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Ok I am not racist so please don't think that, but

How come the term African American only applies to black people who originated in Africa but came to America, yet south Africa is full of white people (that sadly owned slaves) and African American doesn't apply to them?

Can someone please educate me on this?


Asked by JAJA_Steele at 8:21 PM on Mar. 21, 2010 in Just for Fun

Level 13 (1,078 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (13)
  • I am not sure. Its a term that coined for us back in the 90s. I didn't agree with the term then and I don't agree with it. I don't call myself an African American to me like Whoopi Goldberg back in an interview on BET, its a demotion. I am an American who happens to black and a female. To me anyone who comes to America from Africa who was actually born there and become American citizens, they are African American rather their skin is light or not. As much as this country sucks sometimes, I am totally American. I refused to be demoted to anything less than that.

    Answer by starchild321 at 2:31 AM on Mar. 22, 2010

  • are you referring to ethnicity/race terms or legal
    legally anyone who becomes a citizen in the US after having been born somewhere else is a unameit-American
    german-american, mexican-american, etc.

    when speaking in terms of race/ethnicity
    african-american means african i think that speaks for itself
    like Caucasoid is european descent...not from

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:26 PM on Mar. 21, 2010

  • I'm not sure what you are asking. White people who live in South Africa are not African American because they don't live in America. They're South African. If they move to the US they're still South African. A person who moves to the US from Nigeria and is also black does not become an African American, they are a Nigerian. "African American" is a term used for individuals who have long family ancestries in the US, but because of slavery are unable to state exactly where in Africa their families came from. People who immigrate here from Africa in present day can tell you exactly where in Africa their ancestors are from.

    Answer by beckcorc at 8:26 PM on Mar. 21, 2010

  • Oh Brother!!


    Answer by Anonymous at 8:26 PM on Mar. 21, 2010

  • I have no idea. I actually have a white African-Amercian friend (she was from South Africa and immigrated). I think its racist to say they are not African-Americans baised on their skin color. Most people laugh when she mentions she immigrated from Africa... In most peoples minds Africa is basically comprised of one or two countries... not on of the largest continents in the world and home to many different people.

    Answer by Tf1990 at 8:26 PM on Mar. 21, 2010

  • beck ok what I am saying is a lof of colored people originated from Arica and came to America, so they became African American! Well white people have also originated from there so would they be considered African American as well?

    Answer by JAJA_Steele at 8:29 PM on Mar. 21, 2010

  • Tf1990, your friend is a South African American. She can say what country in Africa she is from. If she was from Tanzania she'd be a Tanzanian American. An African American is a person who has ancestors who essentially built this country but can not tell you where their lineage traces back to in Africa.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:29 PM on Mar. 21, 2010

  • Thank you tf, you get what I was saying and your right it would be racist not to call her african american because essentially she is

    Answer by JAJA_Steele at 8:30 PM on Mar. 21, 2010

  • JAJA, I get that. My point is that people who immigrate in present day are not African American because they can state what country in Africa they're from. They don't need the broad tittle. Like the above anon said TF1990's friend is South African American. She is not African American and the same would go if the same person were black.

    Answer by beckcorc at 8:31 PM on Mar. 21, 2010

  • Oh ok thank you Beek for clearing that up for me, I was afraid people would misunderstand me.

    Answer by JAJA_Steele at 8:33 PM on Mar. 21, 2010

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