, you need to grow up as close to how we grew up as possible."
Hamsata Mazou 27:15
Our bedtime stories were literally everybody in his family tree. Little like bedtime stories, like rooted from like cultural and like ethnic background, like our background of stuff like cultural teachings and stuff like that. Like I was very, like, rooted within our culture and stuff. And although that occurred even, I don't know for some reason, like Lexie, like what she said, like, I still believed I was African American, like, I knew I was African
Alexis Grant 27:38
Because it's how they push it on you. Like they don't give you a choice
Hamsata Mazou 27:41
I knew I was African because I knew like the food I was eating and stuff I was doing. But like, in my head, I'm like, "oh, I'm African American. I'm just like a different group of African American." That's what African American, you know,
Alexis Grant 27:49
Hamsata Mazou 27:50
And then like, it wasn't till later, like, I realized, like, "Yo, like, I'm actually like,"
Alexis Grant 27:54
Not African American. I'm actually nationality, American. Ethnicity, not African American.
Hamsata Mazou 28:02
Yeah. So that was like our separation. And I feel like for me, like, when I went to my boarding school, I went to other people who were like, "Oh, my parents are African!" I was like, "your parents are African? Mine are, too." So we kind of had like a little community. And they were talking about African foods. And I think another disconnect for me like my language, I'm from a country where, where we were colonized by the French one, right. And we're not like a popular country either. So all the popular terminology for things for like, signifying African things. They're not necessarily how they translate into my country. So although we might be talking about the same thing, the way we define it are differently. So that also provided disconnect. When I'm talking to people like from let's say, Nigeria, or Ghana, or whatever, they're talking about things that are globally known of like everybody's definition of that said thing. But in my country, we define as a different thing. So that also provides a separate disconnect in that, you know. So although I do connect to immigrants, it's like, also, again, kind of like you like, if you're not somebody from my country, that connection's actually not really full. But for me, just meeting an immigrant satisfies that connection for me enough
Alexis Grant 29:01
To feel connected?
Hamsata Mazou 29:03
Yeah. So it's kind of weird like, how like, me interacting with you kind of fulfills it. But for you, when I say the same thing, somebody a little bit further, you know, to really get that connection for you. So that's something I found interesting. But yeah,
Alexis Grant 29:14
Yeah. No, you got it.
Jeanine Ikekhua 29:18
I was just gonna say, I think it's only because like, like, I grew up in it. Like for a good 12 years, like, I have pictures and memories on my phone, going back, like memories of me and my friends. I think like, my mom was, my parents were never like, "Oh, you're Nigerian." Like I knew that. Came out of the womb. Yeah.
Alexis Grant 29:35
The flag is in my hand.
Jeanine Ikekhua 29:36
I knew that so it was just like, coming here.
Alexis Grant 29:41
It was aggressively obvious for you.
Jeanine Ikekhua 29:41
Alexis Grant 29:41
That you weren't African American.
Jeanine Ikekhua 29:41
And also like, everybody around me made obvious to me, like
Hamsata Mazou 29:49
Facts, like, even today, like sometimes I'll go into spaces and stuff, like even today in college, like I'll say something like, " oh, I don't know this." It's like, "you don't know this?" I have to be like, "hey, guys. I need you to understand, like my parents are immigrants." You know.
Jeanine Ikekhua 30:02
That literally happened to me today.
Hamsata Mazou 30:08
I've been like, kind of separated from American culture.
Alexis Grant 30:10
And it's crazy because some of these things when they tell me, after that I see it everywhere, I hear everyone. I'm like, "where was this?"
Jeanine Ikekhua 30:24
No, that literally happened to me today. Like, we were in a group of it was me, my sweet sisters. And we were all together doing an activity, doing a service activity. And they started like mentioning, um like, soul food. And then they were talking about like sweet potatoes or something. And then I was like, "Oh, those are like pies." Like apple pie, caramel pie, sweet potato pie. And I was like, "I don't like pies." And then they were like, "Oh my God, what? You don't like pies? You don't like pies, Jeanine?" Like, I don't like pies. And then I was like, you guys got to remember like, I'm Nigerian. They're like, "oh, yeah, you're not African American. Makes sense." And I was like,
Alexis Grant 31:01
That's how it feels.
