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Guest Madinah S.

Black or African-American

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Guest Madinah S.

This week, we hired greater than a dozen guest writers for O.W., during a recession. God is good! Regardless, I have encountered a deeply perplexing question posed by a newly appointed staff writer who recently accepted an assignment (actual email photo). 

 

https://owshowe.com/2020/06/12/black-or-african-american/    *sorry @Troy for the life of me, I couldn't figure out how to post the actual pic, don't judge me people.

 

How would YOU answer this question and why? Honestly, it gave me pause; both as a black (or African American) woman, veteran (2 services) and little sister to four amazing older brothers. Thus far, the response from my close community has been overwhelmingly in favor of “black” versus “African American.” 

 

Now, I’m here to hear. What is YOUR answer… and if you have a few seconds, why?

 

Also, do you believe that this person should be afforded creative leniency to use each term as he/she deems appropriate? Or, perhaps we should all be so brave as to, well, ask.

 

Waiting on you.

 

Madinah – Producer, EIC (owshowe.com)

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The words are not synonymous. Black is a superset of African American. For example Nigerians are Black, but not African-American.

 

Both terms are imperfect. No human is black in complexion. Is a white South African immigrant living in Chicago an African American?

 

On AALBC, we capitalize Black when referring to people in articles we publish.

 

 

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Guest Madinah S.

@Troy 

 

This is precisely why I am here on AALBC. The wisdom, knowledge and experience that comprises this community is invaluable. I agree, both terms are imperfect. In fact, I spent the better half of yesterday asking my community if there was a third, fourth, fifth option here.

 

Moving forward, on owshowe.com, we will captialize Black when referring to people in articles we publish.

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I don't believe there is term that perfectly describes all the brown people of African descent, who are American citizens, that everyone would embrace. @Pioneer1 likes "Afro-American," to me that sounds antiquated, like "Negro."

 

ADOS (African Decendant of Slaves) is another term, but I'm not a fan of it because not every Black person here in America is a descendant of an enslaved African.

 

Despite our internal diversity, what we universally share is oppression due to the color of our skin.

 

"Black" works not so much for how it describes us, but what it represents, a people with a rich history, culture, and civilization going back thousands of years before the first caucasian emerged from a cave.

 

846177768_amazonpimpingblackpeople.jpg.33953799ebf860a2e990ed007fb16ab4.jpg

 

 

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….feels funny being "off the block" and in a different neighborhood (forum), lol.


 

Troy
 

 

I don't believe there is term that perfectly describes all the brown people of African descent, who are American citizens, that everyone would embrace. @Pioneer1 likes "Afro-American," to me that sounds antiquated, like "Negro."

 

The focus shouldn't be how it "sounds" so much as how ACCURATE it is.
 

I don't exactly LOVE the sound of "AfroAmerican" myself because like many people have said it reminds them of an "afro" hair-style....lol.

But Black isn't accurate, because it's an actual color that most of our people don't fit the descrition of (especially if you're light skinndeded).

Negro is no better than "Black" as it's just the Espanol version of the term.

African American isn't very accurate either because it's a term best reserved for those born on the continent of Africa who MIGRATE to the United States and become citizens.

 

But Afro-American means we are Americans with African ancestry and encapsulates all of the various shades and features of our people regardless of religious or cultural background because we all come from the same experience.


But the discussion we're having is another reason why Neely Fuller said we should MAKE UP OUR OWN definitions, to avoid confusion.

 



Madihah S.

 

Since you aren't registered on this site I'm not sure if you can read the link at the bottom of my posts so check this out:

 

https://aalbc.com/tc/topic/6593-pioneer1s-glossary/
 

It's a little glossary of mine and may offer more insight as to how I see race, culture, and ethnicity and how we as a group should refer to ourselves.
 

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1 hour ago, Pioneer1 said:

The focus shouldn't be how it "sounds" so much as how ACCURATE it is.

 

True. I still use both "Negro" and "Afro-American" generally for effect to highlight those use use antiquated ideas.

 

1 hour ago, Pioneer1 said:

But Afro-American means we are Americans with African ancestry...

 

But this term is not very accurate because every person in America or who has every lived here is of African ancestry. Am I wrong?

 

--------

Sidebar:

 

@Madinah S. actually has two accounts  (@Madinah Slaise)  The vast majority of accounts that are created are never used.  There are several new accounts created each day, but rarely are they used.  Most of the guest posters have accounts even @QueenX who has several but always posts as a guest.

