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Thursday, February 22, 2018

Comments About The Meaning/s Of The Referents "Black", "Black American", And "African American"

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides excerpts from five online sites about the meaning/s of the terms "Black", "Black American" and "African American".

The content of this post is presented for historical and socio-cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

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PANCOCOJAMS EDITOR'S NOTE
The following excerpts are given in relative chronological order with the oldest article, blog discussion thread, or YouTube discussion thread comments given first. These excerpts and the selected comments from them are numbered for referencing purposes only.

Note that I added several comments to the discussion in this post that is given as Excerpt #2 and to the discussion in this post that is given as Excerpt #4.

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EXCERPT #1:
From http://newafricanmagazine.com/why-do-you-call-yourself-black-and-african/#disqus_thread "Why Do You Call Yourself Black And African?", written by Guest Contributor Carina Ray, April 2009
"...I am a quarter Italian, but I don’t look anything like my blond hair and blue-eyed Italian paternal grandmother who came from Turin in the far north of the country. Nor do I look anything like my paternal Irish grandfather. The reader wasn’t off the mark either when he guessed I might be Spanish. My mother is part-Spanish. She is also Taíno Indian and African, most likely of Yoruba ancestry, as were many of the enslaved Africans who worked the sugar plantations on the island of Puerto Rico where my mother was born. So there you have it: Taíno, Spanish, Northern Italian, Irish, and yes, African too. Why, you might ask, if I am so thoroughly mixed race do I identify as black and African?

Let me begin by providing the context necessary to understand the particularly unique way in which black is defined in the United States, where I was born and raised. Black, as a legal-cum-racial category, was historically constructed in the broadest possible way in order to expand the number of people who could be enslaved and to limit the legal right of racially mixed people to claim their freedom. Known as the “one drop rule”, the idea that a person with even the slightest trace of African ancestry is black has long outlived slavery in America.

What was once a legal construction became a socially constructed category that has, and continues, to encompass a broad range of very phenotypically diverse black people. While the racial landscape of the US is home to black people of all hues, hair textures, body shapes and sizes, and facial features, we do not all experience our blackness in the same way – far from it. Phenotype, class, gender, and geography all play major roles in shaping our individual experiences as black people in America. Hierarchies based on skin tone, alone, have been at the root of painful divisions within the black community, and are often the basis for preferential treatment within the dominant white society. It has not been lost on African-Americans that if Barack Obama was the complexion of his father, he would likely not be our president today.

If blackness in America has been defined broadly enough to claim me as one of its own, that still leaves the question of why I claim my blackness. I could call myself mixed race or even Latino/Hispanic. I certainly recognise that I am multi-racial, but I don’t feel a common bond with mixed people simply because we have parents of different racial backgrounds. Equally, I’ve always been unnerved by the categories Latino and Hispanic to describe people from the Spanish Caribbean and parts of Latin America that are heavily populated by people of African descent precisely because they erase/e-race our ties to Africa.

[...]

http://newafricanmagazine.com/why-do-you-call-yourself-black-and-african/2/

[...]

...to reduce my blackness to an act of anti-racism would efface the primary role that the black community has played in my understanding of myself. Home is where we see ourselves reflected in the faces, voices, and experiences of others. Home, for me, has always been in the black community. No embrace has been stronger. On 15 August 1993, my 20th birthday to be exact, I landed in Accra, Ghana, for the first time and quickly realised that I was “white” in the eyes of the vast majority of Ghanaians I met.

While I knew I wouldn’t be met with a chorus line of “welcome back our long lost daughter”, I hadn’t expected it to be nearly impossible to convince people of my blackness. And so I resigned myself to being “white”… I stopped explaining and started listening and I learned more about race in America during my first year in Ghana through those conversations than I had growing up in the belly of the beast. What I took away from that experience was the ability to let go of how others see me. For sure, it didn’t take going to Ghana to be mistaken for a white person – that happens here in America, but once you assert yourself as black, people more or less recognise you as such. In Ghana I could argue until I was blue in the face and fail completely to alter my putative “whiteness”.

Making the journey to Ghana, only to have the very reason I was there denied, might seem like a cruel irony; but it freed me to inhabit my racially ambiguous body in a way that lets others see me through their own eyes. So before I answer the question of why I call myself black and an African, let me say that I have no desire to prove my blackness or to legitimise the views that I express in my columns through recourse to blood quantum disclosures. Black is the name I call home. Black is the name that called me home. I call myself an African because I am a Pan-Africanist and like the generation that came before me, I recognise Africa as our collective home. I also realise, as did they, that the greatest obstacle in the way of black people worldwide is the divisions between us. Far from advocating a narrow black nationalism, Nkrumah and Nasser envisioned a Pan-Africanism that encompassed all of Africa’s children at home and abroad. We still have a lot of work to do.".

