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Old 07-31-2014, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Manhattan (westside)
114 posts, read 247,917 times
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I recently met a nice British guy. We were talking tonight about some random event and I mentioned casually that I'd probably be the only African American present. He asked me why I referred to myself as an "African American," instead of as an "American," but I didn't really know how to respond, so I quickly changed the topic.

Do most Black Brits refer to themselves as simply "Brits," without emphasizing their color/ethnic background?
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Old 07-31-2014, 09:37 PM
 
Location: London, UK
9,992 posts, read 10,785,547 times
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I'm of Afro-Caribbean descent and I don't like to call myself "black British" it sounds artificial and fake.

If someone asked me (abroad) where I'm from I'd say I'm British happily but if someone here in Britain asked me where I'm from id say "I was born here but my family is from the Caribbean"

So for me I don't say black British...

On the census there's two options for African people...Black British African and Black British Caribbean.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:03 AM
 
Location: SE UK
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My girlfriend is bi-racial, her father is a black Jamaican man, her mother a white English woman and she NEVER refers to herself as black British just British, because as she was born, bred and raised in Crawley in the UK she is (simply put) British, specifically English. Now I do believe that if people were to describe her look they would probably call her a black woman but as she points out she is both black and white equally and quite correctly describes herself as bi-racial. Our kids (although actually my stepkids) are much darker skinned than both of us (my girlfriends ex was a very dark skinned English man). The whole business of black Americans calling themselves 'African American' is definately alian to us but so is Americans with Italian or Irish ancestors calling themselves Italian American or Irish American. I did have to chuckle once when reading a post (I think on here somewhere sometime ago) where an American woman was re-assuring a black American woman (for some reason worried about travelling to London) that she wouldnt be the only black person in London because in London there were 'lots of English African Americans'!! lol
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Old 08-01-2014, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Kent, UK/ Rhode Island, US
644 posts, read 648,568 times
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I rarely hear any one say black British, it's either Nigerian, Jamaican(or any othe ethinic he/she may be from) or just plain old British, never English though. Outside the country most will defintely just say British.
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Old 08-01-2014, 06:21 PM
 
Location: Cambridge, MA/London, UK
3,635 posts, read 4,391,517 times
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I find that Black folks in London are very comfortable calling themselves just British, because that is what they are. They definitely hold onto the culture of their parents, grandparents, etc..but are undeniably British in the way they think, act and function throughout life.

They are in a unique situation because they are easily accepted by both their country of heritage and where they were born and raised. I use the example of the Jamaican Football team, which I follow religiously being Jamaican myself. Half the team in born in England, so we call them British players but we are more than willing to accept them as Jamaicans as well. So if people from their parents country of birth see them as British, then I see no reason why they and their fellow countrymen wouldn't view them as British as well.
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Old 08-01-2014, 08:19 PM
 
Location: North West Northern Ireland.
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No I just consider them British because they were born IN the UK.For me black people in England have a very wide variety of cultures/traditions so the degree of Britishness depends. If they have removed African heritage and live a very British lifestyle then I consider them to be British through and through but if they are living an african lifestyle then they are just african heritage born in the UK. After all how can you really can them British if they are not living the British lifestyle.
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Old 08-04-2014, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Castlederp
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Never heard that before.. no matter your colour, you are British if you were born here
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Old 08-07-2014, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles, CA
3,837 posts, read 4,231,130 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irlinit View Post
Never heard that before.. no matter your colour, you are British if you were born here
So if a pregnant woman were visiting briefly and gave birth but then left and raised her kid in her home country, you would still consider the child British? Because legally that wouldn't be true would it? As opposed to the US where in a similar situation the child would legally be an American citizen.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:12 PM
 
Location: The Silver State (from the UK)
4,663 posts, read 7,672,235 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Easy View Post
So if a pregnant woman were visiting briefly and gave birth but then left and raised her kid in her home country, you would still consider the child British? Because legally that wouldn't be true would it? As opposed to the US where in a similar situation the child would legally be an American citizen.

I would consider the culture you grew up in to be your home culture/country. You're after all a reflection of the society that you're raised in, regardless of DNA.
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Old 08-09-2014, 04:01 PM
 
8,283 posts, read 6,779,936 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mag3.14 View Post
I would consider the culture you grew up in to be your home culture/country. You're after all a reflection of the society that you're raised in, regardless of DNA.

Except that race in society is a construct which has validity, based on how people so categorized are treated, and so an ethno-racial identity will develop.

While their is no strong "Afro British" identity, this might well be due to the fact that most British blacks are no more than 3 or 4 generations from their immigrant roots. In the USA they (the vast majority) aren't the descendants of immigrants, and pretty much their entirety is defined by their experience as blacks living in that nation.

The UK census identifies 1.9 million people who self identify as "black", 1.6 million further self identifying as either "Afro Caribbean" or "African". So apparently "British" is nationality/citizenship, and not ethnicity, so one cannot compare this with "African/Black American" which is an ethnic terms and so more related to "Afro Caribbean", or "African". If you ask most black Americans their nationality they will say "American", or "US".

In the UK every one knows who is black and who is white, and it isn't just skin color. One only need look at the urban riots of a few years ago. The trigger was the shooting of a person of mixed ancestry by the police. Many white youths were also involved in vandalism, looting and violence. Yet it was portrayed as an "Afro Caribbean" riot (implication also that no "Africans" were involved). And then the usual pathologies being peddled, with the normal British hypocrisy ignoring that these behaviors owe their roots to the United Kingdom.

The UK has a contemporary problem with segments of its Afro Caribbean and Pakistani populations based on how these groups were treated in the 50s-80s. Though obviously conditions have vastly improved the legacy doesn't immediately disappear.

Last edited by caribny; 08-09-2014 at 04:35 PM..
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