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tigressthyme
02-24-2005, 09:35 PM
Yesterday at work on of the woman I work with brought up the topic to me of what do “black people” like to be called.
First, let me say I work in a environment were I am the only person of color. And now that I wear my hair nature for some reason the woman I work with think I am the soul representative for the black race.
This began with a story about and episode of ‘’Scubbs” a program on NBC that I have never see. I don’t remember the details but it ended with the question what do you refer to yourself as African American or Black.
So with almost the entire staff watching me I had to answer this question.
My answer was why do I have to be referred to as a color. That got some grumbles and moans because I was not answering the question.
Then I said I don’t consider myself as African American. And one of the woman said something like well that is were black people came from. And I shot back at her my grandmother was Irish/ American Indian and my grandfather was Irish so why am I African American. So she said I had a point.
And I brought up the fact once again why do I have to be referred to as a color. I don’t go around saying that white woman said this or look at that white woman/man.
They would not let me off the hook and I just wanted to scream leave me alone.. I did say why do I have to be the representative for every black person in this office. Each person is different. One “Black” person my like to be called “African American”.
Anyway, I told them I refer to folks as people of color. Because you just don’t know if that person that you think is “Black” is from the Middle East or Hispanic the list goes on.

I’d like to hear some view so this tired subject.
I have never really discussed it with anyone myself.

Peace
Tigressthyme :help:

gennaevelyn
02-24-2005, 09:46 PM
Personally, I don't like to be referred to as African American. One because like you, my family hasn't been from Africa for SEVERAL generations and two because I am not American. I'm Canadian. But I don't like African Canadian either. I'm Black (big "B") and to me, White people are White (big W) because it just seems more respectful (language wise with the capitals -- i.e. as though its a more important label than a white piece of paper or a black garbage bag...) and less intrusive on my personal background.

jenoy
02-24-2005, 09:47 PM
I agree with you that people should refer to themselves however they see fit. I am a person of color, Black/Brown :lol: if you will I do not consider myself to be African American. That is not to say that I am not of African decent, I just don't know how far back. I am not from Africa, I was born and raised in Oklahoma. My mother was part Cherokee Indian born and raised in Oklahoma.

Maybe one day I'll try to trace my African decent, but before I do that, I'd trace my Native American decent first.

Hope that makes sense. ^_^

Aesys
02-24-2005, 09:48 PM
Originally posted by tigressthyme@Feb 24 2005, 06:35 PM


I’d like to hear some view so this tired subject.
I have never really discussed it with anyone myself.

Peace
Tigressthyme :help:

732610



Well, I think that black is more inclusive. The last thing you want to call a West Indian (who is mostly of African descent) is African American ;) . Black folk are from all different parts of the world...so I think black would include our brothers and sisters from the islands, Europe, Central & South America, etc., w/out lumping everyone in the 'American' category.

I say, call me by my name first, and while I have no personal problems with either black, or AA...I think black is more inclusive.

MsCurly85
02-24-2005, 09:50 PM
Im so happy you said, that you can't speak for every "black" person... you only can speak for yourself.. and that why do you always have to be referred as a race.. why can't you just be a women.

I hate it how they think they can be seen as indiviuals.. but when it comes to black people.. you have to be the "model".. or you have to speak for everyone else. Were individualds just like everyone else.

I also hate it when some black people say.. "she made up look bad!!"... as if they r feeding right into that, by feeling as if one person reflects them.. even though they are their own person.

I think its personal preference what someone likes to be referred to. I can honestly never say I thought of it.. but one thing I hate to be called is a person of "color" or an "ethnic" group. b/c I feel as if everyone has color.. whether they r white as a sheet of paper or drk as night, and every single race of people belongs to an "ethnic" group.. regardless of their shade of skin.

meagan22
02-24-2005, 09:58 PM
I refer to myself as African-American/Black because to ME to be a Black person is to be part of the African diaspora.

vinny_46
02-24-2005, 10:16 PM
Originally posted by tigressthyme@Feb 24 2005, 02:35 PM
‘’Scrubs” a program on NBC

732610



I love that show! :pop:


I don't think there is any 1 term of classification. I hate them all, but I use them interchangably. I've grown used to them, and I'm going to be identified as such, so I don't really care anymore. Whatever comes out of my mouth at the time.

Sometimes it's AA, or black, or biracial. :dunno:


I actually find the terms black/white to be a sign of the simplicity and stupidity of humans. It's like we all revert back to playtime when making descriptions. White? Black? Those are crayon colors, not people. I have never seen a white person, let alone a black one. You'd figure we could at least be accurate, and say peach/pink or brown or whatever. Wouldn't it be offensive to call an Asian person :huh: yellow? I've never seen a red Native American, either. We might as well reintroduce boo boo, pee pee, and wee wee into our everday vocab. :lol:


Eh, :dunno:

pwr_puff
02-24-2005, 10:29 PM
Originally posted by meagan22@Feb 24 2005, 04:58 PM
I refer to myself as African-American/Black because to ME to be a Black person is to be part of the African diaspora.

