<cite class="byline vcard">By JESSE WASHINGTON | Associated Press – <abbr class="updated" title="2012-02-04T18:12:57Z">16 hrs ago</abbr></cite>

 

 

 

The labels used to describe Americans of African descent mark the movement of a people from the slave house to the White House. Today, many are resisting this progression by holding on to a name from the past: "black."

 

For this group — some descended from U.S. slaves, some immigrants with a separate history — "African-American" is not the sign of progress hailed when the term was popularized in the late 1980s. Instead, it's a misleading connection to a distant culture.

 

The debate has waxed and waned since African-American went mainstream, and gained new significance after the son of a black Kenyan and a white American moved into the White House. President Barack Obama's identity has been contested from all sides, renewing questions that have followed millions of darker Americans:

 

What are you? Where are you from? And how do you fit into this country?

 

"I prefer to be called black," said Shawn Smith, an accountant from Houston. "How I really feel is, I'm American."

 

"I don't like African-American. It denotes something else to me than who I am," said Smith, whose parents are from Mississippi and North Carolina. "I can't recall any of them telling me anything about Africa. They told me a whole lot about where they grew up in Macomb County and Shelby, N.C."

 

GibrÉ George, an entrepreneur from Miami, started a Facebook page called "Don't Call Me African-American" on a whim. It now has about 300 "likes."

 

"We respect our African heritage, but that term is not really us," George said. "We're several generations down the line. If anyone were to ship us back to Africa, we'd be like fish out of water."

 

"It just doesn't sit well with a younger generation of black people," continued George, who is 38. "Africa was a long time ago. Are we always going to be tethered to Africa? Spiritually I'm American. When the war starts, I'm fighting for America."

 

Joan Morgan, a writer born in Jamaica who moved to New York City as a girl, remembers the first time she publicly corrected someone about the term: at a book signing, when she was introduced as African-American and her family members in the front rows were appalled and hurt.

 

"That act of calling me African-American completely erased their history and the sacrifice and contributions it took to make me an author," said Morgan, a longtime U.S. citizen who calls herself Black-Caribbean American. (Some insist Black should be capitalized.)

 

She said people struggle with the fact that black people have multiple ethnicities because it challenges America's original black-white classifications. In her view, forcing everyone into a name meant for descendants of American slaves distorts the nature of the contributions of immigrants like her black countrymen Marcus Garvey and Claude McKay.

 

Morgan acknowledges that her homeland of Jamaica is populated by the descendants of African slaves. "But I am not African, and Africans are not African-American," she said.

 

In Latin, a forerunner of the English language, the color black is "niger." In 1619, the first African captives in America were described as "negars," which became the epithet still used by some today.

 

The Spanish word "negro" means black. That was the label applied by white Americans for centuries.

 

The word black also was given many pejorative connotations — a black mood, a blackened reputation, a black heart. "Colored" seemed better, until the civil rights movement insisted on Negro, with a capital N.

 

Then, in the 1960s, "black" came back — as an expression of pride, a strategy to defy oppression.

 

"Every time black had been mentioned since slavery, it was bad," says Mary Frances Berry, a University of Pennsylvania history professor and former chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Reclaiming the word "was a grass-roots move, and it was oppositional. It was like, 'In your face.'"

 

Afro-American was briefly in vogue in the 1970s, and lingers today in the names of some newspapers and university departments. But it was soon overshadowed by African-American, which first sprouted among the black intelligentsia.

 

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is widely credited with taking African-American mainstream in 1988, before his second presidential run.

 

Berry remembers being at a 1988 gathering of civil rights groups organized by Jackson in Chicago when Ramona Edelin, then president of the National Urban Coalition, urged those assembled to declare that black people should be called African-American.

 

Edelin says today that there was no intent to exclude people born in other countries, or to eliminate the use of black: "It was an attempt to start a cultural offensive, because we were clearly at that time always on the defensive."

 

"We said, this is kind of a compromise term," she continued. "There are those among us who don't want to be referred to as African. And there also those among us who don't want to be referred to as American. This was a way of bridging divisions among us or in our ideologies so we can move forward as a group."

 

Jackson, who at the time may have been the most-quoted black man in America, followed through with the plan.

