7/19/11

PT 1: Black VS African-American VS American

• How do I define myself?
• Are the definitions available something I'd readily grasp?
• Am I wrong to reject a certain construct?

These are questions that most human beings discuss among themselves. My friends were discussing this topic on facebook within our private group. The conversation started innocently enough in regards to a certain hair product, than it centered on pejorative terms like "Nappy" & "Kinky."

The below are Not my words but definitely I tend to agree with what's been written.

This will be a series of 4: So stay tune to a great discussion! :)

Naq: "I've learned that my hair isn't kinky neither...its highly textured and tightly coiled and curled...I have a courser texture than Becky but it’s not nappy...I've learned that it's just hair. Nothing more nothing less. Also, if your hair is properly moisturized, that's when you learn the difference. Your hair is only nappy if it's dry and unkempt lol...even ppl with straight hair can be nappy"
Esh: " I feel like there's a lot of stigma around words like 'kinky' and 'nappy' and I hear it in the way a lot of black Americans talk about natural hair, but I've always thought of them of fun, positive words. Yes, my hair is really just tightly... curled, but above all I think they just describe difference and indicate afro-descendent. I see it in the same light as I do the word 'black.' I'm not actually black but it's a word we use to talk about what makes us different. So like the children's book says I'm 'Happy to be Nappy.' :)"
Ash: "I get incensed because it's a pejorative term....and also not correct. I'm fine with being called black though because I'm not, in fact, an African American."
Esh: "But black isn't correct either for the majority of us and it's not the same as African-American. There was a time when black was a lot more of a pejorative word than it is now. I mean, it still is widely negative even whether it's inside or... outside of racial terms. I think a lot of words go through negative periods and then people turn them around and make them positive and empowering. I dunno, I don't care. I'm not black but I call myself black, I'm not nappy but I'm down with it too."

Ant: "Black is a racial construct, African-American an ethnic construct. Technically you're both. Although race and ethnicity are social constructs, they are separate in a sense. Race is usually broken down into the now defunct bio...logical constructs (defunct because there is no "black gene" or particular sets of genes that can be discerned. Some people are biologically closer to individuals of a different race than their own) of Negroid, Caucasian, Hispanic, or Asian. Ethnicity on the other hand is a standard of race and culture. African-Americans are black, as are the Ibo tribe of Nigeria, but what separates them is a common language, customs, music, dress. Etc.

You might dispute African-Americans having such similarities but when you look at it on depth our history is usually linked back in slavery, we all speak English (slight dialect variations exist but still) musically most African-Americans are into jazz, r&b, hip hop, and funk. Food is more or less similar, etc."

Dai: "I never call myself American and never heard too many black people say they're proud to be American besides 9/11 and when Osama was killed...maybe"

Esh: " I don't really call myself Canadian unless I'm outside of Canada and it's still kind of an uncomfortable term for me because I identify with more than one country. I always feel like I have to explain myself. Canadian isn't enough, I don't feel ethnically Canadian."

1 comment:

Dai Dreaming said...

heyyyyy LOL...i love this discussion!

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