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Author Topic: Am I black?  (Read 15434 times)

Bluenine

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2005, 11:34:56 AM »
Honestly, no you're not black, you're most likely Arab.  From my understanding, AA was meant to benefit African-Americans (descendants of American slaves), not Africans, West Indians, etc. There has actually been much debate about this topic recently (Africans taking advantage of AA.)

In any event, you're not black.  

What if you are a descendant of a West Indian slave, but migrated to this country, where you now live, and study, and work, and strain under the same weight as someone who was born here?.    What if you came here when you were 18 years old, or 8 years old, or 8 months old?   At what point do you gain enough African Americaness to be able to check that box?  I’m from the West Indies, a straight up reggae-loving, Carnival-going West Indian.  So I’m interested on your take on this.

Honestly, in my opinion, you would never get to check that box.  I mentioned that there was a debate regarding this, and I have to say I side with those who believe AA should be limited to the descendents of American slaves.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a pan-Africanist and strongly believe in uplifting all of the members of the African diaspora.  HOWEVER, first and foremost, I am a Black American and feel entitled to certain rights in this country.  My West Indian/African bredren didn't have to endure what my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. had to in THIS country.  Shoot, most of the West Indians I've come across make it a point not to identify with "Yankees".

I know people will disagree with me but that comes with the territory.  Far too often, people are "black/African American" when it's convenient. I guess it all depends on how you define black or African American. How do you define it?
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meeno

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #21 on: May 04, 2005, 11:37:55 AM »
If you have to ask this question, you know and I know you're NOT...Do you and keep your integrity, you don't want to start a LEGAL career built on a lie...Remember they do background checks to pass the bar. You don't want to be answering the why did you put "African American" on your lawschool app? Be proud to be Arab.

That's the thing though, I am not lying if I believe it to be true, which I somewhat do.  Even within Egypt (southern Egypt in particular) you have blacks, as in truely African.  I mean, where do you draw the line?  African-American to me means you have roots in Africa, which I do.  And btw I am not arab.  Arab=Muslim (which I am not) but my ancestors are the true Egyptians, meaning pharoes, etc.

I don't know, I'm in a difficult position.  One thing that is certain though is that i'm not white.

since when does arab=Muslim? please don't spread misconceptions about this issue on a message board. even if you're Coptic and not Arab (which is a cultural/linguistic group), that does not mean all Arabs are Muslim and the reverse is also extremely far from the truth. if you choose to identify yourself as African American, technically I think its valid, but in my opinion, its based on the fact that the people of Southern Egypt are definitely people of African descent and have experienced discrimination in their home country, as well possibly facing racial discrimination in the U.S. hth

Way to check dude on Arab=muslim.  When I saw that I was like, huh!?

Well let me rephrase my original question to ''Am I African-American?''  The box to check says ''Black/African-American,'' suggesting to me that there's a slight difference.

I am Coptic, which is a minority in egypt (10%).  The reason I said Arab=Muslim is because 90% of the Arab population is Muslim.  I'm sure there exceptions but that's generally the case.

So to reiterate, I believe that I am AA but not necessarily black.  But since it says AA/black I don't think I'm out of line by checking it.

blk_reign

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #22 on: May 04, 2005, 11:50:12 AM »
you know.. i never looked at it from a black OR african american perspective.. some people say they're black other's say they're african american.. i really didn't take it outside of that context...
We're not accepting this CHANGE UP in the rules. Period. American presidents have been in the bed with organized crime, corporate pilferers, and the like for years. And all u want to put on this man is that his pastor said "Gotdamn America?" Hell, America.U got off pretty damn well, if you ask me...

Bluenine

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #23 on: May 04, 2005, 12:06:40 PM »
you know.. i never looked at it from a black OR african american perspective.. some people say they're black other's say they're african american.. i really didn't take it outside of that context...

