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Old 02-05-2014, 09:59 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,443 posts, read 22,395,249 times
Reputation: 8636

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Quote:
Originally Posted by thriftylefty View Post
I don't know what your perception is of West African culture, but I can unequivocally say that I would much more like to be perceived like some of the West Africans I have met than some randomly selected Whites or Asians. One of the first West Africans that I met as a young man told me he was taught at an early age that there are Africans all over the world. Black people in the US who want to denounce their cultural ties to Africa are probably mocked by West Africans.

They will say give us back our; banjo, our tonal language, our braided hair, our reliance on a strong female, our sweet potatoes, peanuts, okra, black-eyed peas, rice, and watermelon.

Give us back our charismatic preachers, our story tellers and stories that your mother raised you on. Give us back our oral culture that allowed your people to know history without writing it down.

Give us back our scale and our blue notes and Stevie wonders voice, syncopation and improvisation so you could develop jazz.
Give us back our words that made you look so cool on the street like; hip, bogus, jive, jazz, boogie, dig, and mojo.

Yep , you got to give it all back.
I think you're STILL missing my point. I've never deied any of those things but I don't think we're going to find common ground so I'll just let it be.

 
Old 02-05-2014, 10:01 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,443 posts, read 22,395,249 times
Reputation: 8636
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
Well, we went through a number of terminology changes just in my own memory, from colored to negro to black (not "black American," just black--because we didn't claim America for a while when I was a teenager) to Afro-American to African-American.

Take your pick or make up a new one, but it's a fallacy just to say "American" to reference "persons descendent from Africans brought to North America between 1619 and 1809." That's even more meaningless than "differently abled."

BTW, blacks in America were calling themselves just plain "African" in genteel company up through the Civil War.
I don't think you understood my use of "American". Maybe I'm not understanding you though. Are we less American than anyone else in this country?
 
Old 02-08-2014, 05:29 PM
 
Location: West Coast
1,199 posts, read 2,197,581 times
Reputation: 2098
DNA is connecting Black American people back to the various African cultural groups. It is the one thing that does not lie because it is genetic. You don't need to take a "wild guess" about the fact that as a Black American, I have a European last name. I trust that you are intelligent enough to know that European names and languages were forced on my ancestors by the muzzle, whip, and the gun. Also, slavery in the U.S. ended less than 200 years ago. In the span of history, that is quite recent. The U.S. has only been a country for less than 300 years. Again, in the span of history, that is recent. I see my African heritage everyday when I look in the mirror. Languages can be recovered as long as they are in existence. Last time I checked, Igbo, Yoruba, Twi, Wolof, Mende, KiKongo, and many other African languages exist, and are very much accessible. These were some of the languages spoken by those Africans who ended up on American plantations. DNA is going to help bring the names back as well. In the meanwhile, people can simply choose an African surname for themselves and their children, or go to West Africa, and go through a naming ceremony. As far as Black Americans knowing our true roots, that knowledge is here now. DNA, online and physical library research, family oral history, Slave documents, West and Central Africans on the continent and in the U.S. The information is there. People simply have to want to know.

Last edited by Ibginnie; 02-09-2014 at 01:47 PM.. Reason: Deleted quoted post
 
Old 02-09-2014, 12:19 AM
 
7,437 posts, read 5,945,812 times
Reputation: 3799
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph_Kirk View Post
.

Only a very few Jews today can trace their linage to one of the original twelve tribes (those descended from Levites can, based on DNA markers). That doesn't keep them from claiming Israel as their ancestral homeland.

And we have definitely seen what a mess millions of people with a dubious connection to that region have created in terms of the dislocation of people already living there.

Settlement of American blacks in Liberia didn't end so well either. The Americo Liberians merely became yet another colonial over lord, and not offering the dubious benefits that others did either, in terms of modernizing health care and educational systems and infrastructure.

Those of us whose ancestors were SOLD BY AFRICANS to Europeans, or of Africa, but we are no longer AFrican, and can no longer be.

DNA tests claim that I am 29% Benin Togo, 25% Ghana, 19% from the region stretching from SE Nigeria to Congo, and 8% Mali, and 2% Senegal. Concluded that the 29% Benin Togo is probably related to the Ghana as Togo and Benin are more connected to their neighboring Ghana and Nigeria than they are to each other, Definitely in terms of were slaves were loaded, and who probably sold them. The Mali might actually be Guinea, given that the borders are an arbitrary European colonial invention, and the same peoples stretch across many borders.

So the notion that I can use DNA Ancestry to gauge my "true" African ancestry is wishful thinking. The DNA samples are way too small and too arbitrary and so don't reveal sufficient information. All I can conclde is that I have ancestral connections definitely to Ghana, and maybe Nigeria, and possibly Congo and Guinea.
 
Old 02-09-2014, 12:28 AM
 
7,437 posts, read 5,945,812 times
Reputation: 3799
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joy74 View Post
DNA is connecting Black American people back to the various African cultural groups. It is the one thing that does not lie because it is genetic. You don't need to take a "wild guess" about the fact that as a Black American, I have a European last name. I trust that you are intelligent enough to know that European names and languages were forced on my ancestors by the muzzle, whip, and the gun. Also, slavery in the U.S. ended less than 200 years ago. In the span of history, that is quite recent. The U.S. has only been a country for less than 300 years. Again, in the span of history, that is recent. I see my African heritage everyday when I look in the mirror. Languages can be recovered as long as they are in existence. Last time I checked, Igbo, Yoruba, Twi, Wolof, Mende, KiKongo, and many other African languages exist, and are very much accessible. These were some of the languages spoken by those Africans who ended up on American plantations. DNA is going to help bring the names back as well. In the meanwhile, people can simply choose an African surname for themselves and their children, or go to West Africa, and go through a naming ceremony. As far as Black Americans knowing our true roots, that knowledge is here now. DNA, online and physical library research, family oral history, Slave documents, West and Central Africans on the continent and in the U.S. The information is there. People simply have to want to know.

