“That Black Man”

The room we were in looked like it was stuck in the 1970s. On two sides of the room, perpendicular to each other, there were windows giving us a view to an outdoor common area. Another side had bookshelves that were filled with many old and intriguing books that surrounded a fireplace. Some about Zimbabwe, National Geographic magazines, Christian books, The Lord of the Rings and many others that I can’t remember and didn’t see. I had watched a documentary about what had been transpiring between the president and white farmers in Zimbabwe about 6 months prior. I also had read a little bit of a book I have about such events in addition to information online. I just met Evelyn (who’s picture is not on my site) walking outside and we were having a good conversation. I asked her to tell me about the Zimbabwe that she has known on our walk into the living room like setting we found ourselves in. She turned towards me as her face brightened with a smile and her eyes opened wider as she allowed herself to remember and engage a Zimbabwe that once was. That will be again. She shared with me how beautiful her land was using her hands as part of her expression. She told me of all the beautiful flowers and birds that I could capture with my camera and show other people the beauty of her nation. She seemed to come alive in that part of the conversation with her excitement, expressions and tone. She stopped and said, “And then that black man.” Her tone changed and her facial expressions showed the feelings of anger towards him. Her statement struck me a bit. She is a black Zimbabwean and she just referred to her president, the leader of the nation, as, “that black man.” It seemed as though she wanted no connection to him other than their obvious skin color┬ásimilarities. She told me how all of what Zimbabwe is experiencing now is due to him and his corruptness. I asked her why she didn’t flee like many people in her country did. She responded, “This is my land, this is my home. I am Zimbabwean. Why would I want to go anywhere else?”