 

"Every ethnic group in this country has a reference to some land base, some historical, cultural base," Jackson told reporters at the time. "African-Americans have hit that level of cultural maturity."

 

The effect was immediate. "Back in those days we didn't talk about things going viral, but that's what you would say today. It was quite remarkable," said the columnist Clarence Page, then a reporter. "It was kind of like when Black Power first came in the '60s, there was all kinds of buzz among black folks and white folks about whether or not I like this."

 

Page liked it — he still uses it interchangeably with black — and sees an advantage to changing names.

 

"If we couldn't control anything else, at least we could control what people call us," Page said. "That's the most fundamental right any human being has, over what other people call you. (African-American) had a lot of psychic value from that point of view."

 

It also has historical value, said Irv Randolph, managing editor of the Philadelphia Tribune, a black newspaper that uses both terms: "It's a historical fact that we are people of African descent."

 

"African-American embraces where we came from and where we are now," he said. "We are Americans, no doubt about that. But to deny where we came from doesn't make any sense to me."

 

Jackson agrees about such denial. "It shows a willful ignorance of our roots, our heritage and our lineage," he said Tuesday. "A fruit without a root is dying."

 

He observed that the history of how captives were brought here from Africa is unchangeable, and that Senegal is almost as close to New York as Los Angeles.

"If a chicken is born in the oven," Jackson said, "that doesn't make it a biscuit."

 

Today, 24 years after Jackson popularized African-American, it's unclear what term is preferred by the community. A series of Gallup polls from 1991 to 2007 showed no strong consensus for either black or African-American. In a January 2011 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 42 percent of respondents said they preferred black, 35 percent said African-American, 13 percent said it doesn't make any difference, and 7 percent chose "some other term."

 

Meanwhile, a record number of black people in America — almost 1 in 10 — were born abroad, according to census figures.

 

Tomi Obaro is one of them. Her Nigerian-born parents brought her to America from England as a girl, and she became a citizen last year. Although she is literally African-American, the University of Chicago senior says the label implies she is descended from slaves. It also feels vague and liberal to her.

 

"It just sort of screams this political correctness," Obaro said. She and her black friends rarely use it to refer to themselves, only when they're speaking in "proper company."

 

"Or it's a word that people who aren't black use to describe black people," she said.

Or it's a political tool. In a Senate race against Obama in 2004, Alan Keyes implied that Obama could not claim to share Keyes' "African-American heritage" because Keyes' ancestors were slaves. During the Democratic presidential primary, some Hillary Clinton supporters made the same charge.

 

Last year, Herman Cain, then a Republican presidential candidate, sought to contrast his roots in the Jim Crow south with Obama's history, and he shunned the label African-American in favor of "American black conservative." Rush Limbaugh mocked Obama as a "halfrican-American."

 

Then there are some white Americans who were born in Africa.

 

Paulo Seriodo is a U.S. citizen born in Mozambique to parents from Portugal. In 2009 he filed a lawsuit against his medical school, which he said suspended him after a dispute with black classmates over whether Seriodo could call himself African-American.

 

"It doesn't matter if I'm from Africa, and they are not!" Seriodo wrote at the time. "They are not allowing me to be African-American!"

 

And so the saga of names continues.

 

"I think it's still evolving," said Edelin, the activist who helped popularize African-American. "I'm content, for now, with African and American."

 

"But," she added, "that's not to say that it won't change again."

 

___

Online:

 

Joan Morgan: http://bit.ly/AsiuNw

"Don't Call me African-American" Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/x5efH3

 

___

 

Jesse Washington covers race and ethnicity for The Associated Press. He is reachable at http://www.twitter.com/jessewashington or jwashington(at)ap.org.

 
 BLACK by NATURE, PROUD by CHOICE.
Original Post

Most African Americans that do not want to be called African American are those that see Africa and African as a negative, even though most of them will claim for it to be other reasons.  Those reasons are almost always weak.  

 

It is hard to believe that even in the year 2012, Black people in American STILL don't understand that to call yourself African American has nothing to do with nationality or culture, but only with race and heritage, there is a difference.  Actually, to call yourself merely, "Black" takes away everything that you are, your heritage, history, and ethnicity, all in one wop.  But, those Black people in the diaspora can't see that it is foolish to attempt to run away from their own shadows.  (THE WORLD CAN SEE YOUR SHADOW FOOL)  It is so ridiculous. 