732646

me too.
i have cape verdean roots

All-Natural
02-24-2005, 10:41 PM
Many African Americans lost most of their
African identity during/after slavery and
are actually more American than African.
The fact that Blacks were denied civil rights
as Americans makes the title African American
a mere label as well as a constant reminder
of the African culture that was stolen/denied.

Blacks, whom were taken from Africa
and brought into America as slaves,
have little or no sense of their original
African culture or traditions.
Most of the culture and traditions Blacks in America
have today are not distinctly African,
but were inherited from/inspired by slavery experiences
& social and civil struggles in America.
For this reason I sometimes find it difficult
to classify Black people living in America as African American.

All-Natural
02-24-2005, 10:43 PM
All that being said:

Awwwww...
I'm BLACK y'all
And I'm Black y'all
And I'm blacker than black, and I'm Black y'all
And I'm Black y'all
And I'm Black y'all
And I'm blackkety Black and I'm Black,
I'm blickkety Black blacker than black Black
I'm blacker than black, Yo
Because I'm Black and I'm back...
-CB4

Shanna
02-24-2005, 11:40 PM
Black, African-American, just don't call me n*gga or colored. I do prefer Black though.

Hartu
02-25-2005, 01:13 AM
Originally posted by tigressthyme@Feb 24 2005, 04:35 PM
...Anyway, I told them I refer to folks as people of color. Because you just don’t know if that person that you think is “Black” is from the Middle East or Hispanic the list goes on.


I think that people (Americans, anyway) black or white are not used to thinking of black people in terms of diversity and cannot readily adjust their mindset about blacks as having various ethnic or cultural backgrounds.
i.e., With any black/brown person in the US, it is usually taken for granted that they are descendants of US slavery and are referred to as AA. Until someone hears them speak, or sees their last name - then they're dumbfounded :doh Wow, you guys come from all over the world, too? 'Thought it was just white folks.

Keedah
02-25-2005, 01:39 AM
I actually just had this discussion in class today. I refer to myself as black or African American. My professor feels that a lot of black people in America don't like the term African American because of the negative cannotation associated with Africa in American society. Even today when you hear of Africa its in a negative manner (HIV, civil wars, baby rapes, poverty, hunger). If Africa was more respected like England for instance people would be proud to say they are from there. But then we are not true African Americans because none of us were born in Africa. On the other hand we werent born in Blackland, Negroland, or Coloredland either.

Personally I dont think it matters what we are called. Since most black people were brought here against their will and lost their African roots and intermingled with other races its too complicated to sort through.

frau
02-26-2005, 12:31 PM
i always say black out of habit.
i'd like to see the day when i'm just thought of as an american.
my features shouldn't matter.

lmabadgurl
02-26-2005, 02:43 PM
Originally posted by All-Natural@Feb 24 2005, 06:43 PM
All that being said:

Awwwww...
I'm BLACK y'all
And I'm Black y'all
And I'm blacker than black, and I'm Black y'all
And I'm Black y'all
And I'm Black y'all
And I'm blackkety Black and I'm Black,
I'm blickkety Black blacker than black Black
I'm blacker than black, Yo
Because I'm Black and I'm back...
-CB4

732708




Exactly! some people think I'm crazy. I consider myself black. I am not an African-American. To me an AA is an african who has gained citizenship in america.

Yes My desendants are a product of slavery. Africans brought to America. Yes at one point some of them could have been considered africans in america But as slavery went on of them were mixed with white, if you get my drift. These generations of family are still black but no longer pure african as far as I am concerned. Because of the dilution of their color, and the loss of their speech and cultural ways.

Who made up AA it wasn't black people. It is just a way of being politically correct. And not calling blacks or desendants of slavery ni**er, colored, or negro. So instead of that naming system we have AA.

My skin is brown. It's not white. I'm black

Blackstar
02-26-2005, 08:24 PM
i'm taking a politics course, and we don't use the term black because it is so all inclusive.

when we speak about slavery and the civil rights movement we use the term african-america, because we are talking about a special and unique group of people with a special and unique history. we are not talking about carribeans, or africans or canadians or all the other shades of blackness.

so in that way african american is no longer just a term describing vague colour, but a political group with a political history and a strong and vibrant political struggle.

on the other hand if i was ever to be in the US, i won't classify as african american, because i don't share that history. i'll just be black or african. yet whatever i call myself won't exempt me from the same racism my african american brothers experience. so in some ways i become included into that political struggle, regardless of where the hospital i was born in was located. so for that political reason and spiritual bond i would never see anything wrong with being called african american, if the situation should ever arise. but if it came down to splitting hairs i could explain more.

gosh, why should origins even matter anyway???? there's sth really wrong with our world. if anyone asks me where i come from again, i'll say, 'sperm' LOL LOL

NLight1
02-26-2005, 08:35 PM
Originally posted by vinny_46@Feb 24 2005, 05:16 PM
I actually find the terms black/white to be a sign of the simplicity and stupidity of humans. It's like we all revert back to playtime when making descriptions. White? Black? Those are crayon colors, not people. I have never seen a white person, let alone a black one. You'd figure we could at least be accurate, and say peach/pink or brown or whatever. Wouldn't it be offensive to call an Asian person :huh: yellow? I've never seen a red Native American, either. We might as well reintroduce boo boo, pee pee, and wee wee into our everday vocab. :lol:
Eh, :dunno:

732669

Girl get out of my head :doh I've always felt the same way, like when have I ever seen a white or black person. I am a person of color, if I'm going to be referred to as a crayon color at least, like you said, make it accurate, I'm brown. Anyway, I call myself African American because that is the only place I know to trace my roots back, maybe one day I'll get off my butt and actually do research into all of my family history, until then, I'm fine with being African American.

