This happened when I was 18 years old, finishing high school, thinking I was the man, active, happy, the sky was the limite.
It was in Hamburg Germany, me a young black men from Africa who didnt believe in racisme at all, coming from a muslim family where my sister is married to a jewish man and brother to a white french lady,i use to see racism from old scool movies only.
For college my parents sent me to a culinary school in Germany. I was very happy to be in a very modern country compared to mine.
When my training started, the school gave us ( students) a list of potential restaurants that were accepting students for internships and the task was to walk in , introduce yourself and ask the manager for an internship position.
As an 18 years old kid, that was one of my biggest achievements, and one of my most exciting days.
I started my day very hurly,nice hair cut, elegant dress shirt, black pants and fancy shoes. I was so happy to finally be a man. I even use an extra cologne before entering this restaurant.
I remember like it was just yesterday, my first word was “guten morgen” with all the respect, it was a total silence in the office of the restaurant,i thought it was my bad german accent or i said something wrong by mistake,unfortunately it was none of that.
A very agressif voice responded to my good morning with a question , “what do you want?”
I was shaking, not knowing what to do. I provided the professional method they teach us in class. After 3 minutes of speech,everyone from the office ignored me.
I was standing there shamed,angry, disappointed and felt invisible.
Standing there,less than a human being suddenly I heard another voice asking me “did you see any black person in the establishment? Without saying a single word, I walked out, cried all my way home and was sick for weeks.
After a long period of therapy and the support of family members, I got my confidence back and also a lot of german (white) friends. I realised that Germany was full of very nice people and that one bad apple can spoil the whole basket.
After staying in Germany for 2 years I decided to move to the USA and still have some of my best friends over there.
Leave a Reply