African-American or Black-American which term is logical?

With Presidential election 2008 looming on the horizon, history has already been made. Barak Obama is the first Black-American, yes, I said Black-American, to have made it to the primaries.

I'd even dare say, that he's the first Black-American to win South Carolina's Democratic primary. South Carolina! The very state where slave ships docked and unloaded their human cargo. Those 'ol slave runners and slave owners, buried on South Carolina soil, must be turning over in their graves questioning the worms.

But, I digress, I'm not going to write about the 2008 elections or whether or not America is ready for a Black-American as President -- Read more... [for the record, no I don't think America is ready, we haven't matured enough].

I am going to write about which term is more logical, African-American or Black-American.

There are many treatise written on where the term African-American comes from. Back in the late seventeen hundreds the term African-American was used to denote the more elite Blacks. During the great war Northern Blacks were called Black Yankees. Suffice it to say, you can go back a long way and find the different ways the terms were used.

In the seventeen hundreds the term or label African-American was closer to the truth than it is now. The people of the late seventeen and early eighteen hundreds, who were captured from the west coast of the continent without cold, and brought to America were indeed African-Americans.

Now, those of us who's ancestors have been here since then, can't logically be called African-American.

Why do I say that?

Let's look at my family history. I'm a Black-American. I've been fortunate enough to trace my history back to the late seventeen hundreds. Not all of my family history is pure African. I [we] suspect our ancestors came from Gambia. We know they were brought to South Carolina and sold.

When my slave owning ancestor died, his white children had a huge fight over his will. They fought about who would get the slaves, one being my great, great-grandmother who was his daughter by a slave. Her son was my maternal great-grandfather. We actually have a copy of that will.

Next, I [we] know that my other maternal great, great, Grandmother was Cherokee and walked the trail of tears when she was nine years old. Her daughter married the grandson of my slave owning ancestor and the progenitorship goes on from there.

Terms, terms, terms, in the human condition the word is a synonym for label. Humanity seems to be predisposed to labeling something or someone. Black-American, African-American, the sun is yellow, no, the sun is orange... etcetera, etcetera, etcetera!

In the late eighties Jesse Jackson, other Black people of distinction, the press, columnists, and commentators, made the phrase African-American popular with hopes of unifying, maybe even centralizing, people of Black African descent and bringing into fruition, humanity's favorite past-time of labeling everything we lay eyes on.

My contention is: using the term African-American, for those of us who have genealogical lines going back to the seventeen and eighteen hundreds, isn't logical.

When one says that they are African-American, it means that they have come to America from, Kenya, Somalia, Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda, etc... and have become American citizens. These people are Africans. They don't have any other ethnicity running through their veins.

When one is a Black-American, it means that they were born in America. Their Black ancestors were brought to here three centuries ago. In this case, this means that very, very few have pure African blood running through their veins. So, how are they African-American?

John McWhorter said it best and so eloquently, (Los Angeles Times --September 8, 2004) "It's time we descendants of slaves brought to the United States let go of the term "African-American" and go back to calling ourselves Black -- with a capital B." Read More...

YES, the slave trade was and still is the most hideous of human practices. But, for Black-Americans to try and become something we're not which, is African, is a denial of our own humanity.

I by no means, mean for anyone to forget the past. Learn from it, progress to higher standards. But, don't wallow in it. Wallowing is just an excuse to stagnate.

I, for one, will not call myself an African-American out of respect and honor to my Cherokee heritage. No, it's not that I don't have respect for my African roots and the hardships that my African ancestors endured.

To call myself African-American, negates my Indigenous ancestors; their blood runs thick under layers of American soil. The time "when they cried" still echoes on the winds...listen and you'll hear them.

**someone please, have the guts, the mark other**

Technorati Tags: African-American, Black-American, heritage

Powered by ScribeFire.

0 Thoughts:

Post a Comment