Personally I dont think it matters what we are called. Since most black people were brought here against their will and lost their African roots and intermingled with other races its too complicated to sort through.
That's an excellent point sis, it really doesn't matter, as long as we know who we are and don't let others make that distinction or definition for us. :)

BlakStaar
02-26-2005, 10:41 PM
I use Black and African American interchangeably. Black isn't offensive to me- being the person that I am I just think of the sixties and seventies and the pride that was expressed in being Black.

When I call myself African American I think of it as another way of saying a person of the African Diaspora living in America. I don't have a preference, however I find myself using Black a little bit more.

librarising
02-26-2005, 11:11 PM
I refer to myself as black 'cause it's simple and to the point. I know Indians (as in East Indians) who call themselves brown, Europeans white, etc. I also refer to myself and other black folk as colored and negro, but that's in the privacy of, um, close friends and similar company.

naturaldiva20
02-27-2005, 12:18 AM
i consider myself african american im of african decent and born in america so that what my race is im not black look black up in the dictionary if u think that describes you then i feel sorry for u but thats not me. all in all i prefer to be called NATALIE. :2cents:

librarising
02-27-2005, 04:23 AM
Originally posted by naturaldiva20@Feb 26 2005, 08:18 PM
look black up in the dictionary if u think that describes you then i feel sorry for u NATALIE. :2cents:

735338


And if I took that literally from an English dictionary, then white is pure, yada yada yada, etc. I am not defined by a definition of symbolism involving color. All colors are symbolic in some way due to how different cultures view asthetics. For instance, white is seen as an evil color in Japanese culture. Don't feel sorry for me. I'm black and proud of it. My :2cents: .

sunschild57
02-27-2005, 04:57 AM
The term African American

Political Overtones
It is important to note that use of the term African American carries important political overtones. Previous terms used to identify American blacks were conferred upon the group by whites and were included in the wording of various laws and legal decisions which became tools of white supremacy and oppression. There developed among blacks in America a growing desire for a term of their own choosing.

With the political consciousness that emerged from the political and social ferment of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Negro fell into disfavor among many American blacks. It had taken on a moderate, accommodationist, even Uncle Tomish, connotation. The period was a time when growing numbers of blacks in the U.S., particularly black youth, celebrated their blackness and their historical and cultural ties with the African continent. They defiantly embraced black as a group identifier -- a term they themselves had repudiated only two decades earlier -- a term often associated in English with things negative and undesirable, proclaiming, "Black is beautiful."

By the 1990s, the terms Afro-American and African American began to reemerge, this time for many as self-referential terms of choice. Just as other ethnic groups in American society historically had adopted names descriptive of their families' geographical points of origin (such as Italian American, Irish American, Polish American), many blacks in America expressed a preference for a similar term. Because of the historical circumstances surrounding the capture, enslavement and systematic attempts to de-Africanize blacks in the U.S. under chattel slavery, most American blacks are unable to trace their ancestry to a specific African nation; hence, the entire continent serves as a geographic marker.

For many, African American is more than a name expressive of cultural and historical roots. The term expresses black pride and a sense of kinship and solidarity with others of the black African diaspora -- an embracing of the notion of pan-Africanism earlier enunciated by prominent black thinkers such as Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Dubois and, later, George Padmore.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_American

lena_2202
02-27-2005, 05:38 AM
African american is what I am if we are to be specific. but if we are going to go solely based on the color of skin as most hippocrates do. then there are a heck of alot more black people that arent from africa at all based solely on the color of their skin. Because Ive seen some very dark people and they dont have a drop of african blood in them.


I dont like being defined by a color either its a lazy way for people to assume things about you without having to get to know you at all.

jolie76
03-01-2005, 05:55 AM
I don't mind the term Black. I grew up with "Negra" and "Negrita" being terms of endearment, so the english equivalent doesn't seem so shocking. I'll use African-American in formal speech and writing, but I find it a bit cumbersome in daily conversation. Besides, African-American doesn't translate well to other languages. My friends always want to know what part of Africa. :)

NappyNiece
03-01-2005, 06:04 AM
Originally posted by jolie76@Mar 1 2005, 01:55 AM
I don't mind the term Black. I grew up with "Negra" and "Negrita" being terms of endearment, so the english equivalent doesn't seem so shocking. I'll use African-American in formal speech and writing, but I find it a bit cumbersome in daily conversation. Besides, African-American doesn't translate well to other languages. My friends always want to know what part of Africa. :)

738942

My answer is almost identical to yours!! I was called negrita as a child too!! Didn't mind it. I hardly know what to call myself. To my granny, we are still coloredor negro, to my dad/mom black, my brother and I AA, but I don't know so much anymore... Seems like when I go outside the country, I am just American.

blaqpearl
03-01-2005, 12:52 PM
I used to hate this question. More specifically, I hate the question, "What are you?". It got to the point I would just say, "I am human".

