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What It’s Like Being Black In Poland

The quest for greener pastures is one that has led to an influx of African nationals migrating to Poland, where most Poles have only seen black people in books and movies. A lot of what they know about us is preconceived notions about the black community and stereotypical descriptions so firmly planted in their minds that they can't help but look at you weirdly when you walk by.

Nothing knocks the breath out of you like the first time you are referred to by the infamous ‘N word’. The gravity of that word being thrown at you makes you question your identity and your very existence. I have always thought of myself as just Rosalia but now I'm ‘the black girl’ and I'm more aware of my race than I’ve ever been before.

I grew up in a small town in Zimbabwe. My whole school was black. Race was not something that concerned me. Whenever I saw a news article about racial profiling or saw a movie about police brutality towards black people I would be blown away. The only problems I knew of were that of government corruption and living in a poverty-stricken country. Little did I know that my skin colour was something that so many people looked at with disdain, even in this century!