 

Maybe there is a problem using the accounts -- that I'm not aware of.  Madinah did you get the confirmation that your account was approved?  This is is important because this may be effecting participation if confirmation emails are not going through.

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Troy


But this term is not very accurate because every person in America or who has every lived here is of African ancestry. Am I wrong?
 

I'm not sure.
I think you're saying that based on the "out of Africa" evolutionary theory that claims everyone on the planet are descendants of humans who first evolved and came out of Africa.


As you know I don't believe in the theory of Evolution nor do I even believe early humanity came OUT of Africa.
To the contrary, I believe a portion of humanity actually migrated INTO Africa.
 

One of the good things about the term Afro-American is it clearly defines us as being American.  A point I think is very important to make, because too many of our people see themselves as "outsiders" in a nation they helped to build.
 

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59 minutes ago, Pioneer1 said:

too many of our people see themselves as "outsiders" in a nation they helped to build.

 

True but this is largely because we have been excluded from enjoying the fruits of our labor.  

 

I can't tell you how many times I have a conversation with a "Afro-American" who was born here but descent of slaves from the Caribbean or South  America.  Most of the  Negros do not identify as American.  Instead they embrace, quite fervently, the colonized national identity of the island or portion of the land mass created by whatever European nation conquered their ancestors.  For course I understand this as tied directly to ethnicity.

 

So if a Brooklyn born Jamaican wants to self identify as Jamaican, you can't force them to embrace and self-identify as Afro-American just because you think it is more accurate -- despite the fact that the alt-right don't give a damn where you come from if you are "Black." Seen, roots?

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Troy

 

This rejection of the "AfroAmerican" identity on the part of the brothers and sisters born in Jamaica or Puerto Rico or Haiti is as a result of IGNORANCE.

If they were properly educated then they would realize that Jamaica, Puerto Ricao, Haiti and all of the other nations in the Western Hemisphere ARE part of "America".

...which makes them AfroAmericans just like US if they had slave ancestry!

 

I can get them to see the light in about 5 minutes, lol.

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Guest Madinah S.

First, thank you for taking a few moments for enlightenment. This is an interesting topic, for sure!  

 

Housekeeping: @Troy The Madinah S. account is viable, and no, the glitch was on my end. In my excitement (and haste) to add to the discussion, I most likely generated both profiles and felt more comfortable with the aforementioned. If I can delete the other from my side of the house, please let me know.

 

Now, the main event: @Pioneer1 Your detailed glossary is a Showe stopper, for sure. Yet, the statement “Confusion in thought, leads to confusion in both speech and action” truly drives the point home. It was not until the question was posed that I began to feel the “sting” of the confusion. Obviously, not with the journalist or the question, rather MY inability to intelligently fashion a response. I was caught completely off guard and deferred to my community, AALBC, elders, you name it. I even created a survey and received a plethora of varied responses based upon regional preferences. For example, Black people who resided in southern regions (US) were overwhelmingly against the usage of “African American” versus “a Black person.”

 

Personally, this introduced an entirely new level of accountability in my life and I’m thirsting for knowledge. In the past, I wasn’t as concerned about what people “called” me, because their was little time to involve myself with the opinion of others. Now, I feel as though it’s my duty to contribute to the dialogue in a meaningful and productive fashion. If anyone has a personal suggestion for a book, journal article, etc. on the topic, send it my way. 

 

Stay safe! 

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Housekeeping: @Madinah S. If you post with one of you approved account, and not as a guess like your last post, I'll delete the other two accouts.

 

Still there is a problem on my side people are not getting account approval notifications, which is a serious problem, that I'm eorking to correct now.

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*Madinah here* 

 

@Troy - Roger.

 

Also, you're correct.. "Your password reset request was successful. We have sent you an email with further instructions to recover your account. Check your email within the next few minutes including any junk or spam folders" - was not transmitted.

 

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On 6/14/2020 at 3:13 PM, Troy said:

I don't believe there is term that perfectly describes all the brown people of African descent, who are American citizens, that everyone would embrace. @Pioneer1 likes "Afro-American," to me that sounds antiquated, like "Negro."

 

ADOS (African Decendant of Slaves) is another term, but I'm not a fan of it because not every Black person here in America is a descendant of an enslaved African.

 

Despite our internal diversity, what we universally share is oppression due to the color of our skin.

 

"Black" works not so much for how it describes us, but what it represents, a people with a rich history, culture, and civilization going back thousands of years before the first caucasian emerged from a cave.

 

846177768_amazonpimpingblackpeople.jpg.33953799ebf860a2e990ed007fb16ab4.jpg

 

 

100% agree. I couldn't say it better!

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