I never really thought about race until the first day someone asked me what I was back in 10th grade. I had lived out of the country for several years and I was never asked that question. And when I was in grade school in NYC, I was never asked that question either since I was always with other kids of all shades. So it was never brought up, or I was oblivious to it.

Depending on the situation, will indicate what I will call myself. If I am filling out an application, on defiant days I will say other. But normally I select hispanic, since the black option always has non-hispanic in parenthesis.

But if I discussing race with friends or whoever, I will throw at them that I am an Afro-Caribbean Hispanic American. That pretty much describes me. My dad is Haitian and my mom is Dominican and I was born in brooklyn.

But I prefer black over African American.

Nappilocs
03-01-2005, 03:15 PM
I never thought I cared. But the other day, I heard a white coworker refer to me as a “black person” For some reason, it really irked me. It might have been the context of the conversation. Maybe I do prefer African American from them. I have no logical reason for this. I just didn’t like it.

ChocolatChaud
03-01-2005, 03:36 PM
Not that anyone cares reallly but....I am getting my master's in Africana Studies and Theatre and I have found that in academia many historians/intellectuals are using the term "African-American" to refer to all descendants of enslaved Africans in the Americas. But anyway, I know people don't see it that way at all but that's what I have come across in many readings in regards to the US, the caribbean and South America in regards to "black" people in the Americas, even though many of these people don't even think of themselves as "black". In Brazil, "preta"(black) is like the worse thing someone would want to be called.

BLESS7
03-01-2005, 09:35 PM
Personally I prefer the term "Black" because it leaves no doubt to which racial group you're referring to. I don't like "African American" simply because

1- Africans are not only "Black". For instance there are 'White' Africans. When they come to America and become citizens don't they become "African Americans"? Think about it.

2- I was not born in Africa and while I'm most definitely of African descent somewhere down the line I couldn't begin to tell you the first thing about the inner workings of Africa so I don't really believe that it's my right to be called "African American". I'm simply American.

Isn't it sad that we are the ONLY group of people here in America who really have no identity?

sunsweet
03-02-2005, 01:48 AM
Originally posted by All-Natural@Feb 24 2005, 06:43 PM
All that being said:

Awwwww...
I'm BLACK y'all
And I'm Black y'all
And I'm blacker than black, and I'm Black y'all
And I'm Black y'all
And I'm Black y'all
And I'm blackkety Black and I'm Black,
I'm blickkety Black blacker than black Black
I'm blacker than black, Yo
Because I'm Black and I'm back...
-CB4

732708


hehehehe, I need to go watch that movie...

I don't really care which term is used. I use them interchangeably(sp), black informally african-american formally, usually. I think both of the terms represent a part of who I am, so I don't prefer one over the other.

NLight1
03-02-2005, 02:26 AM
Originally posted by ChocolatChaud@Mar 1 2005, 10:36 AM
Not that anyone cares reallly but....I am getting my master's in Africana Studies and Theatre and I have found that in academia many historians/intellectuals are using the term "African-American" to refer to all descendants of enslaved Africans in the Americas. But anyway, I know people don't see it that way at all but that's what I have come across in many readings in regards to the US, the caribbean and South America in regards to "black" people in the Americas, even though many of these people don't even think of themselves as "black". In Brazil, "preta"(black) is like the worse thing someone would want to be called.

739302

Thats really interesting sis and I already said earlier that I don't consider myself the color "black." I'm far too much more complex and diverse than that :Angry_boese008:

Isn't it sad that we are the ONLY group of people here in America who really have no identity?
Indeed sis, this is sad. That is why we have to seek definition for ourselves and not let any other race or group define us, American or not, my history goes deeper, than just "black." I'm more than just American, or even African American (hey, anybody know why a continent (Africa) is placed with a country (America)???

But indeed, define yourself, for yourself http://users.pandora.be/eforum/emoticons4u/fingers/fing32.gif

Me, I'm a proud brown sista in America, with African roots, and other roots I have yet to discover, but am looking forward to finding out :)

PassionsWork
03-02-2005, 02:00 PM
I pretty much always refer to people of African descent as "a person of color".

Denny
03-02-2005, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by PassionsWork@Mar 2 2005, 03:00 PM
I pretty much always refer to people of African descent as "a person of color".

740638



That covers the whole human race, we all descended from Africa.
Plus white is a colour or pink if we want to be techincal since very few humans are really white or even better melanin challenged. :afro:

See aren't these labels just ludicrous!?

BTW is this habit of attaching an ethnic label then adding American to the end just an American thing? Are there other places that have this you don't hear white British people saying
I am Saxon-English or Norman-English, Roman-English or Celt-English etc
Is this something peculiar to 'new' nations.