Jeanine Ikekhua 31:02
They're still sweet, but still it's like interesting.
Alexis Grant 31:04
Yeah. No, that's, it's funny. Cuz there's some foods that like, is like, African Americans have like in their soul food coat, coacher, wow, culture that are similar to some of the dishes that like my family will make. But there'll be like a couple of ingredients different or a couple of things different. And so I'll be talking about them with the foods that you know, we're all hyped up and stuff. And then I'll mention a certain ingredient. And then they're like, "what? What are you talking about?" I'm like, "oh, we don't? That's just me? We don't all do that? Oh, all right, my bad. I messed up. I messed up. We don't all do that?"
Hamsata Mazou 31:42
It's kinda sad we have to let people kind of feel bad for like, whoa, like, you know, like, like, you know, fully expressed like our culture, because then it's like, divided stuff. And it's just like that weird interaction, you know?
Jeanine Ikekhua 31:54
Yeah. And just like, not saying that people treat you different
Alexis Grant 31:58
They do. It's not even like you're trying to be malicious. Well, I feel like as kid, I don't know, maybe it's different. I feel like the malicious treatment of like, pointing it out and making you feel bad happens more younger. And then when you're older. It's more on accident besides the the like outliers who are like, "go back to your country" You know what I mean.
Jeanine Ikekhua 32:19
That's just racism and xenophobia. Yeah. That's just straight up xenophobia. Yeah, but um, yeah. Like, people now like, nobody's like, "oh, my gosh, like, you're an immigrant like, blegh, like,"
Alexis Grant 32:31
It's more like, "you don't know this?" You're like,
Jeanine Ikekhua 32:36
Oh, you're fine. You're fine. You're fine. But it's like,
Alexis Grant 32:39
My people don't say you're fine. They're like, "I don't care. I still can't believe you haven't gotten it, duh, duh, duh duh." I'm like "wow."
Jeanine Ikekhua 32:45
I get both, some of them both.
Alexis Grant 32:46
Yeah. And some will be like, "okay, well, we have to watch it because you gotta know. We have to do this. We have to do this." Like, yeah.
Jeanine Ikekhua 32:53
But the one African American thing that I cannot learn, I tried spades.
Hamsata Mazou 32:57
I played spades and I won my first match I would like to say. I played my first match.
Alexis Grant 33:03
I think it would be easier
Hamsata Mazou 33:04
I don't know how to play it. I really don't know how to play it.
Alexis Grant 33:06
I think you actually look up the dir-, I haven't. I feel like spades is one of those games. If you're not playing it constantly to learn, you need to look it up online and actually learn the proper directions in order. Yeah, this is kind of, I feel like a lot of people here, do y'all know how to play solitaire?
Hamsata Mazou 33:21
Yes, I do.
Alexis Grant 33:23
A lot of people here, I'd be playing solitaire. They're like "what's that?" I'm like, "solitaire." They're like, "I don't know how to play."
Hamsata Mazou 33:28
I've played it online. I've never played it
Alexis Grant 33:31
I be playing with the cards.
Hamsata Mazou 33:32
I've never played it in person.
Alexis Grant 33:35
Yes, yes. I used to play on the, on my, on my computer. Yes. It was one of the only games that were automatically downloaded.
Jeanine Ikekhua 33:50
We had the computer, the computer
Alexis Grant 33:52
Was it the little, was it the one that had the little spider icon on it?
Hamsata Mazou 33:55
Jeanine Ikekhua 33:57
Specifically like, out of those
Alexis Grant 33:59
It was solitaire and had the little black spider on it.