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EXCERPT #2
From https://disqus.com/home/discussion/racialicious/fyi_8220black8221_doesn8217t_mean_8220african_american8221/ "Black Doesn't Mean African American"

Here are some comments from this 2012 article which doesn't appear to still be online.
1. sharoncullars, 2012
"in my opinion "african american" is the ethnicity of the diaspora who landed on the shores of what would later be called the united states. "black" is the racial umbrella of not only african americans but anyone with a lineage going back to the continent. it shouldn't even be that difficult. the captured africans brought to these shores hailed from various countries and were forced to give up their individual cultures. in the end, the diaspora merged their cultural roots and created their own ethnicity. so african american is on the same line as a polish american or an italian american (who fall under the artificial racial umbrella of "white") with our own cultural history. but people tend to conflate our ethnicity with our race or be disingenous and say that the term applies to anyone hailing from africa. that is not the case as new immigrants coming from africa know the country from which they hail and are not obligated to refer to themselves by their continental lineage."

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2. nicthommi, 2012
"I think Black people understand the difference. But you will hear many non-black people who have somehow gotten the idea that Black is a slur, and I personally cringe when I have to hear them say "African-American" since I don't think it accurately describes my history.

I think the term African American implies some that we are part of an immigrant group, like Irish Americans or Italian Americans. I think I also implies a more RECENT arrival, which in the case of many groups I mentioned, is true, b/c they arrived in the latter 19th and early 20th century. Sorry, but my African ancestors likely hit land here at least 400 years ago.

The other issue i have with the term is that it is far too limiting. I'm black, live in the US, and it is where my ancestors have been for hundreds of years, but IF your parents came from Brazil, Honduras, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, etc. it is cutting out a HUGE part of their history. And since 80% of the Africans brought across the Atlantic actually wound up in those countries, they deserve better.

And I also dislike the term b/c it ignores the other huge part of the ancestry of Black American descendants of slaves, b/c I for one would like people to be aware that their arguments about the blackness of people like Halle Berry or Barack Obama don't hold much water when they represent the same mix that the rest of us have. People somehow still think that only "black" people with a non-black parent have mutl-racial ancestry. But at this point we are almost all the descendants of multi-racial blacks. And I don't like the realities of both slavery AND the Jim Crow south (as it relates to black women having no agency over their bodies and being raped for centuries) being swept under the rug by people who assume that my ancestry is 100% African.

But I have heard non-black people refer to Africans, Black Europeans, Black South Americans, Black people from the Caribbean, etc. as "African American", which is hilarious since I wouldn't even respond if someone wanted to put that label on me as a Black American descendant of slaves and "others."I love Black b/c it is inclusive, b/c it can be applied regardless of who your parents are, how dark/light your are, or what languages you speak. Clearly people can identify as they like, but I understand why Halle Berry and Barack Obama are black like me even if the masses chose to get upset by their self-identification.

It makes me part of a larger family that includes people from around the world, and I can proudly look at their skin and feel a sense of kinship even if our paths are otherwise quite different.

I personally will correct people and say "black"...it's who I am. And they'd better get as comfortable acknowledging and saying it and I am being it."

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Reply
3. Guest to nichthommi, 2012
"nicthommi
I get where you're coming from,But I like the term "African-American" because it was invented by other African-Americans as a term we could claim for ourselves that wasn't slapped on us by white people and everybody else on the planet. For me, "African" signifies where my ancestry is from, "American" signifies where I am now and where I'm going from here. Either "black" or African-American is fine with/can represent me,as who I am."

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Reply
4. nicthommi to Guest, 2012
"Yes, but I don't think black is an assigned term either. Or at the very least, it was in my opinion very well claimed in the late 60's and 70's.

I'd have to research to be sure, but in the 60's, the polite term was Negro, and in the Deep South, where my parents are from, people said colored. Even my late grandparents said colored.
So the leap from Negro to Black seems to have been self-directed, and I just find African American to be inaccurate for the reasons I already mentioned.

At any rate, both are better than slurs and because I never grew up hearing them, the others just sound very antiquated...not necessarliy slurs, but when I hear someone say "colored" I know a certain opinion is formed by me about them.