Sorry I didn't mean to differentiate between the two.  To me, black and African American are interchangeable along with black American/Afro-American etc.  They are all names used to identify descendants of American slaves.  For example, when speaking with a Nigerian, Ghanian, Jamaican, 10 times out of 10, they'll say they're not black but whatever their respective country is (i.e. Nigerian, Ghanian, or Jamaican).
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_BP_

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #24 on: May 04, 2005, 12:09:08 PM »
Honestly, no you're not black, you're most likely Arab.  From my understanding, AA was meant to benefit African-Americans (descendants of American slaves), not Africans, West Indians, etc. There has actually been much debate about this topic recently (Africans taking advantage of AA.)

In any event, you're not black.  

What if you are a descendant of a West Indian slave, but migrated to this country, where you now live, and study, and work, and strain under the same weight as someone who was born here?.    What if you came here when you were 18 years old, or 8 years old, or 8 months old?   At what point do you gain enough African Americaness to be able to check that box?  I’m from the West Indies, a straight up reggae-loving, Carnival-going West Indian.  So I’m interested on your take on this.

Honestly, in my opinion, you would never get to check that box.  I mentioned that there was a debate regarding this, and I have to say I side with those who believe AA should be limited to the descendents of American slaves.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a pan-Africanist and strongly believe in uplifting all of the members of the African diaspora.  HOWEVER, first and foremost, I am a Black American and feel entitled to certain rights in this country.  My West Indian/African bredren didn't have to endure what my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. had to in THIS country.  Shoot, most of the West Indians I've come across make it a point not to identify with "Yankees".

I know people will disagree with me but that comes with the territory.  Far too often, people are "black/African American" when it's convenient. I guess it all depends on how you define black or African American. How do you define it?

Okay so this is how I define black: BLACK.  I had a friend tell me this one time, “well, you’re not black, you’re from the Caribbean”.  Where did this come from?   Seriously, I had never heard that before.   Hilarious! My response was something like, “do Americans have a monopoly on blackness?”  Someone should tell my manager, or those police last summer.

Furthermore, how can I be black when it’s convenient?  If I could have un-blacked myself when the cops showed up at my door, I sure as hell would have, it would have saved me a week in jail on a bogus mistaken identity charge.

And what about if I am a descendant of African American slaves who just happened to be born in the Caribbean.  History shows us that there was extensive slave trade, back and forth between the Carolinas and the Caribbean, and more specifically my country.

A deeper discussion even has to take place since I think your point is based on assuming that the sole purpose of A.A is compensate the descendants of American slaves.  This would be to ignore the language in the supreme court rulings on affirmative action which points to a goal of achieving student body diversity.  There is no mention of repatriation, which is what your “understanding” really hints at.
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meeno

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #25 on: May 04, 2005, 12:11:29 PM »
Honestly, no you're not black, you're most likely Arab.  From my understanding, AA was meant to benefit African-Americans (descendants of American slaves), not Africans, West Indians, etc. There has actually been much debate about this topic recently (Africans taking advantage of AA.)

In any event, you're not black.  

What if you are a descendant of a West Indian slave, but migrated to this country, where you now live, and study, and work, and strain under the same weight as someone who was born here?.    What if you came here when you were 18 years old, or 8 years old, or 8 months old?   At what point do you gain enough African Americaness to be able to check that box?  I’m from the West Indies, a straight up reggae-loving, Carnival-going West Indian.  So I’m interested on your take on this.

Honestly, in my opinion, you would never get to check that box.  I mentioned that there was a debate regarding this, and I have to say I side with those who believe AA should be limited to the descendents of American slaves.  Don't get me wrong, I'm a pan-Africanist and strongly believe in uplifting all of the members of the African diaspora.  HOWEVER, first and foremost, I am a Black American and feel entitled to certain rights in this country.  My West Indian/African bredren didn't have to endure what my parents, grandparents, great grandparents, etc. had to in THIS country.  Shoot, most of the West Indians I've come across make it a point not to identify with "Yankees".

I know people will disagree with me but that comes with the territory.  Far too often, people are "black/African American" when it's convenient. I guess it all depends on how you define black or African American. How do you define it?

Okay so this is how I define black: BLACK.  I had a friend tell me this one time, “well, you’re not black, you’re from the Caribbean”.  Where did this come from?   Seriously, I had never heard that before.   Hilarious! My response was something like, “do Americans have a monopoly on blackness?”  Someone should tell my manager, or those police last summer.