 

Black people are the only people on earth that try to deny their own race on the sly, because denial of being of "African" descent is all they are ultimately trying to do as they attempt to erase who they really are down to a nationality or a culture or an ethnicity.

 

The West already erased the Black race and all of its historical significance and contributions to humanity from the pages of history once, and as people of African descent within the diaspora try to put the pieces back together by connecting all the dots, rejecting "African" as an identity, has the effect of going behind and erasing every other dot.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is widely credited with taking African-American mainstream in 1988, before his second presidential run.

Most African Americans that do not want to be called African American are those that see Africa and African as a negative, even though most of them will claim for it to be other reasons.  Those reasons are almost always weak.

 

This land was here before these White people showed up.  Being loyal to America really means being loyal to them.  They can't even discuss making double-entry accounting mandatory in the schools for the White kids so what does that say about what kind of economic power structure the people at the top expect?

 

I would sooner have a NAZI flag in my house than an American one.

 

The problem is with the word American not the word African.  They made the laws about being born within the boundaries of the stolen land.

 

When I started hearing African-American in the early 90s I was thinking, "What the hell is that about."  It amazes me how people allow themselves to be caught up with words.

 

Xum

Tomi Obaro is one of them. Her Nigerian-born parents brought her to America from England as a girl, and she became a citizen last year. Although she is literally African-American, the University of Chicago senior says the label implies she is descended from slaves. It also feels vague and liberal to her.

 

I got news for those who derived from Africa.....willingly or forced...most of Africa was colonized by Europeans in some way....and if Black America is something you don't wanna associate yourself with? Then why come to America and ask for citizenship?   It is mostly likely her Nigerian-born parents....at least one of them had family members if not themselves who derived from the colonization that was going on in Nigeria[during the slave trade].  And slavery was prominent there.  In Nigeria's case, many slaves [during the slave trade] derived from Nigeria's ethnic groups:  Yoruba.  And the truth is many Yoruba people were not only shipped off to the New World but many ended up in Brazil.

 

In addition, most people [including white people] entitled themselves Africans or Afrikkans to announce the land in which they live.  Being thought to come from slaves....in many countries in Africa is a GREAT possibility especially places like Nigeria [when slavery officially ended in its entire in 1936] and other slaves nations affected by the colonial invasion of the Europeans.  Having said, the social stigma behind not being derived from a slave is similar to the social stigma with middle eastern semites....who says the same thing making their lineage legacy a very important piece to their identity.   But!  The cold reality is both are descendants of either slavery or colonization.   And a word is a word however in this case each word basically means the same:  held in captivity-by land or by "chattel."  Which is broken down even more:  being a slave or being colonized means having no say so over your OWN lives.    No?

 

"It just sort of screams this political correctness," Obaro said. She and her black friends rarely use it to refer to themselves, only when they're speaking in "proper company."

 

Oh...so what is "proper company?"  Is it in company of whitefolks or blackfolks?  When you come into an establishment KNOWING what the definitions are and why they are...and you still come and participate in the process of being its "citizen" with this label....why do you WHINE about it afterwards?  Go back home to Nigeria or London and be defined by their titles.  This is what I suggest.  Cuz the bottom line is this:  Blackfolks were deemed negroes, the n word, coloreds and with that social stigma was the word subhuman.  Many blackfolks died to address that and as a result eradicated it setting the stage for others [from afar] to [come here and] reap its benefits....don't bring your black azz here talking arrogantly about the title that got your rights you don't have in your own country simply cuz it means the word derived from being a slaves...when your focking country was taking part in slavery all along.  "N" please.  It's easy to say now that the fight is over.  You didn't have to NOTHING but come here.  Typical.

 

As I said before, go back home where FGM is forced on innocent women and young children and where life there is bleak.  Take your azz back cuz no body asked for you here....trust me.   

 

"Or it's a word that people who aren't black use to describe black people," she said.

Or it's a political tool. In a Senate race against Obama in 2004, Alan Keyes implied that Obama could not claim to share Keyes' "African-American heritage" because Keyes' ancestors were slaves. During the Democratic presidential primary, some Hillary Clinton supporters made the same charge.