I could be wrong, and again would need to do some digging but feel as if Afro-American also developed around the same time as Black but perhaps since it relates to a style it fell out of use.
What I actually dislike is how non-black people seem to believe Black is a dated or insulting term and the slight pause and whisper that preceeds identifying anyone by their race...it's not an insult to call me black b/c black is what I am and it is what means my experience in this world will be different from someone who is not black (or not perceived as black).

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Azizi Powell Reply to a now deleted Guest comment, 2012
"While Black people living in Europe use specific references such as Black Britons, Black Italians, or Black Germans etc, it seems that since at least the early 2000s accepted collective referent for Black people born in Europe or living in Europe is "Afro-European" and/or "Afropean". A second meaning for those same terms is a racially mixed person of Black/non-Black (usually White) ancestry who lives in or was born in Europe. Here's a link to a recent post that I edited about that subject which includes two videos & excerpts from other online resources on that subject:
http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2013/07/what-afro-european-afropean-mean.html

**
5. Azizi Powell, 2012
"Here's one way to understand the difference between "Black" ("black") and "African American":

Think about the relationship between males and people. All males are people but all people aren't males.

In the same way, according to the definition of that term that people in the United States use, all African Americans are Black, but all Black people aren't African Americans.

In other words, "African American" is a sub-set of "Black". There are far more Black people in the world than there are African Americans.

For the most part, "Black" refers to people with some Black African descent, although people can debate what "Black African descent" means. I wrote "for the most part" because there are Black people in the world-in Australia, in India, in Melanesia etc- who aren't of Black African descent...but, if you go back far enough, everybody is of Black African descent.

For various reasons, some African Americans (Black Americans) don't like the referent "Black". However, I consider "Black" (spelled with either a capital "B" or a lower case "b") to be an informal referent for the population of people who up to the mid 1960s were referred to as "Negroes" (always spelled with a capital "N"). And I consider "African American" (always spelled with capital "A"s) to be the formal referent for that population.

Click http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2011/09/why-we-call-ourselves-african-american.html to read a post that I wrote about "Why We Call Ourselves African Americans."

**
Reply
6. Yahmo Bethere, 2012
"I find that people who are being deliberately obtuse really are being intentionally nasty towards AfAms."

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EXCERPT #3
From https://theracecardproject.com/im-black-but-not-african-american/ "I’m Black but not African American"

{Pancocojams Editor's note: There are a total of 342 comments in this discussion as of February 22, 2018 (around 1:00 PM EST). A number of comments in this discussion thread were about race as the commenters believe it is referred to in the Bible.

The first comment in this discussion (which is referred to as "a conversation") isn't dated, but some of the oldest comments that I've read in this conversation have the date stamp "5 years ago", which I've given as "2012". I've numbered these comment with the oldest ones first.

1. Carl Yard, 2012
Hamden, CT [Connecticut]
"I think the term African American was self serving for Black Americans .They obviously did not consider people like me who are black and from the Caribbean or Black people from other countries.How about white people living in America but are from South Africa.They to would be considered African American.I prefer not to be referred to as African American because it omits my Caribbean heritage.I resent that and so do many others."

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2. Anne, 2012
For us in the growing population of multi-ethnic's this conversation just keeps popping up. At first it seemed simple but now things are kind of confusing. I am black but I am not African American. My mother is Puerto Rican, My father is Panamanian- American. My skin is brown therefore I’m black and black means African American. This wasn’t really an issue until about middle school when I found more and more people asking, "What are you?” My skin is brown, but I have freckles and long curly hair. EVERYBODY thinks I’m black and white but my mother considers herself Hispanic and my father says he’s black. So I’m back/African American and Hispanic?!? But the only choices on those forms are White-not Hispanic, Black/ African American- not Hispanic, or Hispanic. I look like amblack girl (with something extra) but really, I am not African America. My parents aren’t African American and I don’t have any African relatives (not any in the last 6 generations by our count).

So I am black just not African American--right?"

**
3. Carl Yard, 2012
"...I am simply saying that I am Black but not African American.It's just a fact.Who got to decide that all black people are African Americans.That was ludacris .."