Jeanine Ikekhua 34:01
Hamsata Mazou 34:02
Oh my gosh, yes, computer games, we used to play that,
Alexis Grant 34:05
on Windows seven.
Hamsata Mazou 34:14
No cuz like, it was to the point me and my brother would like compete to see who could finish like a whole deck successfully.
Jeanine Ikekhua 34:20
I never did it.
Hamsata Mazou 34:21
Oh, really? No, we did it.
Jeanine Ikekhua 34:23
Did y'all ever get that solitaire tiki game?
Alexis Grant 34:24
Card games, that was my life.
Hamsata Mazou 34:26
Facts. I love me a good card game. They really good.
Alexis Grant 34:30
Yeah. Oh, I know what I wanted to say earlier though, it's about what you said or what we were saying. But I feel like part of the reason I never thought about me not being African American and also not, because like, you said you were aware you were African but you just also thought you were African American.
Hamsata Mazou 34:37
I, yes but no, like subconsciously I did because I knew I was different. But I didn't know it. Like, I don't know how to explain it. Like truly in my heart, like anytime like, I don't know, I used to always relate about oh, I was born in the Bronx, me too, oh we're the same, you know.
Alexis Grant 35:05
Jeanine Ikekhua 35:06
That's how I am with Atlanta or like people born in like Decatur area, like.
Hamsata Mazou 35:09
You know what I'm saying? So like those parts of my identity just meant more to me. Cuz I could find more people that could relate to it than somebody being like, Oh, my parents are from Africa. Not that many people could relate to that. So that identity group to me, yeah, it just didn't really have as much as a root, I guess. Like it didn't hold as much in my identity sphere as like all the other things cuz I found other people to relate them to it. So you know what I mean? Like, I knew, I feel like I'm not, I feel like I knew at the same time, like I knew, what I did, no, I don't know how to explain that. And like.
Alexis Grant 35:43
Not to. To some people. I'm gonna rat myself out when I say this. But.
Jeanine Ikekhua 35:48
I'm confused. Go ahead.
Alexis Grant 35:49
Because, okay, like my dad, born, raised, grew up everything Barbados. My mom was one of those Canadian Caribbean, she's born and raised, grew up in Canada. But both of her parents are from Barbados. And the reason she even knows my dad is because my mom, she went and lived out there for a little bit. And she lived with her cousin and her cousins is friends with my dad. So both sides of my family, all from Barbados, everyone's from Barbados, except specifically my mom, who was born and raised in Canada, but not even Toronto, Canada, where there's culture in why, why? Why? Why Calgary, Canada?
Jeanine Ikekhua 36:31
I never heard of that.
Alexis Grant 36:33
So because of that, the way my household rent, and on top of that she's a teacher. And I feel like this plays more into like the dialect situation of what was going on my house. I don't want say my house was bland. Because it's like, I grew up with Caribbean music and like food and stuff like that. But at the same time, it was, they just never spoke about it. Really. It was never like a sit down conversation we had I feel like.
Hamsata Mazou 37:02
Was it just understood?
Alexis Grant 37:03
I guess, because I don't know, because I also never had a serious conversation about me being black either. Like, I don't know how to explain it, like my mom's story. My mom's story of me figuring out I'm black. Because I grew up in an all black area. So nobody talked about being black. Everybody was black. Like, literally everyone was black. I can think of one Hispanic family that lived down the street. Every single other person from my childhood that I can think of was black. And it was the elections between Hillary Clinton and Obama. And I was saying, thing, watching TV, my mom turns to me, she's like, Lexi, do you know if you're black or not? And my memory of the situation is I looked at the TV, and I saw Hillary Clinton was a girl. And I knew I was a girl. So I said, white, and my mom goes, No, you're black. And that was the only conversation I've ever had really about being black.
