Sandra Bland haunts me day and night. From the moment her story streamed my timeline, I was captivated and alarmed even though the theme was grotesquely familiar. #BlackLivesMatter became a resounding anthem, a response to the chaos and mayhem that has consistently populated the nation with the senseless killings of young black men like Trayvin Martin, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and countless others. But I will admit that Sandra Bland’s case hits a little too close to home.
At the time we reached out to Leslie Fields-Cruz, the long-time executive director of the National Black Programming Consortium (NBPC), the unfathomable tragedy that is now unfolding with the vile arrest and mysterious death of Sandra Bland hadn’t transpired.
I will try to keep this short and sweet because it won’t be a pleasant experience expressing my utter disbelief at the realization that the man that I used to pretend was my father has turned out to be the big bad wolf.
A big shaggy, frightful predator masked under the disguise of a well-groomed, well-spoken, well-choreographed representative who operated under the name, Bill Cosby. It was just by lucky strokes that I became a disciple of The Cosby Show. Born in the United States but bred in Lagos, Nigeria, my mother worked for the Nigerian Television Authority, and her duty was to secure programming from around the world. She did a magnificent job, I can attest to that. From The Beachcombers to Fawlty Towers, my world expanded and blossomed accordingly.
Yes, I said it. I’m actually going there, and you and your perfectly melded comb can’t stop me. I won’t be deterred by the legion of recruits that surround this domineering mission – which is to shame anyone that chooses to adhere to their preferred devices.
As a Nigerian-American, I continue to weather the confluence that merges the Western antidotes and Nigeria’s version of the Ten Commandments. Okay, there are definitely way more than ten. But the point is that being a female of Nigerian descent comes with a heavy load that not many outside of the Diaspora can fathom.