Image Sources: Siddis: D. Tutu. The Siddis, the lost African tribe still living in India today. 16 April 2019. Afrika News; Masonda Olivier: S. Shekhar. African immigrants worried after string of racial attacks in India. 30 May 2016. India Today.
In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA, many Indians and diasporic Indians, including I.N.D.I.A, expressed empathy and solidarity with Black Lives Matter. We also, almost immediately, started questioning ourselves about the genuineness of our sympathy.
We realised we often only remember that the Siddis are Indians when their bodies, their very blackness that we shrink away from most times, will be of use to us – as labour to till our fields, as athletes to win us medals. And more recently, Africans living in India have been subjected to the very kinds of racism we are condemning white Americans for – where were we when Masonda Olivier was killed? Certainly not out on the streets.
- Who are the Siddis?
- How have we marginalised black people in India?
- Traditional Indian values tell us that a guest should be treated as God. What are the experiences of contemporary Africans in India?
Find out the answers
- Learn about the richness and warmth of the Siddi community as they remain at the margins of modern India in this documentary by Raanachi Paakhara, a student at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, India.
- Read how Africans experience living in India in the 21st century in this account by Aletta Andre (26 June 2016, Al Jazeera).
- Read how India remembers the Siddis when it needs athletes (2 June 2016, 101 India and 7 June 2016, Deccan Chronicle).