Jeanine Ikekhua 38:01
Oh, see mine was the opposite. Like, mine was like we, because everybody in Nigeria like we're all black, right? White person. What do you do here? Yeah, so we're like, we're all black. And then I came so like, it's just like, we're all black. We're all chill. Yeah, I came to America. I'm like, Oh, like, I know, there are white people. Of course. It's America. But like, damn, like, the racial divide is really racially, right?
Alexis Grant 38:21
No, it's really racially.
Jeanine Ikekhua 38:23
It's deep. It's real deep. I said, Hmm, interesting. Interesting.
Alexis Grant 38:27
Yeah. But because of like, that immediate surrounding, and then my parents not talking about it, it was the same I feel like culturally like, the, they just not talking about that stuff. So I wasn't, it was never in the forefront, or even really back of my mind. What were you gonna say?
Jeanine Ikekhua 38:45
This is just a generalization that people make. People make it seem like if your mom is not, because they, because they felt like the mom is the one who like-
Alexis Grant 38:54
Oh, no, it's on both of them. I put this on both of them.
Jeanine Ikekhua 38:56
Oh, no, I was about to ask a question.
Alexis Grant 38:57
Okay. Ask your question.
Jeanine Ikekhua 38:59
Wait, that's what I'm about to say. Like, they feel like the mom is like the one,
Alexis Grant 39:03
Like she's in charge of having to do that?
Jeanine Ikekhua 39:06
Not in charge, talking about like, usually, like, you know, like when there's like, if there's a, people say if there's a white mom and a black dad,
Alexis Grant 39:12
It's different, more likely to be disconnected from their black side.
Hamsata Mazou 39:15
Oh, because you're saying like the culture's stemming from like the mom.
Alexis Grant 39:20
I've only heard it with black and white situation. I think it's because of the history of the fetishization of black men and the whole history of black men and white women in America
Jeanine Ikekhua 39:32
I was just thinking more so like, the mommy not, the mommy not doing what the mommy needs to do.
Hamsata Mazou 39:40
Because, do you think because like, a child is probably like, gonna like, you know, be surrounded with their mom most likely more, that like the cultural teachings are probably going to stem from her than, more than like, their father
Jeanine Ikekhua 39:52
See, the feminist in me wants to say no.
Alexis Grant 39:59
I don't know. I don't, I don't put that on my mom. I'm just, it was both of them.My dad didn't talk to me about any of it either. It was neither one of them. It was just like, and not in a bad way, they just didn't talk about. But also it's because of what you guys might be able to understand, you know how Caribbean's and Africans, they see a lot of times African Americans as lazy and focusing too much on race. Do you guys have that? Because I've talked to some Africans about that. And they're, they'd like notice that, but I know that's especially big in the Caribbean. Like, they see a lot of Americans as lazy because they don't understand, because they're not here. And they didn't grow up here. And they don't know the history as well. They don't see the nuance of how far deep, psychologically, the black community has been affected in America. Especially when it comes to like, really impoverished neighborhoods and stuff like that. They basically see a lot of the things that they do. They're putting themselves in that position on purpose.
Oh, yeah. I forgot where I was going with this. My parents, my that's why my dad didn't bring it. I feel like that's probably the reason my dad never brought it up. Because he's very aware that there's a lot of racist stuff going on. But at the same time, he's like, at the end of the day, like, you got to do what you got to do. So he doesn't bring it up, really. If that makes sense.
Jeanine Ikekhua 41:11
I see what you're saying. But my mom, like my mom wasn't like that. Like she didn't have the mentality of like, oh, African Americans are so lazy.
Hamsata Mazou 41:17
I don't think so.
Alexis Grant 41:20
Maybe lazy was a push.
Jeanine Ikekhua 41:22
No, but I actually have heard, I've, okay, like other Africans, like outside of like, not my family or anything, but other Africans being like, Oh, they are at lazy, like I have heard of that stereotype. Which is not true.
Hamsata Mazou 41:32
Jeanine Ikekhua 41:33
Which is stereotypes, but my mom personally didn't believe that. I think like my household was more focused. Because we all grew up in Nigeria, my mom, my dad, my brother, like, everybody grew up in Nigeria. So our mindset was more focused on like, how are we going to survive, aka fit in, but still be us?
