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Old 06-27-2013, 04:07 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 31,046,755 times
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Those of us who use African American when writing in a formal style have no problem with substituting the term black in more informal references, and those who self-identify as being African American in a formal sense are never upset, much less concerned about African Americans who prefer "black." What is striking however is the degree of offense taken by black folk to the use of the term African American. And what is most striking, is that in defense of their position the argument is based upon an absolute and unsustainable argument that there are no cultural links between the people of African and the descendants of the African diaspora. That all things, black in America essentially died on the slave dock and were subsumed by all things European as the op's subsequent risible arguments make clear.

Now when white folks pursue this line of argument, I am rarely taken aback because the record of denying any contribution on the part of African people and their descendants is quite clear. But when I here black folks make this argument, I can only see as just another manifestation of self-loathing not only of their own heritage but that of African people in general.

Read these words and think of their implications.
"I'm not African and I have no connection to those people, I'm a black American."
What does that mean? Did black people just spring up out of American soil? Did they not endure both slavery and segregation for no other reason that who they descended from? What exactly is a black person? Apparently to its advocates it is a people without a culture, without having made a single contribution to what we are as Americans. A people with no past and no future.

Higher up in the thread someone asked what was wrong with the word colored. Interestingly in my "Black Power" period my grandmother who often past for white as long when it was convenient to skirt some day to day Jim Crow inconvenience, came to me with hurt in her voice, "O.V., why must we be Black, colored included all of us. Dark people like your grandfather and colored people like me." This stopped this black power hot head dead in my tracks because it became painfully obvious that the term black was so imprecise, so lacking in the culture (and by culture I am referring to Religion, Cuisine, Aesthetics, Values, Social conventions, and Social structure) of the African American experience that it served no further purpose for describing a complex people within the larger American experience.

If that is stupid, then then I am more than happy to continue living in my far richer cultural stupidity.
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Old 06-27-2013, 04:33 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4,318 posts, read 4,830,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
Those of us who use African American when writing in a formal style have no problem with substituting the term black in more informal references, and those who self-identify as being African American in a formal sense are never upset, much less concerned about African Americans who prefer "black." What is striking however is the degree of offense taken by black folk to the use of the term African American. And what is most striking, is that in defense of their position the argument is based upon an absolute and unsustainable argument that there are no cultural links between the people of African and the descendants of the African diaspora. That all things, black in America essentially died on the slave dock and were subsumed by all things European as the op's subsequent risible arguments make clear.

Now when white folks pursue this line of argument, I am rarely taken aback because the record of denying any contribution on the part of African people and their descendants is quite clear. But when I here black folks make this argument, I can only see as just another manifestation of self-loathing not only of their own heritage but that of African people in general.

Read these words and think of their implications.
"I'm not African and I have no connection to those people, I'm a black American."
What does that mean? Did black people just spring up out of American soil? Did they not endure both slavery and segregation for no other reason that who they descended from? What exactly is a black person? Apparently to its advocates it is a people without a culture, without having made a single contribution to what we are as Americans. A people with no past and no future.

Higher up in the thread someone asked what was wrong with the word colored. Interestingly in my "Black Power" period my grandmother who often past for white as long when it was convenient to skirt some day to day Jim Crow inconvenience, came to me with hurt in her voice, "O.V., why must we be Black, colored included all of us. Dark people like your grandfather and colored people like me." This stopped this black power hot head dead in my tracks because it became painfully obvious that the term black was so imprecise, so lacking in the culture (and by culture I am referring to Religion, Cuisine, Aesthetics, Values, Social conventions, and Social structure) of the African American experience that it served no further purpose for describing a complex people within the larger American experience.

If that is stupid, then then I am more than happy to continue living in my far richer cultural stupidity.


Black Americans do have a culture, it's just not a culture influenced by Africa. I don't understand this either. It seems like if you have an American culture, it's simply not good enough. No you're more special if you have an African culture. Well considering that my value system is far different than any African I've met, my diet and things I eat is far different, and my experience as far different, I consider myself more culturally aligned with America and Europe than Africa.

