Law School Discussion

African Americans and Africans in Majority-Minority America

Mr. Pink

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Re: African Americans and Africans in Majority-Minority America
« Reply #50 on: March 01, 2006, 01:09:21 PM »
Regarding this issue, my take is this---> If it weren't for the state of affairs in America, Africans and African Americans have absolutely NOTHING in common, other than the fact that African Americans were taken from Africa!!!

I hope someone can refute this, because I think it is way off.

It's hard to say what too vastly different cultures have in common.  But individuals in each society can have many common interest.  It not like only African-American enjoy freedom or even education.  Most cultures are so much more alike then they are different.  German are more alike to Jews than most people would credit (German were religiously percecuted for centuries because they were protestants).  Humans inconsequence of the accident that they were born in different cultures all share a love of life.  Do you really think that the joy of birth is different for an African-American or African.  Yes there are indeed vast differences that can make communication difficult but with a little perceverance all that can be overcome and we can ALL black, white, asian, and indian realize that we have many links that make us all part of human society.

Victor

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Re: African Americans and Africans in Majority-Minority America
« Reply #51 on: March 01, 2006, 01:12:25 PM »
I just find it rather funny how Af-Am's love to use Africans.

Re: African Americans and Africans in Majority-Minority America
« Reply #52 on: March 01, 2006, 01:13:48 PM »
Please don't do that..I'm hoping for a good discussion here...please. I think BP's point about color AND experience is what I had in mind. We see color first and then we try to understand cultures and hopefully support one another for the greater good. Sounds great but anyways, I'm a hopeless progressive. Its not an easy thing to break down but I'm really looking for folks to comment on their observations and experiences...it won't turn into a WAR ZONE I promise hope
......"black" is meaningful only to the extent that it means something in the context of the relationship to whites (and even then, only a relatively weak one). It should have no meaning or place within the assumptions that diverse "black" peoples have about each other. ....
Color AND experience? Maybe, if color is the weak partner. My sense is, though, that people expect color to all the work, and it just aint so.



You see the bolded sentence.........I couldn't have said it any better!!! Exactly my point, just because we are all black doesn't mean in any way that we are the same people. Until we start understanding thatand accepting this fact, we'll continue having problems in the relationships between African Americans and Africans. Before anyone asks, I do have African American friends, I don't know any Nigerian that doesn't , but you will always come across the Africans and the African Americans that have that sentimental animosity towards the opposing group!!

redemption

Re: African Americans and Africans in Majority-Minority America
« Reply #53 on: March 01, 2006, 01:16:36 PM »
As I say, there seems to me no reason to expect any more sameness between Africans and African-Americans than there is between Europeans and White Americans.

Redemption, my point is, even if we take your suggestion and drop the concept of color and focus on culture, there are tremendous cultural links that would give us a reason to expect more sameness between Africans and African-Americans than between Europeans and Whites imo.  The strength of African culture and itís ability to survive through colonization, forced religion, and slavery cannot be overlooked.  When you see Voodo still being practised in Haiti and America and Obeah still being practised in Barbados, or dialects being so similar, or children still being raised on Anansi moral stories (I only recently found out that these werefrom Ghana) you can see that many elements of the culture has stood the test of time and persecution.  With the survival of those cultural elements, one would then expect to see (and do see) many similarities between African blacks and American blacks.  So if your premise is to hold,the question becomes: Are the elements to European culture that have survived to this day in America as pervasive (for lack of a better word) as the elements of African culture that have survived?


BTW Mdlaw, we do say Bajan, but I said Barbadian so more people would know what I'm talking about;) Yeah Stencilasnusky, bajan dialect can be tough to understand.



I agree with you, _BP_,  that there are some important similarities. I have been, for example, both to Nigeria and to the Brazilian state of Salvador and the simlarities between the people in the two places is eerie. Similarly - there is a great deal of similarity between the ways of laughter, the music, even the gait of some Africans and some African-Americans. (Funnily enough, other Africans view Nigerians in particular as being particularly like Black Americans, but that's a story for another day  :D)

Nevertheless, the commonalities when they do become apparent are surprising (you yourself were surprised in watching that documentary). They are surprising because the differences between the very identities of African and African-American dominate the similarities. (Those from the Islands are in a mid-way relationship between the two continents and cultures, and it is therefore not surprising that they would relate more easily to each group).


Mr. Pink

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Re: African Americans and Africans in Majority-Minority America
« Reply #54 on: March 01, 2006, 01:18:50 PM »
This has been said before, but you also have to look at the fact that Black Americans, and people from the Caribbean as well, have a unique place in history in that it is more than their skin color that ties them to Africa.  There is a definite genetic link there.  That can not be overlooked.

Therefore to some extenet there should be an expectation of sameness, but there is a missing link, in that many black Americans or those from the Caribbean do not know what specific place they are from in Africa.  That in itself is frustrating. 


negative...I dont know of any caribbeans that look to africa for their historical past.  Unlike African-Americans, Caribbeans have 'their' own country and that is where they start their roots.  African-Americans should be called just American (they've been here long enough).  You dont hear African-Jamaican or African-Haitian.  Caribbeans are mostly corcerned with the culture that they are born into.  --This might not be true for all people, but Im speaking from my general view of Caribbean culture.