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4. El Tigre in reply to Carl Yard, 2013
"Exactly. People here in the US tend to just classify all brown-skinned people African American. Look on any application, it always says African American to identify anyone who a common person would look at and say "he's African American". They classify brown-skinned Hispanics as African American if your hair isn't straight enough. I'm Dominican-American and I REJECT the term African American. Yes, there is some African DNA in me, but I am made up of three races. Like people being mixed race, tend to just say "I'm Afro American". What about your Native American/Hispanic/Asian and European parts? I hate when people say "you're Afro American, I don't care about you being Dominican, yall the same". There's never a check box for Ethiopian, Dominican, Nigerian, etc. They just like to classify us all as Afro Americans like we have no culture. Afro Amercian should be designated ONLY for the descendants of Africans, who have been in the U.S, and aren't able to identify to a culture."

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5. mai7, 2013
"I hate it when people insult each other for giving their opinions on a subject. It isn't necessary to be rude. Everyone's opinion is given on what they have read, heard or seen...sometimes how they feel. I am a Black American with African Heritage. Whites are White Americans with European heritage. But no one goes around calling them White Europeans. I think life is too short to worry about anything. I know I am mixed with Indian, but, although both my grandfathers married Indian women we were Black because of our grandfathers. It is too complicated & nobody's business if I do not press that I am mixed. Each grandfather married Black mixed women after their first wives died. Blacks in America lost their cultures when they were brought here. Whites stereotyped Blacks into a food culture as watermelon, collard green, chicken eating people. (Don't white people eat the same?) Slaves had no choice but to eat what was availed to them by Whites. We all have our opinions. And that's fine. If you disagree, that's fine, too. But you can disagree amicably with reference to what you have read. Which could very well be just another opinion. We were not there to witness anything. Therefore our facts are based on someone else's account of things which could be filled with inaccuracies. We will never know for sure. Being rude is showing animosity. Animosity breeds animosity."

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6. Angela O, 2013
"I am first and foremost an American! I am an American of color...but I am an American. My parents, grandparents, great grandparents and even my great-great grandparents were all born in America! The rest of the world sees us as Americans.
Like so many of us, my long ago African lineage also brings with it ancestors from England---am I English-American; from France---am I French-American; from my full Cherokee great-grandfather---am I Native Indian American? No! No! No!
I AM AMERICAN! I have the same rights as every white American. I may not have been born with the same financial privileges as some other Americans, but i will fight for injustice, for disparate treatment, for unequal pay. I will fight to make sure my children and grandchildren have every educational opportunity as other Americans. I will stand up for my rights....as an American!"

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7. me, 2013
"The term African American is not a race, black is the race in America. The term "African American" is an ethinic group for people who's ancestors were brought here as slaves. Not every black person in America is a descendant of those slaves and not every black person is an African American. An African immigrant living in America is not an African American, Neither is A Jamaican immigrant etc, AlsoThere are alot of afro-latina, cubans, dominicans, puerto ricans who are not African American but are black. Brazil got more African Slaves than America did. Most Brazilians today have black blood. Just as how the term black doesn't only apply to people of African descendant. They are the blacks or Asia and Oceania. Black Africans were the only black people that Americans had history with so their minds black means someone of African background but in Europe and all over the world its not like that, That black race does not just include Africans."

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8. Kayla Ann in reply to me, 2015
"I'm Cuban and yes our black ppl come from Africa u ppl need to really read a book!"

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9. Jaye, 2013
" Doesn't one's race matter when it comes to health, diseases, DNA, etc.? There are diseases that are prone to affect certain races or people from certain countries. If one has a serious medical problem, wouldn't race matter when doctors are trying to discover what medical issue a person may have?

Also, if anyone thinks America will ever be a country where one's race or nationality doesn't matter, keep dreaming. If America ever becomes a place where people are simply "human", I'm sure I will be long dead. I would love to see equality, acceptance and love spread throughout America. But, as of today, December 2013, it is filled with hate.

Anyhow, I'm Black American. Period. Even so, my families roots have been traced back to Ghana and France. I am a mix of African, French and American Indian. I am a Black woman from America; my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great grandparents all born and raised in America."

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10. Chris Morgan, 2013
"African American, please are you serious? There is nothing about me that's African. I was born in this country. I fought (NAVY) for this country ( Bosnia). If America goes to war with Africa/ (which country) / the continent, and calls me up the fill the ranks, I would be the first to go because I am AMERICAN. What makes me African? My skin, are you serious. Dam that's provincial. To me, African American refers to a generation of people looking for 40 acres and a biscuit..."

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11. javontae eaddy in reply to Chris Morgan, 2013
"You mean "mule" not biscuit."