I still hold that blue was heavily influenced by Irish Folk, and country was influenced by it as well. The accents that are used to sing each type of music doesn't matter. I still so no rhythmic similarities between African music and a lot of the "black music" in America today. Did you know blues influenced rock, punk and heavy metal? Does this mean that white people who love that music also subscribe to an African culture? Where does the line stop? Seems like us dark skinned people just want to make ourselves special by desperately trying to cling onto Africa, when in reality Africans don't relate to us in the slightest. I've never heard an African come over here and is like "Man, that Jay-Z reminds me of old tribal music from back home". They won't even listen to blues and say that. The whole cultural richness of black america coming from Africa is just a weak embellishment from black scholars. And really it's because they need to justify their big salaries in academia.

Get over it, you're American, not African. you can say stating that is self hating or self loathing, but it is what it is. If we wanted to measure our how African we are versus how American we are, I'd say American culture influence you far more than African. And that's just the bottomline. Take it or leave it, but at least acknowledge that there is a hell of a lot of truth to it.
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Old 06-27-2013, 05:04 PM
 
31,385 posts, read 31,046,755 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by branh0913 View Post
Black Americans do have a culture, it's just not a culture influenced by Africa.

Whatever... I leave you to your ignorance, and denial. Enjoy.
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
1,105 posts, read 2,735,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by branh0913 View Post
Black Americans do have a culture, it's just not a culture influenced by Africa. I don't understand this either. It seems like if you have an American culture, it's simply not good enough. No you're more special if you have an African culture. Well considering that my value system is far different than any African I've met, my diet and things I eat is far different, and my experience as far different, I consider myself more culturally aligned with America and Europe than Africa.

I still hold that blue was heavily influenced by Irish Folk, and country was influenced by it as well. The accents that are used to sing each type of music doesn't matter. I still so no rhythmic similarities between African music and a lot of the "black music" in America today. Did you know blues influenced rock, punk and heavy metal? Does this mean that white people who love that music also subscribe to an African culture? Where does the line stop? Seems like us dark skinned people just want to make ourselves special by desperately trying to cling onto Africa, when in reality Africans don't relate to us in the slightest. I've never heard an African come over here and is like "Man, that Jay-Z reminds me of old tribal music from back home". They won't even listen to blues and say that. The whole cultural richness of black america coming from Africa is just a weak embellishment from black scholars. And really it's because they need to justify their big salaries in academia.

Get over it, you're American, not African. you can say stating that is self hating or self loathing, but it is what it is. If we wanted to measure our how African we are versus how American we are, I'd say American culture influence you far more than African. And that's just the bottomline. Take it or leave it, but at least acknowledge that there is a hell of a lot of truth to it.
If the term African American is based on ancestral heritage and not cultural similarities do you think the term is still wrong?

Am I the only one that thinks only calling whites American is discriminatory to other American groups?
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Old 06-27-2013, 06:49 PM
 
Location: SWFL
21,422 posts, read 18,139,040 times
Reputation: 18773
Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post
Those of us who use African American when writing in a formal style have no problem with substituting the term black in more informal references, and those who self-identify as being African American in a formal sense are never upset, much less concerned about African Americans who prefer "black." What is striking however is the degree of offense taken by black folk to the use of the term African American. And what is most striking, is that in defense of their position the argument is based upon an absolute and unsustainable argument that there are no cultural links between the people of African and the descendants of the African diaspora. That all things, black in America essentially died on the slave dock and were subsumed by all things European as the op's subsequent risible arguments make clear.

Now when white folks pursue this line of argument, I am rarely taken aback because the record of denying any contribution on the part of African people and their descendants is quite clear. But when I here black folks make this argument, I can only see as just another manifestation of self-loathing not only of their own heritage but that of African people in general.

Read these words and think of their implications.
"I'm not African and I have no connection to those people, I'm a black American."
What does that mean? Did black people just spring up out of American soil? Did they not endure both slavery and segregation for no other reason that who they descended from? What exactly is a black person? Apparently to its advocates it is a people without a culture, without having made a single contribution to what we are as Americans. A people with no past and no future.

Higher up in the thread someone asked what was wrong with the word colored. Interestingly in my "Black Power" period my grandmother who often past for white as long when it was convenient to skirt some day to day Jim Crow inconvenience, came to me with hurt in her voice, "O.V., why must we be Black, colored included all of us. Dark people like your grandfather and colored people like me." This stopped this black power hot head dead in my tracks because it became painfully obvious that the term black was so imprecise, so lacking in the culture (and by culture I am referring to Religion, Cuisine, Aesthetics, Values, Social conventions, and Social structure) of the African American experience that it served no further purpose for describing a complex people within the larger American experience.

