African American" This is a linchpin term in the language of America. It is a much used term with a variety of meanings.
To many who are not of African ancestry, the term refers to all those who are of African ancestry.
To a few truly uninformed, it means any person of African descent. The best example of this I can recall is the teacher from Colorado who appeared on "The Roseanne Show". The teacher was being recognized for her work in mitigating the slave trade in Sudan. She told Roseanne (Barr) she had been motivated by a picture she saw in national magazine of this "beautifuL little African American girl along with many other African American children" being sold into slavery in Sudan.
The variations on interpretation go on.
My defintion of African American requires that it be spelled without a hyphen. That is derivative to being of African America, which, as a geo-political, proper noun, has no hyphen. The defintion is: of or pertaining to African America; an American of unknown African ancestry, wholly or in part.
You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.