 

I'm sure somewhere in Africa where Obama's father derived there were some form of slavery, FGM or colonization.  All the same.  Subjugation.  You know, black folks from African countries get me.  They know full well they had no POWER or control in their own country....so they come to America and pretend to be ALL [African] proud cuz they were not slaves here....but!  That's bullshit.  Cuz if it was all lovely where they came from...why in the FOCK they here with the descendants of slaves?  Go back home to your fuzzy African country.   Cuz you didn't help us back then when they were snatching us away in the dark and yall was even giving us to them....now that we obtained our FREEDOM from no help from them.... you know those "prestige" [post slave] African countries....why the fock yall wanna come here?  Remember we derived from slavery.  So definitely this is NOT the place to be.....right?  Wrong.  We did what yall backward azzes couldn't DO in your OWN country.  We did it in a foriegn land not our own.  Hell....we didn't even KNOW where we came from or WHO WE WERE.  And even so, we fought...and fought....and fought!  We did yall do?  Nothing!!!!  Not a got damn thang so ya can miss me with this arrogant, powerless, playa hatin' primitive bullshit.  Take your azz back home....[I think it's a little jealousy and envy going on] cuz you're not doing anything to help us here.....only hindering us with this side show self-hatin' stuck in the [social structure of the] 9th century era that ain't even funny....never been funny to us and is only entertaining to and for massa.  Pitiful!  But!

 

"the University of Chicago senior says the label implies she is descended from slaves"

 

========================================================================

 

See how in denial Black people throughout the diaspora insist on living in . . . 

 

Hell, SHE IS descended from slaves.  Our ancestors are HER ancestors.  How dumb can people be.  So, let's see, if two brother were going about their business one day in Africa, say about 300 years ago, and all of a sudden they were ambushed by slave runners, and one brother got away while the other brother was captured, in her mind, I guess, the the Atlantic Ocean erases the blood relation between the two brother.  

 

AND,  how many Africans come to America actually believing that NO ONE, EVEN African Americans, know that because of the Arab Slave Trade, combined with the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade, combined with the European Colonization of Africa, you would be hard pressed to find Africans that are NOT descendants of slaves.  

Exactly my sista!  As is why I roll my eyes when they start talkin' I'm better than you cuz I know what African country I come from.  Pleeeeeeeeeease!  And what BUGS the "F" outta me is they left their luxious country to come here to gain what they apparently cannot gain from their OWN country.  Human rights!  Think we don't know that?  And the thing is in some African countries during colonization, African history was erased from the people and they were taught the European story of whitemen coming to savage place and civilizing the people....and for YEARS blackfolks there BELIEVED IT!!!  Remember Sarafina?  That's exactly how it was in many African countries throughout Africa.  If she wasn't derived from slaves....she has choices where she derived:  from concumbines, harlots, or as a product of rape.  That was the story back then.  So if ANY African person feel like they were untouched by slavery.....they are short of being TOTALLY delusional.  Bottom line.   

You know I agree with everything you just posted, Koco.  

 

I remember when a Nigerian told me that White people told her that they hate us (African Americans) because we were slaves.  First, I had to correct her in the fact that no Black person alive in American is old enough to be a slave, that slavery had ended around 1865. Then, I had to remind her that her relatives were my relatives in that they were all Africans, from West Africa, particularly Nigeria.  Then I had let her know that what she was told was no more than a White person lying about WHY they are racist against Black people and throwing in a little Child Psychology to boot, by inferring the false notion that White Americans that are racist are only racist against Black/African Americans, and not Africans.  I then let her know that the real reason that African Americans have been hated so much in America, is because we are of AFRICAN descent, and that White people had been brainwashed and socially conditioned to hate anyone Black/of the African race, period, first off, and that ignorant racist Whites belief that ALL Africans are idol worshiping savages who are so uncivilized that they should not 'mix' with Whites.  Finally, I reminded her (or told her of) Western Whites' distorting Darwin's Theory to place the White race at the top of the evolutionary chain and the Black race at the bottom, going even as far as to believe that Africans were monkeys/primates, and sub-human, and since African Americans were racially African, etc., etc. . . . 

 

It is pitiful that Africans come to this country and actually try to perpetrate superiority over African Americans because they are too naive or ignorant to know and understand the truth about American racism/Western racism.  

