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Old 04-20-2016, 05:16 PM
 
325 posts, read 242,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyogul View Post
Excluding African immigrants, multigeneration black Americans' ancestry is virtually all in West Africa, not throughout the entire continent. And even in that one region there are hundreds of tribes, with different cultures and practices and different languages. Trying to 'trace your roots' is a vapid concept, since it is impossible to trace what tribes you are from (matrilineal and patrilineal only traces your very first ancestor on each side).

Black Americans barely know 'where they're from', and if they so happen to get one of those generic ancestry tests to tell them what regions their ancestry resides in, it still does not tell them, nor can they find out what tribes they are mixed with.

Black Americans are also largely ignorant about African culture. It's not monolithic; it's so vast and diverse. So many languages and traditions.

So no, the entire continent does not 'belong' to black Americans. Not even that the region of West Africa. Black Americans are what the title suggests: Americans of African descent.


Not a hard concept fam.

I understand what you were implying. My retort is that as African Americans, our cultural connection is more in line with other West Africans regardless of which tribes we may originate. The United States obviously is an amalgamation of many ethnic groups but as African Americans I would say we are more connected to the rest of Africa than a vague concept of "American" culture, whatever that consists of. Ask a white American and they'll happily tell you they're proud of their ancestry, whether it be Scottish, Irish, English, Italian, German etc. Doesn't really matter how many generations removed because a lot of them can in fact trace their lineage. As African Americans we were historically denied the right of basic human privileges which consisted of keeping our native languages and practicing our spiritual systems but we were able to retain a lot of what we lost in our music, speech, food, dance, etc. This can't be refuted. I've never been to Africa but I have many friends from all parts of the continent and I'm always astounded by a lot of the similarities not just between them and Black Americans but within the continent as well.
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkc2j View Post
I understand what you were implying. My retort is that as African Americans, our cultural connection is more in line with other West Africans regardless of which tribes we may originate. The United States obviously is an amalgamation of many ethnic groups but as African Americans I would say we are more connected to the rest of Africa than a vague concept of "American" culture, whatever that consists of. Ask a white American and they'll happily tell you they're proud of their ancestry, whether it be Scottish, Irish, English, Italian, German etc. Doesn't really matter how many generations removed because a lot of them can in fact trace their lineage. As African Americans we were historically denied the right of basic human privileges which consisted of keeping our native languages and practicing our spiritual systems but we were able to retain a lot of what we lost in our music, speech, food, dance, etc. This can't be refuted. I've never been to Africa but I have many friends from all parts of the continent and I'm always astounded by a lot of the similarities not just between them and Black Americans but within the continent as well.
Those white Americans are just as ignorant as black Americans that "claim" Africa despite not knowing a damn thing about their roots.

Whites have a similar predicament as I described for blacks. And most often do not speak their native language. Only the ones who are descendants of recent immigrants do. Multigeneration white Americans are quickly Americanised.

African-American culture clearly derived from cultures in West Africa, but it has transcended into something completely different, for obvious reasons. So its roots aren't purely West African and nor are they predominately from West Africa either.

Black Americans claiming to be "African" is still nonsensical at the end of the day. You are not from Africa. You know nothing about Africa. You are American.
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Old 04-20-2016, 05:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kyogul View Post
Those white Americans are just as ignorant as black Americans that "claim" Africa despite not knowing a damn thing about their roots.

Whites have a similar predicament as I described for blacks. And most often do not speak their native language. Only the ones who are descendants of recent immigrants do. Multigeneration white Americans are quickly Americanised.

African-American culture clearly derived from cultures in West Africa, but it has transcended into something completely different, for obvious reasons. So its roots aren't purely West African and nor are they predominately from West Africa either.

Black Americans claiming to be "African" is still nonsensical at the end of the day. You are not from Africa. You know nothing about Africa. You are American.
You admit that African American culture derives primarily from the continent then state it should be called it's own thing? What should it be called, if not African American? The culture that it derives from borrows from many aspects of the continent. (Primarily West and Central Africa)

Last edited by jkc2j; 04-20-2016 at 05:56 PM..
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkc2j View Post
You admit that African American culture derives primarily from the continent then state it should be called it's own thing? What should it be called, if not African American? The culture that it derives from borrows from many aspects of the continent. (Primarily West and Central Africa)
I didn't object to the term African-American, as it only indicates Americans of African descent.
And just because it derives from West Africa doesn't mean it's completely from that region. It has taken influence from so many other cultures around the world that it is not solely African anymore, or even predominately African. Hell, it was barely African to begin with since slaves had little to work with. The scraps of their culture that they were left with was quickly Americanised and soaked up influence from various cultures, just like the rest of the country did.

What I object to is African-Americans (simply a minority term) trying to align with or "identifying" with Africa.
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Old 04-20-2016, 06:42 PM
 
325 posts, read 242,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kyogul View Post
I didn't object to the term African-American, as it only indicates Americans of African descent.
And just because it derives from West Africa doesn't mean it's completely from that region. It has taken influence from so many other cultures around the world that it is not solely African anymore, or even predominately African. Hell, it was barely African to begin with since slaves had little to work with. The scraps of their culture that they were left with was quickly Americanised and soaked up influence from various cultures, just like the rest of the country did.

