vendredi, janvier 04, 2008

Black President

So I'm as geeked as anyone else about Barack Obama's win in Iowa but confused about why so many people are calling Obama African American. Black would be more appropriate to acknowledge Obama's--like many West Indian immigrants and African Immigrants to America and their spawn's--racial identity in distinction from his ethnic identity. It has long been my understanding that African American is a word that was coined to acknowledge the African ancestry and history of the descendants of the enslaved Africans hypertensive (thanks Dr. Oz) and sturdy enough to make it cross the Atlantic to cut cane, harvest indigo, pick cotton, farm rice, endure physical and psychological torture and serve white people (and later the occasional colored slaveowner) in what was to become the United States of America. It seems like many white people use this phrase to describe all Blacks born or living in America to err on the side of caution and not offend any nationalists in the room. I am in no way questioning Barack Obama's racial authenticity--I have frequently drawn from the little bit of money I have to give to his campaign--but suggesting how the misuse of terminology obfuscates diverse Black ethnic identities. Race is one thing, ethnicity is another. Also let's not pretend that there aren't many Black Americans (descended from American slaves) who do not care for the term African American as they don't readily see a connection between themselves and the continent.

And in parting OBAMA '08!