Sista Sunnubian wrote: 

I remember when a Nigerian told me that White people told her that they hate us (African Americans) because we were slaves.  First, I had to correct her in the fact that no Black person alive in American is old enough to be a slave, that slavery had ended around 1865. Then, I had to remind her that her relatives were my relatives in that they were all Africans, from West Africa, particularly Nigeria.  Then I had let her know that what she was told was no more than a White person lying about WHY they are racist against Black people and throwing in a little Child Psychology to boot, by inferring the false notion that White Americans that are racist are only racist against Black/African Americans, and not Africans.  I then let her know that the real reason that African Americans have been hated so much in America, is because we are of AFRICAN descent, and that White people had been brainwashed and socially conditioned to hate anyone Black/of the African race, period, first off, and that ignorant racist Whites belief that ALL Africans are idol worshiping savages who are so uncivilized that they should not 'mix' with Whites.  Finally, I reminded her (or told her of) Western Whites' distorting Darwin's Theory to place the White race at the top of the evolutionary chain and the Black race at the bottom, going even as far as to believe that Africans were monkeys/primates, and sub-human, and since African Americans were racially African, etc., etc. . . .

 

 Good Girl  Cuz THEY need to know and recognize that we DID what they couldn't.  And they are/were in their own country!  And I point THAT out every.  Time!  Cuz I am SICK of their arrogance and how they try to belittle us...merely cuz we didn't know where we came from.  They knew where they CAME from....but!  Did it help them?  Awwww that would a no!  And what could they do with this knowledge of knowing where they came from?  Nothing!  Cuz massa RULED them way into the 20th century.  And most importantly, they are STILL participating in that backward azz FGM. Since they KNOW everythang...they need to explain that!  And why this form of savagery continue right today ..in their PRECIOUS country.  I used to have a lotta respect for those who come here from Africa....but!  Not anymore.  Cuz they bring with them an ignorant arrogance.....while ignoring that if it wasn't for us...you know African Americans.....descendants of former slaves....their azz wouldn't have ANYWHERE to go to excerise their freedom and human rights.  So they really need to thank us for making that possible.  Cuz they nothing to stop slaves...hell many of those chiefs gave us away for a bottle of rum.  And massa aint stupid, he took the most brilliant, intelligent folks....probably why Nigeria and other African countries damn near collapsed.

 

It is pitiful that Africans come to this country and actually try to perpetrate superiority over African Americans because they are too naive or ignorant to know and understand the truth about American racism/Western racism. 

 
  I agree.       
 
 

  Sorry about yesterday...I was in the middle of writing this and had an emergency meeting.  So I had to stop!  Off topic:  Yall heard about what is going on in a couple of the schools here in Cali?  The scandal....right?  Well....we had to discuss that scenrio to ensure parents that staff here are not only credible but with no criminal record and no hidden backgrounds.  It is transparent up in here.  So....I had to get that straight.  I mention this only cuz those of you who are parents really NEED to know who the teachers and administrators are.  Too many times we assume folks are gonna treat our childen like we do....or that cuz that person has a degree/masters/doctorate that somehow that makes him/her less capable of abusing our children---not!  I always said there are some colleauges I worked with who DOESN'T need to be around any kids-due to a troublin' attitude I learned to notice quickly.  This is the same with those who prey on children.....they have this attitude, mindset-that's unsettling and can go unnoticed for years.  Anyway...I just wanted to bring this up as a reminder to be diligent [in terms of protection] when it comes to our kids[sometimes we can get too comfortable with the school/child care systems]....cuz these pediphiles are TRAINED to brainwash/manipulate our children not to tell. 

 

Back on topic..... 

 

Back in the day, during the 60s, I was crazy about African ANYTHANG....the clothes, culture, art, whatever it was.  I was sooooooo proud until I began meeting African students in college.  Even then I didn't understand their distain towards me.  Then someone told me I think a professor that Africans are told that we African Americans think they are better than them and at the same time African Americans were told Africans thought they were better than us.  So it was my quest to prove massa wrong.  But in interim, I discovered their dislike for Black women....and I didn't appreciate how they tried to subjugate us with their backward primival mentality on what a woman's place was.  I was too young to understand what I know now.  But looking back, many African women were still experiencing FGM, so how was everybody holding her up as a Queen....when she was being violated all along?  I often asked myself, was her pain soooooo great, it left her speechless?  My answer is a big fat YES! 