His point is that you can't be really African if you cannot select a SPECIFIC group with certainty. DNA ancestral testing hasn't evolved sufficiently for you to do this.

So you can confirm which among the many varied groups stretching from Senegal to Angola you have ancestral connections. But then you knew that before the test.

The fact that you can narrow it down a bit doesn't change the fact that you can't be African because you cannot connect to a specific African ethnic group. Each group has its own traditions and the blending of these traditions into a Neo African culture occurred in the Americas where the slaves had to figure out how to relate to each other. So even this blended identity removes you from being a true African.

Indeed some of these groups SOLD each other into slavery.
 
Old 02-09-2014, 08:26 AM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
16,443 posts, read 22,395,249 times
Reputation: 8636
Quote:
Originally Posted by caribny View Post
And we have definitely seen what a mess millions of people with a dubious connection to that region have created in terms of the dislocation of people already living there.

Settlement of American blacks in Liberia didn't end so well either. The Americo Liberians merely became yet another colonial over lord, and not offering the dubious benefits that others did either, in terms of modernizing health care and educational systems and infrastructure.

Those of us whose ancestors were SOLD BY AFRICANS to Europeans, or of Africa, but we are no longer AFrican, and can no longer be.

DNA tests claim that I am 29% Benin Togo, 25% Ghana, 19% from the region stretching from SE Nigeria to Congo, and 8% Mali, and 2% Senegal. Concluded that the 29% Benin Togo is probably related to the Ghana as Togo and Benin are more connected to their neighboring Ghana and Nigeria than they are to each other, Definitely in terms of were slaves were loaded, and who probably sold them. The Mali might actually be Guinea, given that the borders are an arbitrary European colonial invention, and the same peoples stretch across many borders.

So the notion that I can use DNA Ancestry to gauge my "true" African ancestry is wishful thinking. The DNA samples are way too small and too arbitrary and so don't reveal sufficient information. All I can conclde is that I have ancestral connections definitely to Ghana, and maybe Nigeria, and possibly Congo and Guinea.
Can't rep you again but damn. Well said.
 
Old 02-09-2014, 09:01 AM
 
20,227 posts, read 11,210,470 times
Reputation: 20238
Quote:
Originally Posted by caribny View Post
His point is that you can't be really African if you cannot select a SPECIFIC group with certainty. DNA ancestral testing hasn't evolved sufficiently for you to do this.

So you can confirm which among the many varied groups stretching from Senegal to Angola you have ancestral connections. But then you knew that before the test.

The fact that you can narrow it down a bit doesn't change the fact that you can't be African because you cannot connect to a specific African ethnic group. Each group has its own traditions and the blending of these traditions into a Neo African culture occurred in the Americas where the slaves had to figure out how to relate to each other. So even this blended identity removes you from being a true African.

Indeed some of these groups SOLD each other into slavery.
Of course, we're not talking about moving to Africa here. I remember the broad change of mindset of us "decedents from African slaves" in being ashamed of our African descent to an attempt to acknowledge it and explore what in it might be a source of pride.

Remember that most of what we (the broad, coast-to-coast "we" including the millions who still lived in the South before the Great Northern Migration not just the Harlem black intelligentsia) knew about Africa was what white media told us. We knew Tarzan movies. We knew junk from colonialists.

Yes, there had been "back to Africa" salients before, but it wasn't until the 60s that there was a broad, coast-to-coast realization that the white American culture we had worked so hard to assimilate into...wasn't worth it. To some extent, earlier generations had known that. It became more clear to the War Generation after soldiers returned from Europe with a greater understanding that there were other cultures that had their own things going for them as well. Civil rights after WWII was no longer about assimilating into white American culture anymore; it was really about finally getting our piece of the pie that we helped bake.

It was in the 60s that we finally broadly decided there is nothing wrong with being black, and there is nothing wrong with being descended from Africa. Prior to that time, everything in American culture was psychological conditioning that being black and being descended from Africans was an inherent moral wrong.

In order to overcome that, we had to detach from American culture. That was the "nationhood" movement of the 60s, "Black is Beautiful," "Am I Black enough for you?" and wearing the "nationhood colors"--yeah, I sported the green, black, and red myself. That's when accepting our natural hair was an overt political statement, not merely a fashion statement. When I grew my 'Fro in 1967--yeah, I remember the year, because it was a deliberate political decision--it was with the expectation of having Oklahoma whites ask me, "Are you one of them there revolutionaries?" Damned right. The revolution had come to Oklahoma.

So this isn't about "going back to Africa," it's about accepting our African DNA rather than being ashamed of it. And we can't really accept it without learning something about it. This is also about recognizing that the culture that the black descendents of African slaves created in this country is not merely "American culture" painted brown. There are distinct fundamental differences.

For instance, if you ever attended traditional black churches, you would note that the more bellicose hymns that were sung frequently in white churches were seldom sung in black churches. Black Baptists were not "Christian soldiers marching as to war" nearly as much as white Baptists. There was a distinct understanding for blacks that America was not our promised land, and wasn't even a particularly Christian culture.
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