Jendayi
03-02-2005, 06:47 PM
I consider myself black. I my family has been in america for over 7 generations. i feel like the name African American should be reserved for Africans who migrated here to america by choice.

SweetAfrica
03-03-2005, 01:03 AM
To most of the world I'm Black

To Canadian's I'm Black/Ghanaian

To Ghanaians I'm 3/4 Ga 1/4 Fanti

The labels are relative...

I never cared for the term Black personally. In Africa there was no "Black", it was only when the Europeans came that they decided to label us as such and to them everything Black was associated with evil or the negative.

I accept the term now only because it's widely used and not meant to be derogatory. Also, it's a way to unify Africans from the continent and Diaspora together.

nu-curl
03-04-2005, 07:44 PM
I was always under the impression that 'black' is a color, and 'African-American' is a culture... but this thread is giving me a lot more perspectives on that. To be called black is just as fulfilling as being described African-American... very interesting.

nu-curl

vinny_46
03-04-2005, 08:42 PM
Originally posted by Nappilocs@Mar 1 2005, 08:15 AM
I never thought I cared. But the other day, I heard a white coworker refer to me as a “black person”* For some reason, it really irked me.

739263


I feel like that too! :huh: For some reason, I don't mind when we say it, but there is just something about when a "white" person says it. I don't know if it's the tone, or what.

CaramelMa
03-05-2005, 02:12 AM
I prefer African American because I don't care what people say they are African American....where did most of your ancestors come from? Africa? And If they came from Jamaica or Bahamas...then guess what? They came from Africa too! I don't believe that whole because I'm not from Africa and why I'm black...that's not a valid reason because that's where your ancestors came from. Black is a derogatory name that was used to demean us back in the slave times. When white peopled used to call us "black" it referred to us being dirty, ugly and "bad". I mean why would you rather be called something that has no culture associated with it....black...think about it. It's offensive! And My skin is not black either...it's not right that they all lump us into the same category becuase of our race...not all people from Africa were black and by calling us that it took away all our of pride, culture, and sanity! When I hear the word African American I think of my ancestors and how they struggled for us. When I hear African American I think of a postivie things and I feel more connected to a community rather than just "black". To put is simple there is no "culture" or in Black...it's just a color really.

subbrock
03-05-2005, 02:58 PM
hmm...what do i prefer? good question. i dont like african american (the last time there was an african at my family reunion was...God only knows when. probably when they first got off the boat, and im hesitant to say that!) and im not black, im toasted almond. :P

i pretty much grew up devoid of any culture in my household, so i never identified with ANY racial group. and the times that i would say i was "black" whenever someone asked they wouldnt leave it at that. its like, "youre black and what?" i just cant win.... <_<

but intersetingly enough, the children that i work with dont say "black". i dont know if its a new thing that the schools are teaching them or if their parents are doing it or if they all banded together and decided not to be black and not to call other people black. but the new word is "brown." youve got white kids, brown kids, and i dont know if they know about anyone else! me and one of my coworker&#39;s were talking to the school aged kids who come to our center and my coworker said something about these 2 boys who are twins being mixed. well, the 2 boys had no idea what she was talking about and neither did the other kids (white and black). she had to explain to them that if your mommy and daddy are two different colors then some people call you mixed, biracial, what have you. they still looked at her like she was speaking a different language. then one of the boys caught on and said that is brown (hes black/AA) and his mommy has brown hair (she&#39;s white). my co-worker told the kids that she was hispanic. once again blank stares. she had to simplify it and say that that means that she speaks spanish. so maybe they are teaching children nowadays that people arent "black and white" but theyre brown and....? i just know the kids are confused.

librarising
03-05-2005, 05:11 PM
^ I have an Indian friend who refers to herself as brown, and I know some Latinos who do it as well. I also heard a half-black, half-Asian girl do the same. Doesn&#39;t mean that they&#39;re confused, their just simplifying the official terms. There&#39;s not many other color categories to group people into that haven&#39;t already been used, except gray maybe :dunno: .

Colista83
03-05-2005, 05:45 PM
I agree that people have the right to stipulate the terms used to express their idenities. However, I worry that some people are all too anxious to deny their African ancestry. I cannot speak for anyone who is not from the U.S.- but in America, it seems that anyone who does not fit the &#39;WASP&#39; profile is given an ethnic label. Why is it that someone of Italian descent, whose family has lived in America just as long as mine, is referred to as "Italian-American" but I can&#39;t say "African-American"? :::steps down from the soapbox:::

I jokingly said to a friend of mine from Rwanda that from now on I would call myself an "American-African". Oh well, I use all the terms interchangeably; they&#39;re all just fancy ways of saying "people with dark skin whose ancestors came from Africa". Just do you. And don&#39;t let these White folks turn you into the spokesperson for the African Disapora!! :2cents:

JazziePizzaz
03-05-2005, 07:04 PM
Originally posted by meagan22@Feb 24 2005, 07:58 PM
I refer to myself as African-American/Black because to ME to be a Black person is to be part of the African diaspora.

732646


ITA!!! I can be called Black or African American. Eventhough I wasn&#39;t born in Africa I choose not to turn my back on that part of my history or identity.

