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African-American/Black or Negro? How do you identify?




Definitely not American.  Our society has a long way for this "unthinkality."  Just imagine, "500 Americans have so far been killed in Chicago this year..."  It's almost laughable.  It’s unimaginable, grouping us all together in this fashion.  But shouldn’t we be?  American is simply, White American.  Let’s face it, it is.  But I do have hope, I never imagined having a Black President....

African-American.  To me it's like the new "negro."  Non-threatening, soft, 'light in the ass.'  This term diminishes the strength of Black people and I believe the media uses it specifically for that purpose.  There are many Blacks in America without African ties (that’s not taking into account we’re ALL from Africa, but that’s a whole 'mother' story) so the African part just refers to ‘having Black skin.’  And also, African-American has no cultural value.  Unlike Italian-American, Asian-American, Native American, Blacks have no heritage or motherland to connect to to display pride and unification throughout the world.  Blacks, in general, are the newest breed of humans on the planet.


The term Black has historically been condemned.  The rhetoric of blackballed, blacklisted, blackmail, black lie, black prince, black heart, etc. as negativity, evokes a scornful look, or frown, upon anyone that uses any term that involves the word ‘Black.’  So think about it, in the english language, adjectives precede nouns so any use of the word Black before the noun, has already produced a negative effect.  Black man, Black woman, Black child, etc.  The same thing.  Not all cultures and languages utilize this method.  But here in America, it’s taught.  And that teaching has instilled a lasting negativity that has been embedded in our cultural DNA.

James Brown, "Say it loud, I'm Black and I'm Proud!"

Black for me.  Why?

Out of the huts of history's shame
I rise
Up from a past that's rooted in pain
I rise
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that's wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise. 

Maya Angelou, "Still I Rise."

What say you?


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Interesting points.  You probably saw the protracted conversation; "What does it mean to be Black?" on the forum.  Personally, I embrace all three terms.  Though I definitely use "Black" most often to describe myself.  I only use American if I'm outside the States.

Interestingly I named my website "African American" Literature Book Club, but the name is too narrow.  The implication is that it is only for African-American.  The word Black may be more appropriate because it is not limited to national borders.

But I honestly don't know if "Black" people across the Diaspora would embrace the word as easily as we do.

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Brother.....we ARE Americans....and don't let anyone tell you different.

American is simply a nationality, not a race and the American nationality includes people of ALL races.

Many of our people just fail to CLAIM their legal and social rights as Americans and ALLOW them to be trampled.

Racially speaking I'm Black (or African to be more precise), but I personally choose the term AFROAMERICAN to describe myself and the ethnic group I belong to.
That term embraces all of my people whether they are Black, mixed, or nearly White in color.

But what we call ourselves isn't as important as how we THINK of ourselves and how we exercise our rights and natural God given authority not just in this country but all over this planet.

If you're a fool....you're a fool...and will end up catching hell REGARDLESS of what you call yourself.

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One cannot have all three (African American Negro), or even two, for that matter, not without losing one's self amid an identity crisis.  Brother Delano is set on to the right idea.  I think!

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