 

So after finding that out, I have NO respect for those Africans who come into this country with a holier than thou attitude that depicts them being somehow better or more refine than us-the descendants of slaves.  I see them as I see gang bangers who kill each other....as you my sista...I see a PITIFUL sight.  And knowing the history of some Nigerian men who come to America solely to prey on desperate Black women's need to be married [while the Nigeria man has a tribe of women in Nigeria] or belong to some "Black" man[to show that they are still desired]...is short of pimping from aboard-disgusting!  Massa done good.  He has us preying on each other from afar and onshore.  Genius!  And as we can see, this self-hate will continue to keep us as a collective African group from catching up.  African Americans have done all they could to level the playin field....now it's time for Africa to stop licking its wounds and realize that freeing women from this sick traditional SAVAGE custom of FGM will take the entire continent on its way to REAL FREEDOM for all.  If not, this male twisted sickness-which keeps him in mental backwards bondage..... will remain.  But!      

 

 

Last edited by Kocolicious

I  received this insightful response from a friend of mine. Loved the response so I thought I'd share. 

 

Hello Valencia,
  
The problem with the article and the entire discussion revolving the term African American is an understanding of race, ethnicity, and national origin. Individuals use these terms incorrectly. Race, although is a social constructed term, is a classification system used to categorize humans into large and distinct populations or groups by heritable phenotypic characteristics, geographic ancestry, physical appearance, and ethnicity. The classification includes African, European, Asian, etc. Ethnicity refers to a group of people who identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture (often including a shared religion) and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy. Examples of this are the Ibo, Wolof, Ashanti, Choctaw, Seminole, etc. National origin refers to one’s country of origin or citizenship.
 
Now when one uses the term African American s/he is acknowledging his/her’s race and national origin. In the article, it cited an individual of European descent who was born in Mozambique claiming to be African American which is technically incorrect. One’s race does not change based on where one is born. The individual is still a European. It would have been interesting if the reporter would have asked him to explain what he meant because individuals of African descent born in Europe are not described as European.
 
And the young woman from African who stated that she is not descendants of enslaved Africans clearly demonstrates a misunderstanding of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Over 20 million individuals of African descent were kidnapped and transported to the Americas. Therefore can she honestly say that she is not a descendant of a victim of the Slave Trade?  Unfortunately too many Continental Africans do not fully understand that Africans taken to feed European development were taken from their own family. The story of their ggg grandfather who went out hunting one morning or the ggg aunt who went to fetch fire wood and never returned is still a part of their family and not from some mythical African tribe.
 
I had a discussion with an individual who was born in the U.S. to Nigerian parents. He felt that he was African American but descendants of enslaved Africans were not because they do not practiced African traditions and customs or spoken an African language. So I asked him at what point does someone stop being African American and just become an American? He replied when they stop practicing African traditions or speaking the language. So my follow up question was based on your criteria your grandchildren will not be Africans American at some point in addition, the president of the Unites of States would not be considered one as well.
 
I further went on to education him about the names of institution that descendants of Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade created during the 18th and 19th Century. We named their institutions African Free School, African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Lodge No. 1, and African Benevolent. It was only at the urging of Frederick Douglas and others in the white abolition movement to distant ourselves from the term African to so closer allegiance to the U.S. that other terms like Negro, Colored and others were used. Our ancestors had a very clear understanding of who they are despite being born in a foreign land.
 
My final thoughts on the topic – We are African American, Individuals of African descent in American whether we acknowledge it or not. It is a fact. And just because we deny it doesn’t change.
Originally Posted by Xumbrarchist:

The Rev. Jesse Jackson is widely credited with taking African-American mainstream in 1988, before his second presidential run.

Most African Americans that do not want to be called African American are those that see Africa and African as a negative, even though most of them will claim for it to be other reasons.  Those reasons are almost always weak.

 

This land was here before these White people showed up.  Being loyal to America really means being loyal to them.  They can't even discuss making double-entry accounting mandatory in the schools for the White kids so what does that say about what kind of economic power structure the people at the top expect?

 

I would sooner have a NAZI flag in my house than an American one.