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12. Esi, 2013
"I've read and also heard many comments including "not all Africans are black" or "not all blacks are from Africa". Many "blacks" from the Caribbean or elsewhere dislike being referred to as an African American but in that same disgust label Africans, as African Americans. Africa is a continent not a country of origin and in no shape or form the bases for why one should be called an African American. Making the comment that one from Africa, in America would be or is called an African American is incorrect.

As a Ghanaian, I like many others dislike being referred to as African Americans. Africans are who they are based on their origin, and more specifically their tribe. That speaks volume. It's a reason why many Africans do not join in the debate of race,which is only an issue in America. The argument on race or African American sounds foreign. It hits a nerve when I am called African American because it erases who I am, my identity and says nothing about me or where I am from, and not because it's a bad term to describe me. comments like I am Caribbean so don't call me African American due to facts that I know nothing of Africa, only parts of me have African ancestry, or I am mixed race but then calls someone like me an African American makes no sense to me. if you call me African American because I am from Africa then what would call one like me in France, Britain etc

Black does not mean African, neither does African mean black. The issue of race is so complex and only found in America. The rest of the world sits in aww while we watch this unending debate march on. If not to be referred to as an African American is on the bases of being mixed or from different ancestry, then many whom you call African Americans also have Native American, White and Indian ancestry etc. Never have I witness people make the same mistakes that they accuse others of.

Ask me who I am and I would say that I am a Ghanaian, an Akan and from the Fante tribe. That gives you an insight of who I am am, the type of food or cuisine, music, dance, language, art etc. Africa is a continent with a vast array of history, languages, art, culture, custom. It's not one huge place. If not the most, it is one of the most diverse continents on the planet.

Believe it or not, the issue of race is only in America. A Ghanaian, Moroccan, libyan, Egyptian, Nigerian, South African etc, in UK, France, Spain etc is never referred to as something different from who they are. Most think of Africa as "black" and couldn't never wrap their mind around counties like Egypt, Chad being in Africa. Has anyone every looked at those from Papua New Guinea? Guess what they also have features as "blacks" in Africa. It was said that they resemble those from Guinea hence the term Papua New Guinea.

African American is a term coined to describe Americans with full or partial ancestry from Africa, but they themselves are not African. During the trade, there were those who ended in the Caribbean, South America, North America and so fourth.

You're Jamaican, French, British, Canadian, Panamanian, Haitian, Dominican, Cuban etc because that's where you're born or originate. Though you may have some ancestry from Africa. Like wise there are those who wouldn't mind being called African American, black American or simply American. They know nothing of the continent, it's people, languages, culture etc but are American. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's perfectly fine. Let's not make it a bad term.

Maybe the term African before American furthers their identity. It tells of their story, the history of their forefathers and what they endured, their culture, struggle, achievements etc. African American is a term on its own, and with its own history. It certainly does not mean an African, in America. Those are two different and I may add separate things, and leaving everything else out, history. It's an identity of its own. I, an Akan from Ghana like many others have a totally different history from that of an African American. I cannot relate or understand the struggle that their folks endured because it's not mine. Maybe taking the African out May also be dismissing their heritage, history or most importantly their identity.

It only becomes an issue when all are grouped in one category. Call people what they want to be called. Just ask them first and never assume."

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13. eusdart, 2013
"To each his/her own -however: Black is a term derived from the Portuguese word "Negra" meaning BLACK, which became Negro, N..., Colored, and now Black - all of which was key to stripping African people of their history,culture, language,and most importantly IDENTITY. To embrace "Black" as your identity leaves you without history or knowledge of self beyond a few generations. I take pride in being African (first) and no pride in being american - why should any of us? I am simply an African born in a foreign land with papers to move about more freely than others. Whether you now hail from Brazil, West Indies, or any of the other port-of-calls where Africans were re-settled by force-of-arms does not change the fact that you are of African descent, and in the eyes of Europeans and their descendants you will always be AFRICAN (or as they put it BLACK - meaning African), first/for-most/and finally, regardless of which country you now call home.

I cannot fault any of you for your confusion about self because it took over four centuries and tremendous effort (that continues even now) to reduce your beliefs to what they are today."

