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Old 12-05-2007, 01:51 PM
 
Location: America
6,993 posts, read 16,301,957 times
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mikeyyc

that is a weird sentiment, part of my family is from w. africa and they refer to themselves as Africans. When asked what country then they say I am from <insert country> or sometimes they refer to themselves by their country. So to have gripes with call yourself a African American is weird.
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Brusssels
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Trackstar08,
What a great question you are posing.

I can only tell you how my African-American friends have been treated in the places I've lived and visited abroad.

In Germany, many people very open and accepting of African-Americans. There were some pockets of racists (some pretty bad - even refusing service to my friends) but in most cases, people wanted to reach out and be friendly. You see lots of mixed marriages and there seems to be a genuine fascination with African-American culture.

In Scandinavia, Italy, Austria, Russia, Switzerland, and Spain, it is somewhat worse (but still with some incredibly open and welcoming people) with more cases of blatant racism in public.

Holland, France, and the UK were the most welcoming in Europe for African-Americans )according to my friends' experiences and what I've seen when travelling with them). Interestingly, many African-American soldiers in World War I stayed in France after the war since they felt so welcome.

In most cases within Europe (being very general here(, African-Americans were treated much better than Arabs, Persians, Indians, etc.

In Africa itself, African-Americans are seen as just another American.

Anyway, these are just my observations and what friends have told me. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-05-2007, 02:29 PM
 
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I'm African-American, and I've been around the world. In many places, it's pretty much the same as it is here in the U.S.


It's not always bad - sometimes it's just a little silly. For example, in Japan they think all young black men are rappers or athletes, so that could help you get laid, especially if you happen to dress/talk/etc a certain way.


In many countries, we are treated better than in the U.S (Brazil, Costa Rica, and Ghana, three countries with large black populations that I've been to come to mind). IMO. In still other countries we are simply seen as Americans who are made of $$$$. That perception is held in probably a majority of the world outside of the U.S.


For the most part, there's not TOO much more to worry about than the average American but I wouldn't be surprised if there were countries that were specifically unfriendly or even hostile to African Americans. Negative stereotypes of us are perpetuated not just throughout the U.S. but around the world, as we live in a global age. Anything viewed on TV or on the Internet in the states can be seen virtually anywhere else in the world as well.


But as others here have said, for the most part you are perceived as AMERICAN first. They will know you are American a mile away nine times out of 10 because of the way you dress and the way you speak.



Quote:
Holland, France, and the UK were the most welcoming in Europe for African-Americans )according to my friends' experiences and what I've seen when travelling with them). Interestingly, many African-American soldiers in World War I stayed in France after the war since they felt so welcome.


Around that time (the 1920s or so) there was a movement of not just black soliders but also black civilians, particularly black artists, authors, activists, etc. who relocated to France from the U.S., most notably Richard Wright and Josephine Baker. Given the racial climate of the time, I can't blame them and I'd have to say MANY countries around the world were probably better places to be than the U.S. for a black person. This was also around the time that Marcus Garvey's whole "back to Africa" movement was born as well (good idea on paper, bad idea in real life).




_
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Vienna, Austria
83 posts, read 383,513 times
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Here in Austria African-Americans are seen as Americans and very welcome, but that's only as soon as they know that you're African-American and not African. There is a lot of racsm going on here against blacks, but not because they're black, because they're foreign. I saw the first black person in my life here in Austria in 1996. Now about 7% of Vienna's population are black, they are a large, fairly well intergrated immigrant and are well like by their co-workers and neighbors, but there are also a lot of africans who come here hoping for a better life and end up very poor and have to deal drugs or steal. They do it very openly, there is not one day I have not been asked if I wanted something, and I'm not 16 anymore.

In general I'd say there is a lot of racism here, especially from old and conservative people, but I work as a teacher and in my class there are 3 black students who never had a problem in school, and they never were refused to being served in a restaurant etc. In gneral it's older people who look at them in strange way or drunk middle aged men who insult them. I think it's a sad thing that people here can be so racist, but it's not like people won't talk to you just because you#re black. As soon as people getto know each other, in my experience racism ceases to be a problem.
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
129 posts, read 446,112 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AQUEMINI331 View Post
(good idea on paper, bad idea in real life).
_

I've recently become very interested in African Americans who have chosen to move to Africa. From the freed slaves that moved to Sierre Leone to modern times. Just curious, why do you think it was a "good idea on paper, bad idea in real life"?
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Old 02-10-2008, 05:54 PM
 
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Default Charles Reaves Speaks