Although many have said "I consider myself....." Often times it doesn&#39;t really matter what you consider yourself because unfortunatley this is the world in which we live where you Will be labelled whether you like it or not.

subbrock
03-07-2005, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by librarising@Mar 5 2005, 01:11 PM
^ I have an Indian friend who refers to herself as brown, and I know some Latinos who do it as well. I also heard a half-black, half-Asian girl do the same. Doesn&#39;t mean that they&#39;re confused, their just simplifying the official terms. There&#39;s not many other color categories to group people into that haven&#39;t already been used, except gray maybe :dunno: .

745339


no no no, im not saying that people who call themselves brown are confused. ive converted and started calling myself brown. im saying the kids are confused because its like theyve been taught that calling people black is bad. and since black people arent really black anyway, theyre various shades of brown, they call them brown people. but then the white kids are like, well my skin isnt actually white, so what am i? or jose has brown skin too but we know hes not black/african american so what the heck do we call him? thats why the kids i work with are confused. they dont know how to refer to anyone&#39;s ethnicity or race.

subbrock
03-07-2005, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by librarising@Mar 5 2005, 01:11 PM
^ I have an Indian friend who refers to herself as brown, and I know some Latinos who do it as well. I also heard a half-black, half-Asian girl do the same. Doesn&#39;t mean that they&#39;re confused, their just simplifying the official terms. There&#39;s not many other color categories to group people into that haven&#39;t already been used, except gray maybe :dunno: .

745339


no no no, im not saying that people who call themselves brown are confused. ive converted and started calling myself brown. im saying the kids are confused because its like theyve been taught that calling people black is bad. and since black people arent really black anyway, theyre various shades of brown, they call them brown people. but then the white kids are like, well my skin isnt actually white, so what am i? or jose has brown skin too but we know hes not black/african american so what the heck do we call him? thats why the kids i work with are confused. they dont know how to refer to anyone&#39;s ethnicity or race.

thunderstorm
03-07-2005, 05:39 PM
when i think of african american, i think of similar ethnic labels, where the first part of the phrase identifies your first [foreign] culture, and american identifies your current citizenship. i also think of people who are second or third generation americans, but who are still taught their parents&#39; or grandparents&#39; first language and culture right along with english and american culture.

so following other ethnic groups labels, african american should describe a person who was born in africa where an african culture was their first culture, but who became a u.s. citizen. or a second or third-generation person whose relatives teach their african culture and language right along with american culture.

we [my family] have not traced our ancestry to africa. so we don&#39;t know who that person(s) is who started our american lineage. we don&#39;t know from which part of africa that person is from. we don&#39;t know about that person&#39;s culture.

if i label myself as african american, i would want to be able to say more than "well, i&#39;m brown skinned, so it stands to reason that my ancestry is linked to the african continent."

i would want to be able to give specifics to be able to claim that title. i would want to be able to demonstrate similarities in my beliefs, traditions, and culture that are parallel with those of people from that part of africa. and i can&#39;t do that. i could wear kente cloth, head wraps, saris draped around my body, and wear cowrie shells in my hair and as jewelry, and my actual lineage may prove to be from a part of africa where none of these things are recognized.

black is fine with me. american is even better, but it&#39;s too simplistic in our culture.

sometimes simple is better.

MsSankofa04
03-08-2005, 09:19 PM
Originally posted by meagan22@Feb 24 2005, 05:58 PM
I refer to myself as African-American/Black because to ME to be a Black person is to be part of the African diaspora.

732646



:D Thank you for that comment. I was looking for someone to actually be proud of there heritage and its sad that they aren&#39;t. I know my family is from Haiti and Dominican Republic but before that they were from Africa our slave masters separated us and brought us to the West Indies and the U.S. And that goes for every black person.
We must Learn from the past in order to move on to the future.
P.S.
I would like to be called a Haitian African American! ;)

MsSankofa04
03-08-2005, 09:26 PM
Originally posted by sunschild57@Feb 27 2005, 12:57 AM
The term African American

Political Overtones
It is important to note that use of the term African American carries important political overtones. Previous terms used to identify American blacks were conferred upon the group by whites and were included in the wording of various laws and legal decisions which became tools of white supremacy and oppression. There developed among blacks in America a growing desire for a term of their own choosing.

With the political consciousness that emerged from the political and social ferment of the late 1960s and early 1970s, Negro fell into disfavor among many American blacks. It had taken on a moderate, accommodationist, even Uncle Tomish, connotation. The period was a time when growing numbers of blacks in the U.S., particularly black youth, celebrated their blackness and their historical and cultural ties with the African continent. They defiantly embraced black as a group identifier -- a term they themselves had repudiated only two decades earlier -- a term often associated in English with things negative and undesirable, proclaiming, "Black is beautiful."

By the 1990s, the terms Afro-American and African American began to reemerge, this time for many as self-referential terms of choice. Just as other ethnic groups in American society historically had adopted names descriptive of their families&#39; geographical points of origin (such as Italian American, Irish American, Polish American), many blacks in America expressed a preference for a similar term. Because of the historical circumstances surrounding the capture, enslavement and systematic attempts to de-Africanize blacks in the U.S. under chattel slavery, most American blacks are unable to trace their ancestry to a specific African nation; hence, the entire continent serves as a geographic marker.