**
14. Jake in reply to eusdart, 2013
"Yes, we're of African decent, but can you point to a tribe or identify with a culture. The only ethnicity you're familiar with is the black one here. Leave it at that, because the Africans don't want you. Neither do the Caribbeans. The fact is, they sold our people down the river, and they're laughing at us to this day. The only people we have are each other, and we as a nation better deal with that. The fact is, US blacks have an awful lot of heritage in common, and this heritage is distinct to America. Therefore, we are truly American the same way people from Mexico are Mexican. And since Africans don't want us, we shouldn't use that in our name. "Black Americans" is what we are, and it is the identity we should hold. And everyone can tell what that means, even the children of Nigerian immigrants who want to steal our Affirmative Action."

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15. Dixie Burge, 2015
"Because black people born in America are Americans just like anybody else born in America. They aren't Africans because that's not where they were born. They aren't "from Africa", as you say. However, their original ANCESTORS were from Africa, because that's where they were born. The country of our birth determines our nationality, not our race."

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16. ph in reply to Allen Shaw, 2017
"What about the millions of White people with 1% to 29% African DNA?"

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17. Allen Shaw in reply to ph, 2017
"I do not even begin to understand your question.

Many people believe the terminology for a Black in the United States is anyone with a "drop" of Black blood is Black, therefore they would be an African American.

It does not make any difference what this wasted conversation attempts to accomplish, the truth is people are whatever they think they are and what others around them think."

**
18. ph in reply to Allen Shaw, 2017
"The truth is people are whatever DNA they received from their birth parents. It does not matter what others around them think because people were not conceived by others. People are conceived by their parents (Male & Female). It is apparent that the "one drop rule of African blood" does not apply in this modern day. If this was true; the percentage of Blacks in America is estimated at 46% instead of 13%."

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EXCERPT #3
From https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lo9Ho9T_0u4
Africans Reacting to Marvels Black Panther Movie - NO SPOILERS [selected comments from this video's YouTube discussion thread]*

Pancocojams Editor's Note: The discussion thread for the YouTube video "Africans Reacting to Marvels Black Panther Movie - NO SPOILERS" contains a somewhat off topic exchange of comments in response to the question "What is the difference between African Americans and Black Americans?"

Some commenters (including me) attempted to answer the question as it was written. But the person who posed that question clarified that he (or she) meant "What is the difference between Africans and Black Americans?"

It appears that the question that the original commenter was asking was "Are Black Americans (and other people in the Africans Diaspora) Africans? The answer that most people gave to this question (even though it wasn't asked that way) was "Yes".

However, I didn't read that question that way and instead attempted (in a much too convoluted way) to answer the question "What is the difference between African Americans and Black Americans"? And other commenters also interpreted that question that way.

Here are all the comments in that discussion (as of Feb. 20, 2018 around 6:00 PM) These comments were numbered for referencing purposes only and includes one note about an edited version of one of the comments that I posted in this discussion.

*Some other comments from that discussion thread are found in this pancocojams post: http://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2018/02/reactions-to-2018-black-panther-movie.html Reactions To The 2018 Black Panther Movie From Africans And From People From The African Diaspora

February 18, 2018
1. 2Confuzin 4U
"Quick question: What is the difference between African American and Black American?"

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REPLY
2. one love
"2Confuzin 4U lol and African then.."

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REPLY
3. Madwalka
"You mean africans and black Americans?"

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REPLY
4. Saro M
"Raimot Oni born in different continents"

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REPLY
5. Truth- B-Told
"Raimot Oni

America puts people into boxes it’s always been that way. Black Americans have had lots of titles through the centuries in America. For some reason back in the late 80’s or early 90’s the powers that be decided we should be referred to as African Americans.

It actually makes no sense. Africa is a continent with 54 countries. When I meet people from Africa I always like to know exactly where in Africa. Because slaves were stolen and sold from various counties, ethnic groups and tribes, its impossible for us to pin point an exact country. Most black Americans of the Diaspora know we are of African descent but we don’t identify with any of those countries. We only share skin color and some ancient history. Culturally we are different."

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REPLY
6. jarrod black
"I am "African" American because my ancestors were bought from various countries in Africa (only God knows for sure which ones) and brought to the United States for slavery. We cannot possibly claim any particular African country so...silly as it may seem...we satisfy that longing for "connecting to our roots" by simply claiming the entire continent of Africa. Black Americans are the other groups of blacks who reside here, but whose ancestors did not come here in chains. Basically a typical black American should be able to tell you exactly where their roots are...whether they are Jamaican...Nigerian....Etc. A black american can be from anywhere, but should know their roots; An African American can only use an educated guess. Truth be told African Americans should identify simply as "Americans" since we've been here so long...but our country makes American to mean by default that you are White. African-American is used stateside because obviously we are not white and obviously we do not know which countries our ancestors come from....so....African-American is what we called ourselves...and Black American is what is used by the white media to differentiate betwixt the two groups."