I, too, am a 51 year old African American, and I have found that the more educated a foreigner is, whether they are black or some other race, the better the perceptions they have of African Americans. I am a graduate of Howard University, and I found the black and asian students when I was an undergraduate there 25-30 years ago, from all over the world, to be quite friendly to us. I think if a person's first experience with African Americans is some obnoxious, street-oriented hoodrat from some ghetto, and there are many of them, then of course their impression would be negative. I often say that these people do not represent me and that they indeed embarrass me. My impressions of them are also negative. On the other hand, if foreigners encounter articulate, neat, well-groomed, well-educated, intelligent, socially-adept African Americans then their perceptions will be positive. The other thing is this, we as blacks must do a much better job of reaching out to other cultures. Often that culture's first exposure to Americans has been white Americans, with all of the biases that white Americans have against black Americans.
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:03 PM
 
Location: northeast US
739 posts, read 2,021,382 times
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It seems like the whole world loves African-American culture - jazz, blues, rock n' roll especially.

There's a lot of blacks in Ireland now but they're more Africans than Americans. My experience is the Irish in Ireland, not so much Irish-Americans, have always appreciated black America. The civil rights movement for catholics in northern ireland is a little modeled after the US civil rights movement. I remember going into peoples homes and seeing a picture of Jack Kennedy or the Pope next to a picture of Martin Luther King Jr.

I spent 3 1/2 years island hopping in the Caribbean and found a lot of overlap in cultures because so many of them have family in the US or Canada. Sometimes West Indians feel a little superior, or at least as being Afro-Caribbean not African-American.

I've read that black women are treated poorly in northern Ecuador because a lot of the prostitutes in that area come from Brazil and are black.

Don't know if that answers your question at all but it's what I know.
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Old 02-10-2008, 09:06 PM
 
Location: southern california
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why not ask an african?
very approachable people and easy
to talk to.
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Old 02-11-2008, 10:31 PM
 
Location: Gulfport, MS
469 posts, read 2,635,736 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronze18 View Post
I've recently become very interested in African Americans who have chosen to move to Africa. From the freed slaves that moved to Sierre Leone to modern times. Just curious, why do you think it was a "good idea on paper, bad idea in real life"?
Well, I won't speak for that poster, but probably because much of Africa has a much lower standard of living than what your average American will be accoustomed to. Unstable governments, ethnic violence, military coups, AIDS, all ravage Africa. There is a excellent book by a man named Keith Richburg called Out of America. He was an African-American man sent as a reporter to Africa during the early 1990s. He was in Somalia during the events of Black Hawk Down, South Africa to cover the end of Apartheid, the Rwandan ethnic slaughter between the Tutsis and the Hutus, and Sierra Leone during the clusterf--k they called a civil war. It's an absolutely terrifying book. He describes seeing rivers choked with dead bodies in Rwanda. One of his friends was killed in a car bomb, and another was beaten to death by an enraged mob in South Africa. In Somalia he talks about how when the helicopter would touch down, they'd be mobbed by teenagers with automatic rifles.
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Old 02-13-2008, 12:16 PM
 
539 posts, read 1,806,173 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bronze18 View Post
I've recently become very interested in African Americans who have chosen to move to Africa. From the freed slaves that moved to Sierre Leone to modern times. Just curious, why do you think it was a "good idea on paper, bad idea in real life"?



Because even though it sounded really nice (especially at the time that these back-to-Africa movements reached their peak, from the early 19th century through the mid 20th century), black people in general are probably better off just staying in the U.S. and doing all that we can to improve this country. I'll give you a couple of reasons -


1) this is our home. Not Africa. Yes, our ancestors came from Africa, but how many generations removed are we from slavery, and before that, the slave ships themselves? Several. It's been 200 years since the LAST slaves were brought over from Africa to the U.S. (Congress ordered that no new slaves would be brought over stateside after 1808). Most African-Americans have actually been in this country (or at least our families have been in this country) longer than many, if not most, European-Americans, whose families came through Ellis Island in the late 1800s/early 1900s. This is our home, we should not be ran out of our homeland to some distant place where our ancestors came from. We should do all that we can to make OUR home a better place. Our home is America, we are Americans.



2) Africa, in case you didn't know, is riddled with social and economic problems. True, it's not all bad but generally speaking, the U.S. is much better off, especially if you're talking about emigration back to the areas of West Africa where slaves were brought over from - modern day Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin, etc. Those countries generally experience less economic prosperity, are less developed industrially, and have higher rates of disease, poverty, and crime. Even compared to the worst communities in the U.S., moving to many of these places would be a downgrade. You may think Detroit is bad, but I'd live in the most crime-infested crackhouse in Motown before I pack up and move to a shantytown somewhere in Lagos or Monrovia. As bad as things may be in some parts of the U.S., many parts of the world are much, much worse.


_
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