Simon Woolleyâ€™s article over at Comment Is Free has provoked some typical responses. Perhaps the failing of the article lays in the lack of context for some people? The word Diaspora is one that should be applied here, the article (whether you agree with the sentiment regarding black footballers) explores one facet of a Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) persons identity; their origins outside Britain.
â€œAs much of the world rightly enjoys the drama of the beautiful game, for me and many others around the globe a parallel story is unfolding: one that has its roots in slavery, colonialism, imperialism and survival. A story like no other, which unites millions of descendents of Africa in one supreme global moment: the World Cup.
The tournament began with 32 countries from six continents. Astonishingly, 22 of those countries, including Japan, Iran and Switzerland, have players of African descent. The raw data, however, cannot begin to tell the socio-political and human journey of so many of Africa’s peoples.â€ [The Guardian]
Of course not everyone views football within the context of an African Diaspora but virtually all football supporters exhibit some form of tribalism. Why is ok for British ex-pats to continue to support various British teams while living in Spain or Australia but not a black man to feel a connection with those he shares his ancestry?
To be honest, for me, the concept of Diaspora is rather complex one. Iâ€™m mixed race so my â€œloyaltiesâ€ lay more with the people I know and the country I grew up in (I have the luxury of being able to pick and choose which cultures I draw inspiration from). I consider myself a global citizen as much as I consider myself a Londoner or Brit! But I recognise someoneâ€™s identity can be formed differently from me without it being a threat.
What is your identity made up of and which parts do you emphasise and why? Do you feel a connection to one Diaspora or another or are you content with simply being British?
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Filed in: Culture,Current affairs,Race politics