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REPLY
7. Welcome's House
"2Confuzin 4U do u mean african and african american ��"

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8. Welcome's House
"Truth- B-Told lol some ancient, it doesn t matter if u don t know which country your ancestors came from, if u want to know more about us u can visit, make friends; go there do some charity work; learn a language, cook our food, wear our clothes marry our men or women.... these days everything is possible to build a bridge and break the barriers if u guys want to know about our culture. We share more than just a skin colour, trust me, i don t know if u r a believer in christ Yahweh is our father and creator. Lets unite not divide peace and love"

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9. 2Confuzin 4U
"Welcome's House yes that is what I meant thanks��"

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10. TrancEndingMedia
"Black americans are still afrikans buddy"

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11. Welcome's House
"jarrod black get u back home in my country we call african american black american loll it s when i moved to europe i found out that u r called african american. I think it s good that u r called african american it gives u some sense of belonging, knowing where your ancestors came from."

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February 19, 2018

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12. S Ozb
"God does know and you can know too. African Ancestry will tell u exactly what tribe your ancestors are. You are African. No one can take your heritage from you."

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13. The King of Zamunda
"Raimot Oni It is the same thing."

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14. Raimot Oni
"Its gotten a bit more confusing and complicated. From some explanations above, blacks that do not know their ancestral lands are African American. Kinda tricky though cause there are whites who identify as African American. Blacks and Whites who are citizens of an African country and the US identify as African American. See Charlize Theron for example. She is white but is African American. She is from Africa but is now an American citizen."

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15. adlerzwei
"TrancEndingMedia Most black Americans are African genetically, but not culturally."

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16. Harambee Gardens
"Truth- B-Told
I couldn't disagree more. Before intruders & invaders corrupted our way of life, Africa had none of today's physiological borders. Yes, 'physiological', because we, the people, and the land had a unified geographical and spiritual relationship according to the milieu of the entire continent. We had overlapping ideals, expressed in beautiful variety in relationship to each other and the land, throughout.

The similarities in culture of divination, ancestral praise, the quintessential African drum (in all of Africa), headwraps & flowing robes, use of gold (on our bodies, in our art and in rituals), use of body edifying, etc.

The false narrative of division is what weakened us. We maintained nation-state identifying variances for maintaining spiritual balance in the land. For example, wearing white in one nation-state expressing 'reflecting', and wearing black in another, expressing 'absorption'.

There was always homogeny in the thread of 'Tradition' that made all Africans one, while still maintaining variance & regional identity."

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17. Azizi Powell
"Americans" actually could mean people from Canada in North America, and people from South America etc., but usually "American" means a person from the United States.

The way I define "African American" is that it's a sub-set of "Black American". I'm African American and Black American. The definition of "African American" that I use is a person who is from the United States who has some Black (African) descent.

I believe that the term "Black American" as it is used in the United States is a person of some Black African descent who was born to parents who aren't Americans (i.e. from the USA). For example, a person from Jamaica or from other Caribbean nations, or a Black Canadian, or a Black Briton, or a Black person from Europe, or a Black person from Asia, or a Black person from South America who lives in the USA -- All of these people are "Black Americans", but not (necessarily) "African Americans" - unless they live in the United States and choose to consider themselves African American.

Given these definitions, the referent "Black American" is larger than the referent "African American". Also, contrary to what some people elsewhere have written, all African Americans don't have to be the descendants of a Black person who was enslaved in the USA or enslaved elsewhere.

Also, for the purpose of this discussion, I'm not considering the population of Africans who aren't Black but could also be considered "African Americans" if they live in the USA. While that is true, this isn't the general meaning of "African Americans" for Black people in the USA (remember, this includes African Americans) or for non-Black people in the USA.

In summary, as a point of reference, use the terms "African American", "Black American", "Black", and Person Of Color to refer to myself (Person of Color being a referent that includes all of the world's population except White people. I prefer that referent to "White" and "non-White").

I admit that these definitions are in flux and are confusing.

One love!"

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18. Azizi Powell
"To clarify, all African Americans don't have to be the descendants of a Black person who was enslaved in the USA or enslaved elsewhere because not all African Africans were enslaved and all people of African descent from the Caribbean islands (who later came to the United States) weren't enslaved. Most were but not all."

