Thursday, February 19, 2009

"Growing up Black on the Internet"

I just happened across a pretty cool post in the Something Awful forums. The author, who goes by the handle Fish Steer a Dhow, describes himself as follows.

I was born in Southern Sudan and my people are Dinka … When I was 8 or so (I don't actually know my birthdate or my exact age) I was taken by a missionary with the Episcopalian church to the United States and given to a foster family who I think of as my family, call mom and dad etc. And yeah he does look a lot like Kurt Vonnegut.

Most of the post describes a trip he took a few years ago, introduced thus:

The mission that brought me over kept track of my family as best they could and they actually ended up in northwest Kenya, having been driven from Sudan into Ethiopia, then out of Ethiopia. My mother may be dead or she may have returned to Sudan, we're not really certain, but in 2004 I was given a graduation present of a trip to Kenya to visit my father and brothers, sisters, uncles and aunts along with a bunch of cousins I have never met, all those who had travelled together to the Kakuma area where they were living.

No attempts are made at deep or profound insights. It's more of a just-the-facts, here's-who-I-am piece, and it succeeds with that approach. Sure held my attention, anyway. Plus, some really good pictures, especially the one of the minister of the local church.

You might also be interested in Fish Steer a Dhow's responses to comments on his original post. (Scroll down past the original post, which is reposted at the top of the page.)


Anonymous said...

That entire thread was an elaborate joke. The guy who went by "fish steer a dhow" on that forum is not Black.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I realized that I'm not 100% positive that "fish steer a dhow" isn't Black. But it's pretty obvious that the point of that thread was to troll people. In the first post, he strongly implies that he inspired a small-scale communist revolution and convinced a village to murder its pastor.

bjkeefe said...

I didn't share your reaction upon first read, and upon reflection, I still don't. The original post strikes me as way too much work to have been made up just for a hoax, and the follow-up comments (now posted under the new handle "Fall Sick and Die," it appears) add to the feeling of veracity.

Also, I didn't get any sense that "he inspired a ... revolution," etc. Sounds more to me like he just spoke his mind at one point. (I will say that if what he said motivated the village to get rid of their pastor, that sounds like it would be a good thing, although I'd favor some manner of deposing him other than murder.)