 

The problem is with the word American not the word African.  They made the laws about being born within the boundaries of the stolen land.

 

When I started hearing African-American in the early 90s I was thinking, "What the hell is that about."  It amazes me how people allow themselves to be caught up with words.

 

Xum


Speaking directly to the importance of words AND the ideas they transmit. They are important. If you don't believe so, please look at the entire study and use of propaganda. 

Originally Posted by Yemaya:

Speaking directly to the importance of words AND the ideas they transmit. They are important. If you don't believe so, please look at the entire study and use of propaganda. 

My point is that people allow themselves to be manipulated by words instead of THINKING.  The words are used to distort the ideas.

 

Getting emotional about words is ridiculous.

 

America is an abstraction.  It does not exist.  It is just an idea in people's heads and instigated by these palefaces.  If the nation ceased to exist would the land disappear? 

 

Xum

I believe this place was once known as Turtle Island.  The European men came over here, slaughtered the Natives and re-named this joint after Amerigo Vespucci and somehow named it "America" after him.  What was this dude, Italian?  African was named after some dude named Africanus something or another.  When it gets down to the nitty gritty, NO ONE is American.

 

When Katrina happened, dark-skinned people were referred to as REFUGEES.

 

When we go against the grain and uniformed Europeans start yanking our butts out of cars, run into our houses and shoot our kids, place us in cages for life for messing up, take our kids away from us because we're not doing right, do us any way they feel and we can't do a damn thing about it but bear it, are you an American, or are you at the mercy of European folks?  What is it that you can do in this country WITHOUT their approval?  Suppose you performed these actions against them, what do you suppose would happen to you??

 

We're neither African nor American.  Where's your papers stating you're a citizen of the United States of America??  A free citizen of the United States of America??  Where are they??  Has anyone ever called you a beautiful citizen of the United States of America??  I don't know about you, but I've never, ever, heard us referred to as that.  Black, Negro, Negress, the N-word, Simians, Coons; I've heard a lot of that, and I'm much older than a lot of you.

 

We're our parent's kids, born here.  We could have been hatched as Tarantulas.  Just be thankful we're human beings and try to do the best for ourselves, our families and each other.  America is a Fantasy Land.

 

 

West African slaves were imported to coast of America beginning in the 15th century and in mass by the 16th century.  By the seventh century however, few if any pureblooded Africans were arriving at the seashores of America.  Conversely, West African slaves continued to populate the Caribbean and South America until the 19th century.  Most scholars and historians of black and African history would concur that from the seventeenth century onward to the dawn of the Civil War, those slaves were indeed Americans because they were all born here in the United States.  Of course recognition of that fact of their Americanisms didn’t come until the 13th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States in 1866.  Still, what is of paramount in importance is that by the time of the Civil War, blacks in America were already nearly 200 years removed from African life, language, culture and religion.  So for two hundred years preceding the Civil War, irrespective of our history of bondage and chattel slavery, racism and hate, - black folk were and are still Americans.

No one is saying that African Americans are not Americans, but that African Americans and Africans are the same RACE of people, many of whom have the same heritage, regardless of how long the groups within the diaspora have been apart from each other.  Distance, oceans or time cannot change your race or your DNA.  

 

So, of course we ARE Americans, but of course ALSO we are Africans as well in the sense that the word "African" is synonymous with "Black race" in the West.  

 

 

The way I see it, SeptimusServerus .... where you were "born" is only part of of your story, though!  PART.  (i.e.,) not the WHOLE story.  Only a portion of it.

 

Because you could have been born anywhere!!    Here.  Europe.  Asia.  You could have been born on a mountaintop in the Himalayas!!  And you would have been a CITIZEN of wherever it was your Mom popped you out!!

 

But regardless of WHERE that was .... you STILL would have been born with a bloodline that ORIGINATES in Africa.  And without that bloodline ... you would not be YOU right now!!!  You would be somebody else!!

 

You could be somebody like Bill Clinton!!    A Caucasian who does NOT have an African-descended bloodline!!  Or Jackie Chan ... who also does NOT have an African-descended bloodline.

 

But ....  you're YOU!!!  And you would STILL be YOU no matter where you were born.  And WHO that is pre-dates America.  And you being American.  And your great-greats being American.  And all the "greats-" on back who were also American. 

