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Can someone please tell me why black people are referred to as "African Americans"... If you are born in America, then your American... Whites are Caucasian... Yet have no American after it. Indians.. are Native American...When the land was theirs first... Does anyone else wonder about this?

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Asked by mrsfarris at 4:59 AM on Nov. 9, 2008 in Politics & Current Events

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Answers (35)
  • Well, there's also German-American, Irish-American, Italian-American (that would be me)...all the labels are goofy.

    Human being. That's me. How about you?

    Answer by gdiamante at 5:11 AM on Nov. 9, 2008

  • Cloud, that term was certainly NOT developed when the Africans were being brought over as slaves. Because they weren't thought of as Americans. Hell, they weren't even thought of as PEOPLE.

    The term came about with the beginnings of Political Correctness. People decided to have pride in the country that their anscestors were born in and therefore we got all the hyphenated-americans.

    Personally, I believe you should only get a hyphen if you hold dual citizenship. For example, a person with dual citizenship with Canada and America would be a Canadian-American. And the only African-Americans would be those that are also citizens of Africa, no matter what color they are.

    Answer by AnnieMcD at 5:53 AM on Nov. 9, 2008

  • I just read that article and I don't see anywhere that it says the term was used 400 years ago, as a matter of fact what I see it say is (Under Term African American)
    "In the 1980s the term African American was advanced on the model of, for example, German American. Jesse Jackson popularized the term, and it was quickly adopted by major media. Many blacks in America expressed a preference for the term, as it was formed in the same way as names for others of the many ethnic groups"
    Can you tell me which section of that article you got your information from?

    Answer by AnnieMcD at 6:12 AM on Nov. 9, 2008

  • Yes, that paragraph says "The first recorded Africans in British North America (the future United States) arrived in 1619 as indentured servants who settled in Jamestown, Virginia."  That sentance doesn't say anything about them being called african-americans, just that they were African, and arrived in America. 

    And I don't know why you think I'm on a "Black power rampage" I am simply using the article YOU quoted to defeat your argument.  The term came about in the 80's.  That is what the phrase "in the 1980s the term African American was advanced" means. 


    Answer by AnnieMcD at 6:29 AM on Nov. 9, 2008

  • cont...

    I also understand that the slaves had some rights, and I never claimed that they were not fed or clothed, simply that they were not considered people. They were considered to be on par with cattle and other livestock.

    I'm not sure what your issue with my answer is, but I knew it from the beginning, and CONFIRMED it with the article that you are misquoting.


    Answer by AnnieMcD at 6:29 AM on Nov. 9, 2008

  • And I don't know why you keep deleting your answers, but it's childish ...

    Here is the Article we are discussing, since Cloud144 has now deleted 3 of her answers after I responded with intelligence...

    Answer by AnnieMcD at 6:31 AM on Nov. 9, 2008

  • It bugs me too. I hate hearing (insert country)- American. The way I see it, my grandparents on my fathers side immigrated from Poland. They were Polish-Americans if you really needed to label them. My father was born in Chicago, he's just an American.

    And to be perfectly honest once you become a citizen of another country you should just be a citizen of that country. As in, move to America, you're an American, Move to Italy, you're and Italian, get it?

    It's not perfect but it's my opinion :)

    Answer by Xynyth at 6:59 AM on Nov. 9, 2008

  • Oh and I agree with the dual citizenship comment above also!

    Answer by Xynyth at 7:00 AM on Nov. 9, 2008

  • It annoys me, too. I'd wager a guess and say that MOST "African-Americans" know next to nothing about Africa.

    Answer by DusterMommy at 7:55 AM on Nov. 9, 2008

  • All these generalizations of African Americans are interesting. So is there an issue with 'black, negro..." We've been called many things in the history of this country. African American is who we are we stand on the backs of our ancestors just as Hispanic Americans stand on theirs and Chinese Americans stand on theirs. Why is African American such an issue. The problem to me seems not to be the title, but that this country stills sees separations based on ethnicity necessary. When you go to take a standard test the option is African American or black. African American is who I am, sadly it is all some people see when they look at me. The issue isn't the title, it is the constant separation in this country. P.S. lets be careful with these generilizations.


    Answer by ayindemommy at 8:13 AM on Nov. 9, 2008

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