Alexis Grant 41:52
Jeanine Ikekhua 41:53
Like we weren't even thinking of like, so we weren't even like thinking like, Oh, they're lazy. Like we're not even thinking of a way to like,
Alexis Grant 41:57
Jeanine Ikekhua 41:58
Let's divide each other even more. More focused on like, let's blend in.
Hamsata Mazou 42:02
How to assimilate. Yeah.
Jeanine Ikekhua 42:03
How to assimilate, but like, still be us.
Hamsata Mazou 42:05
I again, like I feel like it was very hard to like, connect with my culture at times, especially like, I kind of lived a different kind of a demographics of communities within my life, like all black, mixed cultures, all white, especially within like the old white neighborhoods. I'm like, Mom, like you don't, like I just tried to make her be like, Yo, I was a child, too. This was not me, grown me saying this. This was child me, something in me like, felt like, we should not be out here flaunting our culture, like this is not a safe space to do so. And my mom was very big within her culture. You know, she loved wearing her cultural attire and stuff, dressing up and so forth. I was like.
Jeanine Ikekhua 42:42
Hamsata Mazou 42:43
Jeanine Ikekhua 42:44
My mom used to be dressed up. Was that your mom also?
Hamsata Mazou 42:47
Yes. And I just, just sitting in the house or be like, Oh, let's go to the grocery store. And I want to like wear my nice clothes, you know?
Jeanine Ikekhua 42:51
Yeah, that's my mom.
Hamsata Mazou 42:52
And she was like, she always gets her clothes, like sewn in Africa, and then get them brought here. So you know.
Jeanine Ikekhua 42:56
Hamsata Mazou 42:57
Oh, it's different countries, sometimes Niger, sometimes Togo?
Jeanine Ikekhua 43:01
Oh, yeah. Because.
Hamsata Mazou 43:03
Yeah, she moved around. Yeah. And I think my family also kind of spreads out in Africa in general. Like, we have some family members in Ghana as well. So like, this is why like, it's kind of hard for me to like, differentiate, like where certain things come from within my family. Because we kind of pick up cultures from different countries. And that's why I kind of like to generalize, because I don't know who what belongs to and I, that kind of gets lost in translation of this person from this side of the family, you know, because our family kind of is very connected. Extended wise, extended family wise.
Alexis Grant 43:34
Jeanine Ikekhua 43:34
For anybody listening, I always make them say countries, because if I hear one more person talking about some, Africa, I thought it was a country. No. There are countries within the continent of Africa. And if I have to say that one more time as I grew up, we will have a problem. So that's why I just say countries because I just like, I just don't, this is a whole different episode, but I just don't like the generalization. Yeah, cuz it's like.
Hamsata Mazou 43:58
I don't understand.
Jeanine Ikekhua 43:59
I don't know, but it makes sense.
Hamsata Mazou 44:01
Jeanine Ikekhua 44:01
100% That's your experience. But personally, for me, you never actually Africa because Nigeria, I can vote you. I don't know what's going on in Ghana. They could tell me what's going on in Togo. I don't know. I have no idea what's going on the next country. But side note, to go back to what you're saying flaunting, not flaunting but, being proud. Not prideful, but showing off your culture.
Hamsata Mazou 44:28
Yeah, I don't know where I was going with that to be honest, I was going somewhere with it, there was a reason why I brought that up. But could I tell you right now?
Jeanine Ikekhua 44:34
Oh, when you were a child, you said that like you kind of knew that it wasn't a safe space.
Hamsata Mazou 44:37
Oh, yeah. Cuz I think something about like culture or something. I don't know. I think I was trying to connect to something she said.
Jeanine Ikekhua 44:42
Hamsata Mazou 44:43
Yes, assimilation. Yes, I was like assimilation was just very key. I just understood that from a young age, assimilation was key to like, you know, survive and stuff. And that wasn't something I was taught or anythin, it was just something I noticed and picked up.
