I went to do some errands with Manuel some days ago, and since it was a sunny day I thought it would be a good idea to stop for and ice-cream. While Manu was enjoying his melting ice cream I started checking my grocery list… bread, milk, noodles and …..

– MOOOOOOOOM Why is that man brown?
– Well, because…..

I was trying to find the best answer when I heard:

– Hi brown sir! Manuel greeted.

OMG! Please earth, swallow me now, I thought. Why was he doing that? I was so embarrassed I couldn’t take my eyes from the list I had.

– Good afternoon little guy! The man answered laughing.

I really felt I had to apologize, so I looked at him and I said “I’m sorry, I don’t know why …….”

– “Don’t worry”, he interrupted me with a broad smile. “Maybe you haven’t noticed it, but I AM black”
– “You’re right” I said, and we both started laughing.

Here in Uruguay, where most of the inhabitants are from European decent, the Afro-Uruguayan community is very small, only 4% of our population, if I’m not wrong. For that reason, you can walk long blocks without seeing a black person around. At school, Manuel doesn’t have any Afro-Uruguayan classmate and when Sebastián went to school, he only had one Afro-Uruguayan partner in six years. So no wonder why Manu was so curious when he saw the man.

– “You are not back”. Manuel said. “You are dark brown”

Oh Noooo, here he goes again, I thought to my self. This time I didn’t say anything because….

– “That’s true”. The man answered laughing loudly. And, what color are you?
– I’m light brown.
– So, we are not very different. What do you think?
– Yes, we are……

I was just about to jump into the conversation when Manuel said…

– We are different because I’m a child and you are not. Why are you brown?
– Because my family came from Africa loooooong long time ago.
– When my mother buys a motorbike we will go to Africa.
– Oh, Good idea! It’s a beautiful country.
– Yeap. Good bye, I’m going to play now.
– Good bye

On our way home, I remained in silence thinking about the lack of integration we have with the Afro-Uruguayan community. It shouldn’t be this way. Black people have influenced our music, our culture, our whole country in so many good aspects…..

– Mom, when we go to Africa we can invite our friend from the park.
– Sure baby
– Yeap. Then we have to buy a car, because the motorbike is too small.



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5 responses to “ThE BrOwN GuY

  1. Stephen Bess

    Hello Analia! Long time.

    Yes, they drop us off all over the world from Africa. 🙂 This was a great post and funny. Give my dark brown brother my regards. Perhaps our ancestors crossed paths. Peace~

  2. Analía

    They might, my friend. Thank you for your visit Stephen. Blessings!

  3. Mousie/Paisible

    Manuel, you’re a darling…that was so great reading this story…
    analia you’re all in my thoughts…keep well darling…
    love to all…

  4. Analía

    Mousie my friend, it’s so good to hear from u!!! kisses

  5. MiNe

    Amiga, pase a actualizarme un poco y a Saludarte, esperando que esten bien tu y los tuyos.
    Un Beso Leyla

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