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19. JADA LUV
"Azizi Powell lala land is real you know good and we are AFRICAN AMERICAN"

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20. Azizi Powell
"Jada Luv, perhaps I should note that as a 70 year old woman I recall when we were called "Negro" and "Colored people" and "Afro-American". I agree that what we call ourselves is important.

I'm NOT saying that by referring to myself or referring to some other people as "Black American" it means that I'm down playing my (or their) Black African ancestry..

I stand by my position that any person of Black (African) descent from the United States is a Black American. If [any] Black person [living in] the United States chooses, he or she can also refer to themselves as an African American. But I think that usually, the term "African American" is only used for people with one or both birth parents who were born in the United States."
-snip-
Editor's note: The words in brackets are what I meant to write and not how that comment is given in that discussion.

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21. Wave's World
"2Confuzin 4U smh am an African born I. the Caribbean. we are Africans globally"

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22. Azizi Powell
"Wave's world. Yes. I absolutely agree that all people of African descent are African globally regardless of where we live. However, that doesn't mean that we share all of the same histories and cultures.

However, with regard to Black people living in the United States, if we "look Black" we are likely to experience institutional racism if not personal racism regardless of whether we call ourselves African Americans, or Black American, or Jamaican, or Bajan, or Black Brazilian, or Black Briton, or Nigerian, or South African etc.

That is my larger point. Again, I celebrate Black people's African cultural heritages and the unity that we should have but far too often don't have on that continent and elsewhere, like in the United States."

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February 20, 2018

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23. hopelovelle
" "African Americans" are not African at all they are Hebrew Israelites. The powers-that-be want them to become African so that the world will think that they are nothing, but they are really everything and they are under the curse of the almighty GOD for disobeying his laws and they were thrown out of Jerusalem in 70 AD but they were only going to be under captivity for 400 years and that 400 years is up in 2019 they are leaving and they will get there might back and all of their inheritance including the land of Israel. Africans and what you like to call Black Americans or blacks or Negros or colors ,they have absolutely no relation to Africans."

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24. hopelovelle
"African culture is not negro culture they are mixing the two up to create confusion"

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25. Valentina Worldwide
"2confuzin4u around here confusing people"

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26. GMSkillah Qam
"Nigerian and South African are not the same, so why expect differently with African Americans?"

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27. Fair-Is-Foul& Foul-is-Fair
"Raimot Oni Africans receive reparations from black Americans enslavement that continues to today. While others will continue to allow others to name them like animals I will not. I have no feelings or kinship to Africa nothing personal. The klan that control the world works through confusion."

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EXCERPT #4
From https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2018/02/21/black-history-african-american-definition/1002344001/?utm_source=feedblitz&utm_medium=FeedBlitzRss&utm_campaign=usatoday-newstopstories
"There was a time when being black in America meant you were most likely descended from one or more enslaved Africans who had survived the trans-Atlantic slave trade. However, as the number of African and Caribbean blacks immigrating to the USA has increased, so have the chances that someone who identifies as black or African-American is a first- or second-generation immigrant.

According to the Pew Research Center, the number of African immigrants in the USA has risen about 2,500% since 1970 — from 80,000 in 1970 to about 2.1 million in 2015. That number increases to 3.8 million black immigrants when those from Caribbean nations are counted, according to 2013 data.

The influx of foreign-born blacks has energized the debate about what “African American” means today. Does that category include people like the model Iman and the singer Rihanna — born in Somalia and Barbados, respectively — or can only those whose family trees were violently uprooted and replanted on U.S. soil hundreds of years ago claim that designation?

At the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, exhibits are inclusive, representing the wide range of “Americans of African descent affected by the historical American experience,” said Ariana Curtis, the museum’s curator for Latino history and studies. “We understand that the African-American experience in the United States is diverse.

While many black immigrants embrace the African-American label and culture, not all are quick to jump into a melting pot that might dilute their distinct cultures.

[...]

Joanne Hyppolite, a curator at the Smithsonian museum who was born in Haiti, says: “Black immigrants come here, and they’re introduced to American race relations. You begin to see a shift in perspective in their own understanding of how race works in America.”

Hyppolite says that despite minor misunderstandings, there has always been a kinship between black immigrants and descendants of the enslaved that has helped shape America.

“Whether that’s Stokely Carmichael (born in Trinidad), who coined the term ‘Black Power’ during the 1960’s civil rights movement, or Malcolm X, whose mother emigrated from Grenada,” Hyppolite says, “they’re all defined as African American.”...

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