Jeanine Ikekhua 44:55
Yes. I didn't have to do that.
Hamsata Mazou 44:56
My biggest areas of realizing that like there's definitely a differential divide from like, at least like, black people and like white people for me. We were kids playing in our neighborhood and this was when we lived in a basically all white town, like, quite literally, I felt like we were only black people in this town, to be quite frank. So we're outside playing me and my sibling. Cuz my sister was too young. Yeah. So me and, just me and my brother playing. And then there was these kids outside. So we like playing, we saw them playing outside. Like, oh, let's go play outside, me and you. And then let's see if we can like, you know, sometimes try to combine groups, you know, because that's what kids do, like to play with each other. We started playing. And then immediately we see like their parents from the other side. And this, mind you this is like a white family. If that wasn't clarified already. She's talking to the kids. And they slowly one by one, just start leaving, going outside. And then me and my brother we're like, oh, it's not kinda fun no more because we don't have kids that we were planning on playing with tonight here. So like, let's go back inside. A little bit after we went inside.
Alexis Grant 45:49
They went back out?
Hamsata Mazou 45:51
They all came out.
Alexis Grant 45:52
Hamsata Mazou 45:52
And that, like, to me.
Alexis Grant 45:53
That's when it hit.
Hamsata Mazou 45:55
Yeah, it definitely hurt.
Alexis Grant 45:56
I had like the traditional, like, black person in a white area. Because even though I grew up in a black area, during middle school, my mom I mean, not middle school, elementary school my mom worked on the more North, like, north of Atlanta. And like, if y'all know what Roswell is, she worked in like, Roswell. It's rich white area. Now, I feel like now it's a little more Hispanic.
Jeanine Ikekhua 46:23
I was gonna say, but no, because it made me think of the song by, what's her name?
Alexis Grant 46:28
The, not Atlanta song.
Jeanine Ikekhua 46:30
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. And I remember she brought it up. But go ahead.
Alexis Grant 46:32
Yeah, but Roswell has like a lot of like, like, million million dollar homes, rich white area, but she worked for a private school. And I had like, begged my mom in elementary school, like, let me go to your school. Anyway, so I end up going to her school. You know, I'm one of the only black people there. But we had a lesson. And it was like the first lesson, we talked about slaves. And I talked about slaves before, but everybody's black. No one's looking at each other. We're just looking at textbooks. We're talking about slaves. You know, we're reading da da da da da, slaves, da da da, I just felt kind of weird. And I looked up and everybody in the room was looking at me, cuz I'm the only black kid there. Everyone's looking at me. And I'm looking at them like, and I remember thinking I was like, do they think I'm a slave? And like looking back it's kind of funny, because no, none of my ancestors were slaves here. Like, that history did not even apply to me. My ancestors were picking sugarcane, not cotton.
Jeanine Ikekhua 46:32
No for real.
Alexis Grant 46:33
Still enslaved though. Still enslaved, just in their own country. In a different country yeah.
Hamsata Mazou 46:51
Like, I asked my mom because my mom like, she makes it very clear that we're like, not African. Like when I asked her about it, she never made it clear in the household. But when I asked her about it, you know, trying to learn about culture. I was like, but didn't our families at some point, ever get enslaved? She was like, No, we came here like, no, like, you know, like, even back home like you could have gotten-. Like she said, her tribe and my dad's tribe, they never got like, they never got like, what's the word when the white come over and take over.
Alexis Grant 48:09
Hamsata Mazou 48:09
There we go. My mom's tribe. And my dad's tribe, they both never got colonized. So they don't know anything about that.
Alexis Grant 48:17
Where they're, where are they located? Because most of those slaves are all in like, you know, the same area. Were they in that area?
Hamsata Mazou 48:24
I don't know. But I know my families are like from Niger. I know their tribes names. Actually. I don't remember my mom's, my mom's.