For many, African American is more than a name expressive of cultural and historical roots. The term expresses black pride and a sense of kinship and solidarity with others of the black African diaspora -- an embracing of the notion of pan-Africanism earlier enunciated by prominent black thinkers such as Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. Dubois and, later, George Padmore.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_American

735617


:Cool_049: I coul&#39;ve never said it better my self. That was so well put. :smil3f72836ee752e:

nappy_crown
03-11-2005, 05:11 PM
wow..I just had this conversation with a white co-worker of mine (I too work in an office where I am the only mid-level black person). So I just broke it dow to her...

I use the terms interchageably(sp?)....however each one does have a different meaning (scientific that is)

person of color= any person who is not of caucasian eurpoean roots (this includes hispanics, asians, ect.)

AA= person of african desent who is an American Citizen (however this maybe revised in the future to seperate decendants of slavary from recent African immigrants)

black= same as AA, but is a bit different in that it transends ethinic boundies (ie a black hispanic, or a black middle easterner)

Urbanite
03-11-2005, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by Blackstar@Feb 26 2005, 04:24 PM
i&#39;m taking a politics course, and we don&#39;t use the term black because it is so all inclusive.

when we speak about slavery and the civil rights movement we use the term african-america, because we are talking about a special and unique group of people with a special and unique history. we are not talking about carribeans, or africans or canadians or all the other shades of blackness.

so in that way african american is no longer just a term describing vague colour, but a political group with a political history and a strong and vibrant political struggle.

on the other hand if i was ever to be in the US, i won&#39;t classify as african american, because i don&#39;t share that history. i&#39;ll just be black or african. yet whatever i call myself won&#39;t exempt me from the same racism my african american brothers experience. so in some ways i become included into that political struggle, regardless of where the hospital i was born in was located. so for that political reason and spiritual bond i would never see anything wrong with being called african american, if the situation should ever arise. but if it came down to splitting hairs i could explain more.

gosh, why should origins even matter anyway???? there&#39;s sth really wrong with our world. if anyone asks me where i come from again, i&#39;ll say, &#39;sperm&#39; LOL LOL

735079


<span style='color:blue'>I like this.

I think that the term "African-American" is appropriate when referring to the descendents of African slaves still living in America and when referring to our unique culture and struggle.

I think the term "Black" is appropriate when referring to those people of African descent who live in the diaspora, especially in reference to our common struggles, whether in America, Europe, the Caribbean, etc.

MsSankofa, thanks for your input in preferring to be called a Haitian African American. As nappy_crown pointed out, African immigrants and African-Americans are two separate groups. Perhaps, African immigrants can, instead of calling themselves "African-American" could call themselves "Nigerian Americans" or "Kenyan Americans" or whatever to give honor and appreciation to their culture as distinct from African-Americans.</span>

Alas1119
03-12-2005, 12:11 AM
Originally posted by BLESS7@Mar 1 2005, 05:35 PM
Personally I prefer the term "Black" because it leaves no doubt to which racial group you&#39;re referring to. I don&#39;t like "African American" simply because

1- Africans are not only "Black". For instance there are &#39;White&#39; Africans. When they come to America and become citizens don&#39;t they become "African Americans"? Think about it.

2- I was not born in Africa and while I&#39;m most definitely of African descent somewhere down the line I couldn&#39;t begin to tell you the first thing about the inner workings of Africa so I don&#39;t really believe that it&#39;s my right to be called "African American". I&#39;m simply American.

Isn&#39;t it sad that we are the ONLY group of people here in America who really have no identity?

739860


Yep, wasn&#39;t Teresa Heinz Kerry saying that she was African-American? (She was born in Mozambique). I&#39;m sure that raised more than a few eyebrows. :lol:

Personally I prefer being referred to as black. It&#39;s just more simple that way. And it&#39;s definitely more inclusive of blacks from other parts of the diaspora.

People can label themselves however they want. I do find it a bit patronizing when I hear white people referring to us as "African-Americans" though. It just seems so smarmy and politically correct.

Blackstar
03-12-2005, 01:57 PM
Originally posted by Urbanite@Mar 11 2005, 07:33 PM
<span style='color:blue'>I like this.

I think that the term "African-American" is appropriate when referring to the descendents of African slaves still living in America and when referring to our unique culture and struggle.

I think the term "Black" is appropriate when referring to those people of African descent who live in the diaspora, especially in reference to our common struggles, whether in America, Europe, the Caribbean, etc.

MsSankofa, thanks for your input in preferring to be called a Haitian African American. As nappy_crown pointed out, African immigrants and African-Americans are two separate groups. Perhaps, African immigrants can, instead of calling themselves "African-American" could call themselves "Nigerian Americans" or "Kenyan Americans" or whatever to give honor and appreciation to their culture as distinct from African-Americans.</span>

754576

YEPP.
BUT MAYBE IT&#39;S ABOUT TIME THAT EVERYONE JUST CALLED THEMSELVES AMERICAN.

