fbpx

Photos: Nigeria Before the Lekki Toll Gate Massacre

Branden Janese
Oct 22, 2020 - 3:51

The North Star is a network of Black and Latinx journalists and creators that provide daily news stories and podcasts with action steps that help you get involved. We speak truth to power without fear because our stories, our voices and our lives matter. Please consider becoming a member and enjoy exclusive benefits of our ad-free platform for as little as $5 a month.

In America, the Black Lives Matter movement is a protest against white and non-Black police officers using excessive force and oftentimes lethal force against unarmed, innocent Black civilians. Almost all of the time, the cops face no charges and the victim receives no justice. How do we navigate police brutality, excessive violence and murder of Black people, when the aggressors are also Black?

A Washington columnist named John Lewis once wrote an opinion piece titled “Black Officers Won’t Shoot Black Jaywalkers,” where he argued that in America, “we need more Black police officers because Black officers don’t shoot jaywalkers.” It’s hard to imagine a day when police brutality is another term for Black on Black violence.   

I know that Nigerians do not use the term Black to refer to themselves. However, when I watch the footage of the Lekki Toll Gate Massacre in Lagos, I think of all the ‘race riots’ and similar massacres in American cities against Black Americans (who most likely have ancestry in West Africa). 

The first scene that comes to mind is white police officers firing at unarmed protestors. But in Lekki, that’s not true. Today in Lekki, a place where I’ve fantasized about my ancestors ruling as kings and queens before they were kidnapped and held as slaves in America, the Black men are mimicking the monstrous American police officers. It’s too damaging to imagine, let alone witness. 

Here are some images of Nigeria and Lagos before the Lekki Gate Massacre. Let both the obvious beauty and incredible ordinariness of the people remind us that we, Black Americans, share the same face, pain, and magic of the people of West Africa. 

One Reply to “Photos: Nigeria Before the Lekki Toll Gate Massacre”

  1. Hi Branden,
    My name is Bola. I’m from Nigeria. Thanks for taking the initiative to talk about what happened at Lekki toll gate massacre.
    But please enlighten yourself more. Those are not pictures from Lekki before the massacre. Those pictures are maybe from100of years ago. That’s like portraying Lagos Nigeria as an uncivilised and uneducated place even though the government is nothing to write home about.
    That’s why there’s social media and google. You’ll find pictures of Lagos not this.

    Thanks.

Leave a Reply

Become a member and join TheNorthStar

Join Over 25, 000 members from all 50 states and 100+ countries to
help build and sustain the most courageous Community of liberation
journalism in the world.

More From The North Star

March on Washington 2020 Live...

March on Washington 2020 Live Blog: Thousands Gather in D.C. to End Police Brutality...Read More

Maria Perez, Nicole Rojas & Micah Schaffer
1

Black Lives Matter...

Black Lives Matter Demonstrators in Florida Are Being Fined For Using Megaphones...Read More

Maria Perez
0

Defining Black Gratitude in...

Defining Black Gratitude in the 2020 Holiday Season...Read More

Donney Rose
0

See more articles from Branden Janese

Follow Branden Janese to see more of their article on TheNorth