Alexis Grant 48:30
Wasn't your one of the countries that got?
Jeanine Ikekhua 48:33
I'm not, the thing, but, I wish they did this.
Alexis Grant 48:35
I'm tryna think.
Jeanine Ikekhua 48:35
When I like when I did my history lessons in Nigeria, it was more focused on like, what was happening in that part?
Hamsata Mazou 48:42
Oh you mean like the slave trade itself, like the countries?
Jeanine Ikekhua 48:44
Yeah. I don't think Niger, it was mostly Nigeria, Ghana. Yeah.
Hamsata Mazou 48:52
Niger's really big one, and super, like kind of right next to Chad, which is like kind of more of like that other side of Africa. We're right above, I think, I believe Algeria as well. So we're kind of like, on the outskirts of the West, although we are West African. Yeah.
Jeanine Ikekhua 49:10
What was I gonna say, oh, I can relate to everything y'all said, but flip it and it's not white people, it's black people. It's African Americans and Africans. Like, I had the exact same experience when we were in class, Anytime it talked about like colonization, and after-
Alexis Grant 49:24
They looked at you, cause they, like, oh, the African.
Jeanine Ikekhua 49:27
No honestly, straight out of there. What does it feel like? I'm like, that was 1960. I personally have no experience.
Alexis Grant 49:39
We got independence in 1960. What do y'all want me to say?
Jeanine Ikekhua 49:42
Right. Okay, guys. But no, like, they would look at me. I remember one time we were just in class talking about colonization. And it got to like the specifically African countries. And my teacher looked at me, she said, yeah, yeah, it was extremely hard for them. I said, Oh, no. And then everybody in the class was like, yeah, and then, It was kinda like she paused and like, do you want to say anything else? And I kind of just like raised my hand. I was just like, um, yeah, you know, it's hard being there. She's like, I know. As a child, looking back on it now, yeah, I should have just sat down. Yeah, I should just sat down there. And then after I said my thing, why did she say yeah, I know. Girl.
Alexis Grant 50:27
Yeah that's crazy.
Jeanine Ikekhua 50:28
No, you don't know. That's the point.
Alexis Grant 50:32
I know. Yeah.
Hamsata Mazou 50:34
Alexis Grant 50:36
Jeanine Ikekhua 50:37
Now we all know ourselves.
Hamsata Mazou 50:39
Jeanine Ikekhua 50:39
And now we're here. Now we're here. We're still struggling.
Alexis Grant 50:42
Do y'all know yourself? So you're discovering?
Jeanine Ikekhua 50:44
Alexis Grant 50:45
How do you feel? Are y'all immigrants?
Hamsata Mazou 50:47
You are, I want to add something in real quick. Hey, also, this is kind of like off topic. But on topic, I always kind of wanted to do the ancestry thing. Just to see if somebody in my family slipped up.
Jeanine Ikekhua 50:58
Alexis Grant 50:59
Okay, but. No, but listen, what if they didn't slip up and they fell in love, I think is good. But I was also thinking because, you know, there was a lot of raping going on.
Hamsata Mazou 51:14
But like, my family keeps track of history. So like, I think they would have known like, if this child came from this incident, you know, was. Yeah.
Jeanine Ikekhua 51:21
There's a chance of that happening.
Hamsata Mazou 51:24
So like, if I see my DNA results, and it's kind of a little scattered, you know, what I'm saying? Two plus two is not equaling for, for our equations.
Jeanine Ikekhua 51:31
Mine. I know for a fact there's somebody white in that ancestry, I know for a fact, because Nigeria, it was going on like, it was giving drugs, drugs everywhere. But I, I choose to be naive.
Hamsata Mazou 51:43
No, me, cuz I know.
Jeanine Ikekhua 51:48
It's not none of that happened.
