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African American

something i saw on FB the other day made me think. it was a rant about MLK day and president's day, the person wondered why we (in our county) have MLK day off but not president's day, and another person called her racist, and then it was just this long debate.

anyway, one of the people who commented said that she was going to apply the world 'black' when she spoke about black people in today's society, instead of African American, because the chances of them actually being from Africa are slim.

so i guess my question is, what exactly does being African American entail, to you? someone who was born in Africa, but lives in the US? someone who is first descendant American, with African blood? or someone who merely has black skin, but no African descendants, atleast for 4 or 5 generations?

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tnm786

Asked by tnm786 at 9:28 AM on Feb. 25, 2013 in Politics & Current Events

Level 43 (159,608 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • IDK. That's a good question. Personally I prefer to not hyphenate American.
    QuinnMae

    Answer by QuinnMae at 9:32 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • For me that would have to mean you either moved here from Africa,and became a citizen,or one or both parents emigrated here and became citizens.
    butterflyblue19

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 9:36 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • I also refuse to hyphenate American. My granddaughter is American and not African-American. That would also deny her mom's heritage. Why must only one side be labeled. She's American and who cares what color of skin she is.
    baconbits

    Answer by baconbits at 9:36 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • My black husband does not like being called African American. I don't like my child being called (half) African American. Neither one of them have any ties to Africa. I know there are some black people that prefer it, but I've yet to meet one. Though I'm not black, I still find it a bit offensive when non-black people assume that African American is the most accepted term, because it's not. At least not anymore, or in most places. However if there are black people that prefer it, so be it, who am I to care what someone wants to call themselves. Also, I didn't have MLK day off but I did have President's day off. My son had MLK day off but he had a week off for President's day.
    maecntpntz219

    Answer by maecntpntz219 at 9:39 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • You were born in Africa & moved here. But like bb I don't like the hyphenated, you don't see me going hey I'm a mixed-American, or Irish-American. It just sounds dumb, if you were born here you're an American. End of story.
    funlovinlady

    Answer by funlovinlady at 9:40 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • On the one hand, I do know lots of people who actually are from Africa. On the other hand, even they refer to themselves a "black" and some people also said they say black b/c it's just a shorter reference with less syllables in it. To me, it sounds silly because we are not colors, we are humans. We could also ask, why not a bigger recognition for Native Americans or Asians, etc? Personally, I am in favor of giving people several flexible holidays where everyone can choose which holidays s/he wants to celebrate but we all get the same amount of days to be fair.

    Even my friends say that when they refer to their own ethnic race in a certain way, they are reinforcing discrimination, such as African-American and Caucasian people saying that "s/he's acting white/black." What is acting white/black? Those stereotypes only encourage discrimination.
    hellokittykat

    Answer by hellokittykat at 9:45 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • Haha kitty. My friend was born in Africa and she's so pale white and when she tells people she's African they're like you're not black. Yes because all Africans are black lol. It always makes her laugh.
    funlovinlady

    Answer by funlovinlady at 10:22 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • A friend I worked with was born in one of the more dangerous due to war parts of Africa and moved to the US as an adult. He had a very long and entertaining rant about what it meant to be "African American", so I defer to his wisdom. Unless someone specifically asks to be called AA, they're black. If they ask him to be called AA, and can't answer his 5 questions about what it was like to grow up in Africa, he STILL won't call them AA (though the one time I got to see him do it, the person in question ended up like a deflated balloon about 10 minutes in).

    When it comes to complete strangers, you don't even know if they're American, so it's not an appropriate generalization anyway.
    NotPanicking

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:41 AM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • I prefer black American or just black, better yet, American.
    HHx5

    Answer by HHx5 at 2:44 PM on Feb. 25, 2013

  • I dislike any of it I prefer American
    Dardenella

    Answer by Dardenella at 10:49 PM on Feb. 25, 2013

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