If that is stupid, then then I am more than happy to continue living in my far richer cultural stupidity.
That is so highly offensive You may not be taken aback but it sure does me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
If the term African American is based on ancestral heritage and not cultural similarities do you think the term is still wrong?

Am I the only one that thinks only calling whites American is discriminatory to other American groups?
WTH??? Did I miss reading something? ANYONE who is born here is an American. Actually "African American" is the discriminatory phrase if you want to get technical.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:32 PM
 
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
4,318 posts, read 4,830,690 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
If the term African American is based on ancestral heritage and not cultural similarities do you think the term is still wrong?

Am I the only one that thinks only calling whites American is discriminatory to other American groups?

I think the term is dumb completely. I really don't see what purpose it serves. In terms of heritage, heritage isn't really that important in America. We can argue about this all we want, but we have a very casual view of heritage. Very little heritage from our source countries is carried over to the USA for different ethnic groups. It pretty much disappears after maybe 3 generations, sometimes by the second generation. I find "American" should be seen as a heritage. It's a clear sign of how populations in this world are going. Less geographic boundaries, meaning homogenous societies will pretty much cease to exist eventually. What will really separate people in the future are value systems. The idea of heritage is simply old and antiquated, especially in the USA.

No one goes up to a black American and expect any education information about African culture. The same as how we never go to some random person with Irish or German heritage and expect them to know a whole lot about their source countries. Bottomline, the American population has evolved beyond the need for heritage. We're completely different than people who came from our source countries.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:08 PM
 
Location: Southern California
394 posts, read 1,295,818 times
Reputation: 503
Quote:
Originally Posted by branh0913 View Post
I think the term is dumb completely. I really don't see what purpose it serves. In terms of heritage, heritage isn't really that important in America. We can argue about this all we want, but we have a very casual view of heritage. Very little heritage from our source countries is carried over to the USA for different ethnic groups. It pretty much disappears after maybe 3 generations, sometimes by the second generation. I find "American" should be seen as a heritage. It's a clear sign of how populations in this world are going. Less geographic boundaries, meaning homogenous societies will pretty much cease to exist eventually. What will really separate people in the future are value systems. The idea of heritage is simply old and antiquated, especially in the USA.

No one goes up to a black American and expect any education information about African culture. The same as how we never go to some random person with Irish or German heritage and expect them to know a whole lot about their source countries. Bottomline, the American population has evolved beyond the need for heritage. We're completely different than people who came from our source countries.
That's a matter of opinion. It might not matter to you, but it could very well matter to the person standing next to you, and his opinion would be just as valid as yours. Some people want to know about their ethnic beginnings, want to study the people, the culture, the language. Why shouldn't they take pride in that? You're going to stand there and tell them that's stupid or bash them because they take pride that their families came from those cultures and they claim kinship?

I find it really odd that on a genealogy board people are so against celebrating where they came from. Isn't that what genealogy is all about? Why bother looking for your ancestors if "they don't matter"?

Why keep arguing over what everyone should call each other and belittling people who don't agree with you? Call yourself whatever you want to call yourself, it shouldn't matter to anyone else.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Southwest Washington State
18,836 posts, read 12,465,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ovcatto View Post

Higher up in the thread someone asked what was wrong with the word colored. Interestingly in my "Black Power" period my grandmother who often past for white as long when it was convenient to skirt some day to day Jim Crow inconvenience, came to me with hurt in her voice, "O.V., why must we be Black, colored included all of us. Dark people like your grandfather and colored people like me." This stopped this black power hot head dead in my tracks because it became painfully obvious that the term black was so imprecise, so lacking in the culture (and by culture I am referring to Religion, Cuisine, Aesthetics, Values, Social conventions, and Social structure) of the African American experience that it served no further purpose for describing a complex people within the larger American experience.

If that is stupid, then then I am more than happy to continue living in my far richer cultural stupidity.
I appreciate your sharing this story from your life. Please know that the term, "white" is just as imprecise as the term "black." I am sorry that that the term "black" hurt your grandmother's feelings. But I would never, as a "white" person ever use the n-- word or say "colored." I would be concerned that those words showed a lack of respect.

