7/22/11

PT 4: Black VS African-American VS American

Esh: "But you ARE an Afro-descendent and that's why you are identified as such. White people have hyphens too, it's just because they're white and their identity has been normalized that they don't have to throw it on there. It's the same thing u...p here - I always get asked where I'm from but if you ask a white person they get thrown off track. It shouldn't be that way and by asking them and forcing them to realize that they have roots somewhere else it'll change, eventually. But in any case, you’re African-American."


Ash: "I'm resisting the labels! Lol... White people always get it...black ones don't hence this drawn out convo."

Jos: "so pick a few countries in Africa that interest you!"

Ant: " It's not because black people don't get it, it’s just because we are easier to differentiate. You stand an African-American next to an Italian-American and you can instantly spot the difference. Stand an Italian-American next to an Irish or ...German one. Can you really tell them apart? And because their bonds aren't as common as African-Americans.

A vast majority of African-Americans can trace their ancestry back to slavery. We all came over roughly the same time (between Jamestown and the end of the transatlantic slave trade). For a similar purpose. Our history has been connected. There was a wave of Germans in the early 1800s another in the 1880s, another in 1912 who all underwent different immigrant experiences.

True blacks in the Caribbean and America came over through the same way but each underwent different circumstances as time passed. There were experiences that are exclusively African-American (civil war, great migration, Harlem renaissance, Jim Crow, civil rights movement, etc.) That differentiates the African-American and say a Haitian or Dominican. All part of the black Diaspora but separate ethnic groups because of the distinctions in history which has shaped their language, culture, etc."

Tierra: "I think people stop at slavery, but shouldn't."

Ant: "I agree Tierra that we stop black history at slavery which is wrong. People should learn about the great African empires of Mali, Ethiopia, Ghana, Zulu, Carthage, Nubia, etc. But as an ethnic group African-Americans do stop at slavery. It was that moment we no longer belonged our respective groups because they erased that history."

Tierra: "they didn't erase it, they just stopped talking about, it's still there, and you can research and find it. In one breath blacks say we still have slave mentalities, in another, they condemn us for not knowing that we are and acting like kings and queens. Why would we if ever reference dates back to slavery"

Stac: " Not really erased at Ant. you can have them take a sample of your DNA and they can trace where your people originated from, and pin point where. An old friend from college paid $600 just to find out he was Ethiopian."

Ant: "That's what I plan on doing once I get out of school. And, I say erased from the slaves. They couldn't speak their language, celebrate their holidays or acknowledge their traditions"

Esh: " It's not that important for me to know where exactly I'm from in Africa. I assume I'm from somewhere in West Africa and that's enough for me - I got love for the whole continent so it's whatever. And I don't understand how this whole process works; frankly I think it sounds a little sketchy.

Also, a lot of people go to Africa and someone will take one look at them and tell them where they're probably from for free ninety-nine lol. It happened to my mom when she was in Ghana and makes me think even less about doling out cash for that. I think the interesting thing about it is that you don't know what you're going to find. Could turn out you hail from enslaved Africans somewhere in Africa too!"

I'm black/afro descendant. The end lol. However, I recognize my elements. It's up to you, what you wanna be :) you're gonna hear bullshit no matter what you choose though"

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