What I object to is African-Americans (simply a minority term) trying to align with or "identifying" with Africa.

I would say American culture largely derives from those "scraps" Africans brought with them as they've had not just a national effect but a global one. I would say the opposite happened, that the culture that was forced on to them was quickly "Africanized", look up the history of jazz for an example of this. I don't see the issue with African Americans seeking connections with West Africans seeing as how we largely derive from that area.
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Old 04-20-2016, 11:35 PM
 
205 posts, read 838,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkc2j View Post
I would say American culture largely derives from those "scraps" Africans brought with them as they've had not just a national effect but a global one. I would say the opposite happened, that the culture that was forced on to them was quickly "Africanized", look up the history of jazz for an example of this. I don't see the issue with African Americans seeking connections with West Africans seeing as how we largely derive from that area.
I am African American and have been to Africa several times. In my experience Africans do not see themselves as Black (this is a European construct). They define themselves by tribe, culture, language, and country. Unfortunately, most African Americans do not fully understand this concept, because we have been conditioned to see skin color.

Last edited by krock67; 04-20-2016 at 11:49 PM..
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Old 04-21-2016, 12:20 AM
 
325 posts, read 242,684 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krock67 View Post
I am African American and have been to Africa several times. In my experience Africans do not see themselves as Black (this is a European construct). They define themselves by tribe, culture, language, and country. Unfortunately, most African Americans do not fully understand this concept, because we have been conditioned to see skin color.

Not sure what part of Africa you visited but from my conversations with native Africans they are fully aware of what race is and what it means to identify as black. Remember also that most of the continent was colonised by Europeans that introduced a lot of the same ideologies. South Africa had a system based entirely on race.

Last edited by jkc2j; 04-21-2016 at 12:49 AM..
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Old 04-21-2016, 06:57 AM
 
205 posts, read 838,242 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkc2j View Post
Not sure what part of Africa you visited but from my conversations with native Africans they are fully aware of what race is and what it means to identify as black. Remember also that most of the continent was colonised by Europeans that introduced a lot of the same ideologies. and Slavaery South Africa had a system based entirely on race.
Colonization and the Apartheid system may share some similarities with slavery, but they are more different than they are alike. Slavery took all the African sense of self (tribe, history, culture, language and genetic makeup) from the African Slaves' descendants and we African Americans are the end product.

Here are some examples of tribalism:

- I met an African American businessman in South Africa that owned and operated numerous American style fast food franchises. His staff was mostly black, but he had to navigate a discrimination lawsuit, because unknown to him all of his senior mangers were from a particular tribe. As a result he had to educate himself and became more mindful of his employees' tribal affiliations to keep them and the municipalities happy.

- I know several African couples that left home, to escape harassment, because they were from different tribes. More importantly, they wanted there mixed tribal kids to have a better life.

- I have an African friend that is a refugee here in the U.S, because her tribe was being systematically killed by another tribe in power.

In short, we African Americans define ourselves by our blackness/mixed African ancestry. However in Africa, Tribe (singular) is very important.

Last edited by krock67; 04-21-2016 at 07:12 AM..
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Old 04-21-2016, 03:58 PM
 
325 posts, read 242,684 times
Reputation: 339
Quote:
Originally Posted by krock67 View Post
Colonization and the Apartheid system may share some similarities with slavery, but they are more different than they are alike. Slavery took all the African sense of self (tribe, history, culture, language and genetic makeup) from the African Slaves' descendants and we African Americans are the end product.

Here are some examples of tribalism:

- I met an African American businessman in South Africa that owned and operated numerous American style fast food franchises. His staff was mostly black, but he had to navigate a discrimination lawsuit, because unknown to him all of his senior mangers were from a particular tribe. As a result he had to educate himself and became more mindful of his employees' tribal affiliations to keep them and the municipalities happy.

- I know several African couples that left home, to escape harassment, because they were from different tribes. More importantly, they wanted there mixed tribal kids to have a better life.

- I have an African friend that is a refugee here in the U.S, because her tribe was being systematically killed by another tribe in power.

In short, we African Americans define ourselves by our blackness/mixed African ancestry. However in Africa, Tribe (singular) is very important.
I see what you're saying but my response was to the point you were making in your orginal post that continental Africans don't see themselves as black. According to the one's I know and have spoke to that couldn't be further from the truth. Yes, tribalism is an important aspect of life with some ethnic groups but a lot of them are fully aware that racially they are identified as being black. Maybe not the way Black Americans identify it in the American hierarchical and social context but more of a solidarity between the different groups. I do agree through from having conversations with a lot of my African friends(which range from all parts of the continent)they primarily identify with their ethnic group first depending on what part of the world or country they currently reside.

Last edited by jkc2j; 04-21-2016 at 04:56 PM..
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Old 04-21-2016, 05:57 PM
 
691 posts, read 918,719 times
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Africans know they are black, but "black" is last on the list. In my experience, it is ethnic group first, country second, continent third and black fourth... Me and African friends would fall out at times and one would say to me "I am Bambara I don't have to take that from you!" (Notice by instinct in a heated argument his core self is identified by ethnic group).
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