Is it not possible to gather from the tone of voice, and demeanor of the speaker, whether he or she is being respectful or rude?
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Old 06-27-2013, 09:23 PM
 
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Default Identity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by branh0913 View Post
As a black man, I've never felt I was different than the average American. I grew up watching MTV, looking at He-Man, Star Wars, playing with actions figures, and Nintendo growing up like any American would. And though I may have been raised in a crappier neighborhood than some white kid, I pretty much grew up being influenced by the same things. And I can look back to my mother and grandmother for this as well. When my family tree was done, it was revealed I've had family in this country dating back to 1730. Nearly 300 years of being represented in this country. I would say I have been in America longer than majority of the white West Coast population has. But for some reason I have to be called African America? I must admit, I know a lot about Africa. But I didn't learn about Africa via persona experience from my parents or elders in my family. I learned about Africa by reading BBC articles or a book, just like any white American would learn about Africa. There is nothing about me that is African, and having dark skin doesn't make me African automatically. I have more in common with Bubba from the trailer park than Ubotu from some tribe in Nigeria. You can't deny I have dark skin, so at the very least call me a black American. Black is far more accurate than "African" when it comes to describing me and my family.


Sorry, I had to get that off my chest. Since I moved to Seattle, which is PC overkill, I hear that term African American more than I care to hear it. It's not offensive, but it sure as hell is misleading. Like I'm less American than some white person, when in fact I'm more American than most white people. Again, my family has been in this country far longer than theirs.

This has been an interesting thread and I've enjoyed reading it. Fact of the matter is this, all of these terms are misleading to include: African America, American, Black, Negro, Ni@@er, Coon, Porch Monkey etc. As a "Black" man myself I must tell you that:
1. No "Black" person who's ancestors arrived to these shores qualifies as a "citizen" regardless of the amount of time spent on this continent. Why? Because our ancestors were not invited to arrive here as "citizens" neither did our ancestors participate in taking of this land from the Native Americans by force and deceit. Nor can we use the few examples of the Buffalo Soldiers against the Natives as they were merely following the orders of their "white" masters.
2.According to the highly esteemed US Constitution: Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 it clearly states that we as "blacks" are not human but are 3/5 of a person. Only "humans" were allowed "citizenship" in America.
3. Dred Scott decision from the US Supreme Court clearly stated from Justice R. Taney: "Blacks" ie non-humans could never be "citizens" as they were property "
Any person descended from Africans, whether slave or free, is not a citizen of the United States, according to the Constitution.
The Ordinance of 1787 could not confer either freedom or citizenship within the Northwest Territory to non-white individuals.
The provisions of the Act of 1820, known as the Missouri Compromise, were voided as a legislative act, since the act exceeded the powers of Congress, insofar as it attempted to exclude slavery and impart freedom and citizenship to non-white persons in the northern part of the Louisiana Purchase.
4.One can not make the argument that these decisions were superceded or null and void when said language is still in the US Constitution.
5. The movement iniatiated by members of this society to return the non-humans "Blacks" to Africa once they could no longer be used for outright chattel slavery with the cessation of the Civil War and the issuance of the "Emancipation Proclamation" which by the way, does not provide for true freedom neither the means to repair the physical, economic, spiritual and psychological damage of 400 of slavery and genocide.

We could go further but taken together it becomes clear that what we are called by others and those "Black Leaders" who claim to speak for us makes no difference as we "Blacks" have no legal standing in this "country" or in any nation to where we were taken to during the Indian Ocean and Trans-Atlantic Slave Trades. To expect fair treatment in the land of those who are not your friends is ludricrious to say the least. To expect those who are not your friends to tell you the truth of your origin and reason for being in their land is more insanity. I personally, and those who I associate with who are concious prefer to call ourselves by our true name: Ysrayl ie Israelites.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:09 PM
 
8,195 posts, read 10,205,914 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
That's not an accurate description since everyone is colored. There are no transparent people.

I think African American is an okay term IF whites are also commonly referred to as European American. It's the fact that whites are the only ones that can go by the term American only that bothers me. It makes the other terms discriminatory and unequal.
Being referred to as "black American" is too broad.
You risk lumping people of different races and nationalities by doing so.
How would you distinguish an African who immigrated in the past year from an american who happens to be black that had ancestors that were slaves?

Let me ask you this....there are people who are "black" in skin color,however,they aren't of African origin.
These include people from India,Oceania,Papua New Guinea,and Australian Aborigines.
Just because someone is black in skin color doesn't mean they have African origins.

Another point is that no one is truly black in color,so that's not really accurate either.

Get rid of all this hypenated american,and anything referring to color.

There should only be 3 things: Citizen,naturalized citizen or illegal immigrant.
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