Alexis Grant 51:49
Like I know, on my dad's side, some of the white is British, which makes sense because we were a British colonized island like, but I know some of our ancestors actually got brought back to Britain. I don't know how they got back, honestly. Um, but I know some of my, I know some of the stories of some of the people who are mixed. I don't really know the stories of the white people, though. I don't know who the white people were in my family. But I know who some of the mixed people were.
Jeanine Ikekhua 52:18
I've always wanted to do it. Because I know that like there's like, 97, 90, like 5% chance that my ancestors, like some of them stayed in Nigeria and then some of them actually taken over to the Americas. I knew that that probably happened. But I also when I was younger, it's gonna give colorism. When I-
Alexis Grant 52:38
We can talk about that next episode.
Jeanine Ikekhua 52:40
Oh, okay. Nevermind, well I, I want to say it now.
Hamsata Mazou 52:44
Can she say it now?
Alexis Grant 52:44
Jeanine Ikekhua 52:45
Okay, when I was younger, I had like a theory that the reason like, why I was like, darker skinned and like everybody else around me, was because my blackness in my lineage was watered down. And because there were a couple of black people in my life that have fallen in love with white people. And that's like, how all light skinned people were made.
Hamsata Mazou 53:08
I mean, I'm not gonna lie, I think I believe that at some point, too, when I was younger, like that was not a far stretch of a theory.
Jeanine Ikekhua 53:14
Okay, I thought it was.
Hamsata Mazou 53:15
You were not the only one. As a younger person. I mean like, yeah, that's when you realized it wasn't true, but as a child, Yeah, those thoughts did appear in my mind a little bit. A little bit.
Jeanine Ikekhua 53:26
Yeah. In our heads.
Alexis Grant 53:27
Anyways. Um, what's your ancestry? Where are you from? Where are your parents from? Is you African American, is you not black, at all? At all?
Hamsata Mazou 53:40
Right? Like, are you
Alexis Grant 53:42
Where are we from everybody,
Hamsata Mazou 53:44
History backgrounds, right? All my immigrants, and are you connected with your culture, are you not? You choose to be, choose not to be, okay. Let's, go ahead. Go ahead. My bad.
Jeanine Ikekhua 53:56
I just want to say to all my immigrants out there, if you feel like me, and you don't really have a set culture, you are not alone. I got you. I see you, you are heard, you are seen, and I feel what you are feeling. And leave in the comments, like what is going on? I'm always free. I always make time for my immigrants, all my black people in general. But if you want to DM me, talk about it. I will go on and on girl, we can FaceTime, we can do whatever we want to do. And I will help you. Because I've been doing this for a while now.
Alexis Grant 54:28
That was beautiful.
Hamsata Mazou 54:29
Snaps. Also beautiful spiel. Anybody else?
Alexis Grant 54:36
That part. Okay, yeah, that's it for today, guys.
Hamsata Mazou 54:40
Jeanine Ikekhua 54:41
Alexis Grant 54:42
And don't forget.
Hamsata Mazou 54:45
tu tu, tu tu tu
Alexis Grant 54:48
Y'all doing two different things. Y'all mess me up right now.
Hamsata Mazou 54:50
I can't hear shit with these headphones on, so.
Alexis Grant 54:53
Like you were humming very quietly so
Hamsata Mazou 54:56
I don't know Doom Doom Doom, Doom, Doom, Doom, Doom. doo doo doo doo
On Black dot podcast. On Black dot podcast on Instagram, On Black black black, dot pod cast cast cast, do on Instagram gram gram, yeah but if you didn't get the memo, onblack.podcast on Instagram like What is you doing. Comment. And respond to the polls you know.
Alexis Grant 55:25
Follow us. Like the posts, follow us on Spotify, follow us on YouTube.
Jeanine Ikekhua 55:34
Period all of it.
Hamsata Mazou 55:36
You think of it we probably on there, and if we not contact us, we can make some shake.
Jeanine Ikekhua 55:41
Alexis Grant 55:41
Okay yeah bye, bye.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai