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Thursday, 8 October 2009

How Africans got black skin

I once heard this story from an authority on West African oral culture, and since it doesn't seem to have made its way online yet, I thought I might as well share it with the world. I hope someone will come along with a better version that I can link to.

In the beginning, God made everybody the same: they all had black skin. But God appointed a time when everyone could come to the watering hole and wash the blackness off their skin. He set the time at ten o'clock in the morning.

Now, the European had a watch, so he made sure to be on time. But the African didn't worry so much about the time, and he got there late. Alas, by the time he arrived, the European had used up almost all the water washing the blackness off his skin. There was only enough water left to wipe the blackness off the palms of his hands and the soles of his feet.

This is why Africans to this day are black everywhere but their hands and feet. And it is also why the Europeans always go by the clock.

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