Furthermore, how can I be black when it’s convenient?  If I could have un-blacked myself when the cops showed up at my door, I sure as hell would have, it would have saved me a week in jail on a bogus mistaken identity charge.

And what about if I am a descendant of African American slaves who just happened to be born in the Caribbean.  History shows us that there was extensive slave trade, back and forth between the Carolinas and the Caribbean, and more specifically my country.

A deeper discussion even has to take place since I think your point is based on assuming that the sole purpose of A.A is compensate the descendants of American slaves.  This would be to ignore the language in the supreme court rulings on affirmative action which points to a goal of achieving student body diversity.  There is no mention of repatriation, which is what your “understanding” really hints at.


Exactly.  This has nothing to do with reparations.

blk_reign

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2005, 12:16:32 PM »
Here are better questions Meeno.. Why do you want to check African American on your law school application? Have you EVER identified with African Americans? What box did you check for the jobs that you apply for? For your undergrad application etc?
We're not accepting this CHANGE UP in the rules. Period. American presidents have been in the bed with organized crime, corporate pilferers, and the like for years. And all u want to put on this man is that his pastor said "Gotdamn America?" Hell, America.U got off pretty damn well, if you ask me...

_BP_

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2005, 12:17:15 PM »
you know.. i never looked at it from a black OR african american perspective.. some people say they're black other's say they're african american.. i really didn't take it outside of that context...

Sorry I didn't mean to differentiate between the two.  To me, black and African American are interchangeable along with black American/Afro-American etc.  They are all names used to identify descendants of American slaves.  For example, when speaking with a Nigerian, Ghanian, Jamaican, 10 times out of 10, they'll say they're not black but whatever their respective country is (i.e. Nigerian, Ghanian, or Jamaican).

But you are stil differentiating the two.  To YOU, black and African American are interchangeable. Note however, that while African American always means black, it does not work the other way around: Black does not always mean African American.  As for your anecdote on Nigerians, Ghanians, or Jamaicans, I whole heartedly disagree.  Actually you are losing me here.  If you ask a Jamaican where he/she is FROM, they will say that they are Jamaican.  If you ask them their race, 100% of the time they will say black.  You're confusing things here.

Take a look at reggae songs: Black man rise up (Bob Marley), Black woman and Child (sizzla), Black Brethren (Luciano).  You are 100% off on this.

edit: Do you know who Marcus Garvey is?
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meeno

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2005, 12:21:13 PM »
Here are better questions Meeno.. Why do you want to check African American on your law school application? Have you EVER identified with African Americans? What box did you check for the jobs that you apply for? For your undergrad application etc?

Although I see where you're going, it is irrelevant what I put before.  I did not change races between then and now, and this has nothing to do with your argument

faith2005

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Re: Am I black?
« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2005, 12:24:18 PM »
bluenine, i understand your sentiments. i agree that there is a issue at colleges and universities with the under-representation of descendants of American slaves. I think that this group does use all of those afore-mentioned terms, inc. black, black american, african american and Afro-American. But, that does not mean that the terms are really that interchangeable. My friends and I have had this discussion many times and come to the conclusion that Black is the most unifying term, as opposed to the others, b/c it is inclusive of the pan-African sentiments that most folks are aiming for when they call themselves African American. Afro-American is not really used by anyone who is not a descendant of slaves from the U.S. Also, I think Black American is redundant. I like African American the best, because it speaks to the shared/continuous history of Africans in the U.S., but I do recognize that most recent African immigrants (such as the OP) also call themselves African American, mostly because they don't even recognize the history of the term in the U.S. With AA, I think that people from the West Indies and the continent can be recipients, but I think the categories should be separated out. The only reason I can think of that Black folks from the US are under-represented has to do with money and access to information. Immigrants of African descent are quickly becoming apart of the middle-class, and it remains to be seen whether they will be assimilated (which would be surprising) or not. My main point is that I don't think that Black folks should be fighting each other for these spaces, but instead getting together and demanding more spaces for black folks generally. We don't hurt anybody but ourselves when we fight. and those West Indians and Africans who don't choose to identify might survive for awhile, but I have a feeling their blackness will come back to haunt them eventually.