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Old 04-23-2016, 08:06 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Agbor View Post
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).
Let me clarify my statement "In my experience Africans do not see themselves as Black (this is a European construct)". I was referring to the African American definition of Blackness, which is rooted in slavery, oppression, and mistreatment. Many of my African friends told me they didn't realize they were Black until they moved to the U.S. What they really meant was how some Whites can be hostile and suspicious of them simply because they have black skin; and, becoming aware of the challenges of navigating and environment and system that was designed by and for white people. As a result, some misguided African immigrants, in the U.S., initially think they can avoid " the Black Treatment" by separating themselves from the African Americans community and aligning with white conservatives as much as possible to no avail.

Last edited by krock67; 04-23-2016 at 08:49 AM..
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Old 04-23-2016, 01:58 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkc2j View Post
. I've never been to Africa


And this is your problem. Your notion of "Africanness" is superficial and doesn't encompass the complex, and at times contradictory notions of what this implies.


Yes an African will arrive in the USA, and might well be pleasantly surprised that some vague residual "African" cultural might remain. This because he is outside of his country/culture, and so seeks the familiar.


Put him in Africa and its a whole different reference point.


While there are varying degrees of African cultural traits to be found among the African diaspora, the reality is that most of us are "westernized" in terms of our values and thought processes.


Strip away the music, dance, aesthetics, and some religious practices (this being where African culture has tended to survive). I am not sure if the more institutional aspects of these various African cultures are things that most diaspora blacks can relate to.


In fact I am not even sure that an average black American is even interested in relating to a sub Saharan African.
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Old 04-23-2016, 02:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperiorMegaman View Post
The racism you refer to was in large part created and manipulated by the Europeans.


Are you seriously trying to suggest that, prior to the arrival of the Europeans, there weren't serious power struggles and conflict between the various West African empires?


This is the problem with the kind of diasporic black, who can only define "blackness" in terms that they can relate to.


You build your world around the white man, because you live in societies which are socially, economically, and culturally dominated by whites. So you cannot imagine a world where whites play minimal roles. So you invent some "Garden of Eden" where all was tranquil, until the "evil" white man arrived.


NOT so! The degree and conflict between the various West African empires were every bit as bitter, and motivated by commerce, power, and greed as that between the various European empires.


This, by the way, is not to suggest that relationships between black and white Americans are as tranquil as some think.


Face it. If you put a group of black and white American strangers in a room. They will immediately segregate themselves by race, because black and white Americans don't trust each other, and I will even suggest FEAR each other. The notion of a sense of being "American" that integrates black and white Americans is very shallow.
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Old 04-23-2016, 02:16 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krock67 View Post
Let me clarify my statement "In my experience Africans do not see themselves as Black (this is a European construct)". I was referring to the African American definition of Blackness, which is rooted in slavery, oppression, and mistreatment. Many of my African friends told me they didn't realize they were Black until they moved to the U.S. What they really meant was how some Whites can be hostile and suspicious of them simply because they have black skin; and, becoming aware of the challenges of navigating and environment and system that was designed by and for white people. As a result, some misguided African immigrants, in the U.S., initially think they can avoid " the Black Treatment" by separating themselves from the African Americans community and aligning with white conservatives as much as possible to no avail.


These are very valid statements.


1. Humans always find ways to differentiate themselves from each other. Race is a very powerful construct, given the history of the USA. Skin color becomes more valid in the Caribbean and Latin America. Ethnic identities become important in sub Saharan Africa. So clearly there will not be common agreement on identity formation among these different groups of blacks.


2. The shock happens when one leaves one's social construct, and enters another.


Some one who had a very string identity as being a Yoruba, followed by being Nigerian, and then having a general sense of being "African" is suddenly assaulted by a white cop who profiles him as being merely "black".


Another, whose identity is defined by race, goes to Haiti, where skin color is most important. Sees an attractive female, who he defines as being "light skinned black". Then his shock when she viscerally recoils at being considered "black" with all the venom of a "redneck".


Yet another heads to Africa, thinking that he will be finally "bonding with the brothers," to discover that the locals call him "black white man", as they consider his cultural to be thoroughly western.




This "we are all one" notion of blackness was never relevant, and it certainly isn't in 2016.
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Old 04-23-2016, 02:30 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkc2j View Post
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.


I assume that you are meeting college educated Africans.


1. Yes they are aware that they are black, and so linked with blacks from elsewhere on the planet. They do know about slavery, and recognize a shared heritage, especially in music/dance.


2. Yes they are aware that in majority white societies, like the USA or Europe, they will be lumped into an amorphous group, labelled as "black". And possibly subjected to levels of covert, and at times even overt, racism. This merely for being labeled as "black".


3. So upon arrival in the USA they will have varying degrees of identification with black Americans. The degree depending on, their age on arrival, the level of "westernization" prior to departure from Africa, and the type of black Americans they initially meet.


4. I will suggest that your best ties are probably with Africans from English speaking nations.


What might shock you is that the bonds that link you might be based more on the high level of exposure to Anglo American culture on the part of both the African and the American black, than any shared sense of being African.


Clearly the more educated the African (and therefore the more exposed to western value systems) the more rapidly interaction can begin between the African and the American black.


5. Africans whose initially entry point is the job market and not college, will have a more jaundiced view of American blacks, as their initial encounters are likely to be with the poorer and less educated AA.


The African whose initial encounter is with the poorer AAs, will then assume attitudes towards the AA, which mirror attitudes also held by most white Americans.


The African whose initial encounter is in the college environment will see many AAs who defy commonly held stereotypes, and will therefore see more bonding opportunities.


6. Based on the above, I will suggest that South Africans (with a shared history of extreme racism) will most easily relate to an AA. This is followed by those from English speaking countries like Nigeria.


A rural African from Mali is NOT going to understand black Americans, and will want to know on what basis should there be common identity.
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Old 04-23-2016, 09:24 PM
 
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I had a very weird African experience, Went to an African grocery store, in silence brought some Palm Oil, Owner at
check out says matter-of-fact tone "Do you know what to do with it?", Me: Am going to make okra soup" Him: "How do you
know about okra soup?" Me: "I had room mates in college from SL" Other guy "Guys?" Yes? (other lady in store) "She is from
Gambia", "We are from Nigeria" (I thought Uh-Oh)..."Have you been to SL?" "No" "Well you can go now" or another English-
Speaking African country it will be easier for you."

The ice seemed to break when I mentioned I knew people from Nigeria and the other guy recognized me from work, I did not
remember him at first..First time being interrogated at the grocery store as to what I am buying..I bet they thought, what is
this clueless American doing here does he know how to cook it? They seemed unfazed that I had African room mates in school.
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Old 04-24-2016, 04:57 PM
 
338 posts, read 245,597 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caribny View Post
And this is your problem. Your notion of "Africanness" is superficial and doesn't encompass the complex, and at times contradictory notions of what this implies.


Yes an African will arrive in the USA, and might well be pleasantly surprised that some vague residual "African" cultural might remain. This because he is outside of his country/culture, and so seeks the familiar.


Put him in Africa and its a whole different reference point.


While there are varying degrees of African cultural traits to be found among the African diaspora, the reality is that most of us are "westernized" in terms of our values and thought processes.


Strip away the music, dance, aesthetics, and some religious practices (this being where African culture has tended to survive). I am not sure if the more institutional aspects of these various African cultures are things that most diaspora blacks can relate to.


In fact I am not even sure that an average black American is even interested in relating to a sub Saharan African.

Not sure what you mean when you say "my notion of Africaness". My opinion comes from conversations with actual continental Africans, not some notion that I have of a universal African idendity, merely a supposition based on information I've gathered from having many interactions with these people.

I understand that there is definitely a cultural barrier to a degree when it comes to relations between continental Africans and those in the western hemisphere. However, I will say there are connections that can be made based on the things you just named, music, art, dance and religious practices that are intrinscally linked to blacks in the diaspora. Those connections can definitely serve as a cultural link in my opinion especially between westernized blacks and those in West and Central Africa.

Last edited by jkc2j; 04-24-2016 at 05:21 PM..
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:33 PM
 
691 posts, read 920,312 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperiorMegaman View Post
Do you live in an area with a lot of Africans?
There are some but not like D.C. or Atlanta. In my experience, many Nigerians do not seem to be sociable
they seem reserved. I have come across a lot more reserved ones than very friendly outgoing ones..The
friendly outgoing ones I met were Nurses and Doctors, engineers, very educated people. In my experience,
Ghanaians and SL people seemed to be more friendly, one guy introduced himself to me on the bus once, he
was from Ivory Coast, he was very proud, but friendly.
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Old 04-26-2016, 10:56 PM
AFP AFP started this thread
 
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Interesting video none of these Africans mention that those of African descent are a part of Pan-Africanism.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjeisrdeD7g
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Old 04-27-2016, 06:00 AM
 
205 posts, read 838,916 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFP View Post
Interesting video none of these Africans mention that those of African descent are a part of Pan-Africanism.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HjeisrdeD7g
To be fair, if you were to ask African Americans the same question most would probably say " I don't know"
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