Whoahh,this is way off..Do you remember a little known figure called Marcus Garvey...haha, sorry for being an ass, but what about Bob Marley? Rastafarianism and the entire reggae movement was birthed out of a search for identity in Africa.  Marcus Garvey is a national hero in Jamaica.  There is such a huge Pan-African movement in the Caribbean, that countries have started chartering planes to Africa to do trade with African countries.  The Pan-African movements are so strong in the Caribbean that the groups wield real political power in their respective countries. I honestly know of few Caribbeans who do not look to Africa for their historical past.



Electric, are you from Ghana? Were you raised on Anansi stories as well?  Those were tight.

Didnt say they were none.  But the movements you describ aren't monumental.  Rastafarianism and Marcus Garvey do not constitute such a huge movement for Caribbeans in general.  Rastafarianism is such a small percentage of Jamaicans.  Caribbeans acknowledge that they came from Africa but that is different from lets say 'Roots' which sought to recreate that connection.  Trade with Africa is probably an insignificant part of the Caribbeans economy.  Im would be surprised if the whole continent of Africa's trade with Caribbean nations exceeded that of just Florida.

Re: African Americans and Africans in Majority-Minority America
« Reply #55 on: March 01, 2006, 01:20:32 PM »
Regarding this issue, my take is this---> If it weren't for the state of affairs in America, Africans and African Americans have absolutely NOTHING in common, other than the fact that African Americans were taken from Africa!!!

I hope someone can refute this, because I think it is way off.

It's hard to say what too vastly different cultures have in common.  But individuals in each society can have many common interest.  It not like only African-American enjoy freedom or even education.  Most cultures are so much more alike then they are different.  German are more alike to Jews than most people would credit (German were religiously percecuted for centuries because they were protestants).  Humans inconsequence of the accident that they were born in different cultures all share a love of life.  Do you really think that the joy of birth is different for an African-American or African.  Yes there are indeed vast differences that can make communication difficult but with a little perceverance all that can be overcome and we can ALL black, white, asian, and indian realize that we have many links that make us all part of human society.
When I'm saying things in common, I am talking about the things that make a group of people UNIQUE! I am not talking about general and sentimental things such as childbirth, if that's what I was talking about, then the whole world might as well be the same people and we should all get along just fine!!! wonder why it isn't happening?!?!?!

Re: African Americans and Africans in Majority-Minority America
« Reply #56 on: March 01, 2006, 01:21:52 PM »
Quote
Until we start understanding thatand accepting this fact, we'll continue having problems in the relationships between African Americans and Africans. Before anyone asks, I do have African American friends, I don't know any Nigerian that doesn't , but you will always come across the Africans and the African Americans that have that sentimental animosity towards the opposing group!!

I totally agree.

Mr. Pink

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Re: African Americans and Africans in Majority-Minority America
« Reply #57 on: March 01, 2006, 01:25:09 PM »
Regarding this issue, my take is this---> If it weren't for the state of affairs in America, Africans and African Americans have absolutely NOTHING in common, other than the fact that African Americans were taken from Africa!!!

I hope someone can refute this, because I think it is way off.

It's hard to say what too vastly different cultures have in common.  But individuals in each society can have many common interest.  It not like only African-American enjoy freedom or even education.  Most cultures are so much more alike then they are different.  German are more alike to Jews than most people would credit (German were religiously percecuted for centuries because they were protestants).  Humans inconsequence of the accident that they were born in different cultures all share a love of life.  Do you really think that the joy of birth is different for an African-American or African.  Yes there are indeed vast differences that can make communication difficult but with a little perceverance all that can be overcome and we can ALL black, white, asian, and indian realize that we have many links that make us all part of human society.
When I'm saying things in common, I am talking about the things that make a group of people UNIQUE! I am not talking about general and sentimental things such as childbirth, if that's what I was talking about, then the whole world might as well be the same people and we should all get along just fine!!! wonder why it isn't happening?!?!?!

The world is getting along just fine.  They're much fewer wars between nations than there was in the past.  Even in Africa (you can even bring up Darfur if you want) things are much better now than they were 30 years ago or probably anytime in the past. 

redemption

Re: African Americans and Africans in Majority-Minority America
« Reply #58 on: March 01, 2006, 01:27:10 PM »
Even in Africa (you can even bring up Darfur if you want) things are much better now than they were 30 years ago or probably anytime in the past. 

I am sorry to say that this is not true. Choose a metric and Africa is worse off now than it was at any time in the past fifty years.

Stencilasnusky

Re: African Americans and Africans in Majority-Minority America
« Reply #59 on: March 01, 2006, 01:31:00 PM »
I think Andromeda and Petit have it different than I do or at the least maybe misunderstand where I'm coming from. When I said "had we not had slavery etc"..my following comment was key...paraphrased as this: the absence of it is not sufficient to negate identity. This is not a personal opinion, its an obvious identification that can't be ignored. I may be able to distinguish a Sengalese from a Congolese (though I absolutley love their music), but by virtue of the fact that we are from the same continent and share the same genetic makeup (by and large and not too much removed)..there has to be some there there!

Now to find Petit's comments ..cos this thread is really moving faster than I can type..but I like the participation.