 

And ancestral line of the people (ancestors) who had to be born in order that YOU were able to be born cannot be disregarded .... or dismissed ... or wiped out of your history!!!  Because then ... that would disregard YOU as being the WHOLE of who you are ... where you come from ... who you are related to ... who's blood has endured the passing down through those related to you ... to be IN YOU right now .... so that you are WHO you are .. and the fact that YOU are able to exist .... today .... in America ... as an American.

 

Stop selling yourself short, darlin'!!    There's more to YOU .. than YOU!!  Or being American.  Or any of the "American" relatives/ancestors that you only know about or can think of right off the bat!!  There's a whole (blood) line of "somebody elses" that went in to making you who YOU are right now!!!  And you shouldn't disrespect or disregard them by not acknowledging their imperative contribution to the reason why you are YOU ... and why YOU are here today.

 

Regardless of WHERE that may be.  Or were on the day you were born.

It puzzles me why many African Americans hold such affinity to Africa, a place where no African American speaks any African dialect or is cultured in African ways of existence.  Few if any African Americans have a desire to leave their high paying American jobs, cars and relatively comfortable life styles to go and join the current religious battles waging in Nigeria, the Sudan, Somalia or even Egypt.  Even poor black folk in the hood demonstrate no desire to go to places like Liberia, the Ivory Coast or the Bantustans in South Africa.  Indeed African American heritage is that of Africa, no different than white folks heritage is that of Europe, but it doesn’t mean all white folk are Jewish.  It takes far more than white skin to be Jewish, similarly as it requires far more than just black skin to be African. 

 

Given the centuries of race mixing and miscegenation in America, here in 2012, I seriously doubt if any pure Bantu or strictly African Negroid blood remains in the veins of African Americans.  Couple that with the fact that African Americans are 300 hundred years removed from African life, culture and religion, - it seems to me that heritage is all that is left and the sole reason for some to maintain an affinity for Africa is if they are indeed African!  I’m saying that skin color aside, in 2012 the average African American is as far away from being pure African as they are from being members of the European Alpine or Aryan race.

 

Simply because I have black skin and my ancestors come from Africa doesn’t make me an African.  No different than white folk who 300 hundred years ago came from Europe to America with the slaves and who today acknowledge their Irish, Belgian, German and Russian heritage, - still regard themselves as strictly American.  But not black folk!   Irrespective of the fact that West Africans for centuries engaged in slave raiding and murder, capturing her African brethren and then removing them from the African Continent forever.  Had African traditional ways of slavery continued to be practiced, it would have meant that the captured slave would have been removed from his or her respective tribe rather than ultimate removal from the continent altogether!   Many black folk in America refuse to accept the fact that slavery is the foundation that Americanized African Americans.  I suppose due to our despicable experience we have had here in America many of us still see Africa as place dear to our souls.  And that may be so, but any close look at Africa today and one will see that it’s no panacea for the everyday racism that African Americans experience.

Skin (color), heritage, culture, tradition, and experience are all superficial.  Removable, interchangeable, external and/or non-binding.

 

The compound of your BLOOD, however, is intrinsic, innate and native.  Pure or not, there is an African component within the blood that is flowing through you right now.

 

You can move to France and become a French citizen ... thus kicking that "American" label to the curb!!    But you will LIVE with African blood in you.  And DIE with that same African blood in you.  If you have children you will pass that African blood into them!!

 

You could be living in Romania .... and living a Romanian (not American!!!) culture, tradition, heritage and experience.  Running around with a fur hat and matching boots, breaking plates and speaking an unrecognizable language!!   But ... a child born to you there would NOT be an "American" like you. Would not grow up living an "American" heritage, culture, tradition or experience.  But, LIKE YOU, s/he would  have the blood of an African in them.

 

For sure, you can pledge your allegiance to whom or whatever makes you feel most comfortable.  You can even DENY fundamental FACTS if you choose not to acknowledge them.  But you can't CHANGE or ERASE them.

 

You don't have to feel or want or declare a connection to Africa. You can reject it 'til you're blue in the face!!   But there IS one there. At the basest of levels possible. Always has been.  Always will be.  Whether you like it or not.  And there's nothing you will EVER be able to do to change that.

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