BECAUSE ALTHOUGH THE TERM AFRICAN-AMERICAN ALSO DESCRIBES A POLITICAL GROUP AND STRUGGLE, IT DOESN&#39;T SEEM DENOTE A CULTURAL AND NATIONAL ALLIANCE TO ONE NATION, WHICH IS AMERICA. wHAT I&#39;M TRYING TO SAY IS THAT YOU ARE AMERICAN FIRST, NO MATTER YOUR SKIN COLOUR. THE TERM NIGERIAN-AMERICAN JUST SEEMS VERY SCHIZO TO ME. BUT IT ALSO SHOWS THAT DIFFERENT CULTURES CAN RESIDE WITHIN ONE PERSON. I AM AN EXAMPLE OF THAT, AND THAT&#39;S WHY I AHEV A BIG HEADACHE CAUSE I NEVER KNOW WHERE I BELONG.

Blackstar
03-12-2005, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by SweetAfrica@Mar 3 2005, 03:03 AM
To most of the world I&#39;m Black

To Canadian&#39;s I&#39;m Black/Ghanaian

To Ghanaians I&#39;m 3/4 Ga 1/4 Fanti

The labels are relative...

I never cared for the term Black personally. In Africa there was no "Black", it was only when the Europeans came that they decided to label us as such and to them everything Black was associated with evil or the negative.

I accept the term now only because it&#39;s widely used and not meant to be derogatory. Also, it&#39;s a way to unify Africans from the continent and Diaspora together.

741781


TO MOST OF THE WORLD I&#39;M BLACK OR AFRICAN.

NO ONE SEES THAT I HAVE LIVED IN AT LEAST FOUR DIFFERENT COUNTRIES IN BOTH THE EUROPEAN AND AFRICAN CONTINENT, AND THAT I HAVE EXPERIENCED CULTURAL OSMOSIS.

IN NIGERIA, I&#39;M NIGERIAN.

BUT OUTSIDE OF NIGERIA, BLACK IS A VERY GOOD UNIFYING TERM FOR BLACK FOLK IN THE DIASPORA.

Urbanite
03-12-2005, 03:12 PM
Originally posted by Blackstar@Mar 12 2005, 09:57 AM
YEPP.
BUT MAYBE IT&#39;S ABOUT TIME THAT EVERYONE JUST CALLED THEMSELVES AMERICAN.

BECAUSE ALTHOUGH THE TERM AFRICAN-AMERICAN ALSO DESCRIBES A POLITICAL GROUP AND STRUGGLE, IT DOESN&#39;T SEEM DENOTE A CULTURAL AND NATIONAL ALLIANCE TO ONE NATION, WHICH IS AMERICA. wHAT I&#39;M TRYING TO SAY IS THAT YOU ARE AMERICAN FIRST, NO MATTER YOUR SKIN COLOUR. THE TERM NIGERIAN-AMERICAN JUST SEEMS VERY SCHIZO TO ME. BUT IT ALSO SHOWS THAT DIFFERENT CULTURES CAN RESIDE WITHIN ONE PERSON. I AM AN EXAMPLE OF THAT, AND THAT&#39;S WHY I AHEV A BIG HEADACHE CAUSE I NEVER KNOW WHERE I BELONG.

755756


<span style='color:blue'>I will never refer to myself as "American" simply because I don&#39;t feel American. I may have been born and raised in America, but I have always had an innate sense that I belong elsewhere. Western culture and values have never appealed to me, though I have tried to pretend.

Also, if a person is born in Nigeria, lives half their life there, and then becomes a US citizen, is that person American before Nigerian?</span>

autumnleaves
03-13-2005, 07:13 AM
I don&#39;t really mind African American/Black..but like someone else said, why get hung up on race.. you can refer to be as chocolate/nubian princess... as long as you&#39;re not saying something derogatory, it&#39;s pretty much okay. I tell alotta people that we should all be referred to as flavors chocolate, vanilla, cinnammon, irish cream...can&#39;t hate flavors.. i mean you can but that&#39;s just ridiculous now isn&#39;t it? :P

LovelyJazz
03-14-2005, 03:55 PM
I don&#39;t remember where I read this at, but someone was commenting on this same issue of Black vs. African American. Like it was stated above, African American is a political grouping just like Hispanic (non-white). It&#39;s for census purposes and makes it easier for the government to classsify you. But Charlize Theron (spelling?) and actress from South African can be classified as African American...you all follow? Because she&#39;s from African and is also American. But she&#39;s classified as white here because of her race.

I believe Black and white are races, and African American can be considered an ethnicity. There is a difference. Ethnicity goes with one&#39;s culture. For example, Charlize Theron&#39;s race is white, but her ethnicity can be consifered African American. Kinda messed up.

I was scanning the posts earlier and I forgot about Afo-American...should&#39;ve read that one better. But racially I&#39;m BLACK! Ethnically, I&#39;m African Amerian. Just like a white person is white, but ethnically they may be Jewish, Polish, or German. Italian is not a race! It&#39;s an ethnicity...an Italian would be considered white.