Law School Discussion

Poll

Which box would you check given my heritage?

Black
17 (77.3%)
Middle Eastern
1 (4.5%)
Other
4 (18.2%)

Total Members Voted: 21

Voting closed: January 19, 2007, 11:45:26 AM

Am I Black or Middle Eastern?

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Re: Am I Black or Middle Eastern?
« Reply #40 on: January 01, 2007, 03:37:38 PM »
My father is from Somalia (East Africa). The term "black" usually refers to those with African origins. Somalis are Black in appearance. However, Somalia (as well as Sudan) are considered part of the Middle East. In addition, Somali culture parallels Middle Eastern culture in terms of religion (Islamic) and most other customs.

Filling out LS apps prompted me to question this critically.

To complicate matters even further, my mother is Swedish.

Your thoughts?


you are how you define yourself...if you wish to be associated with a Color...then you are black and white...but the world is not made up of black and white countries...sometimes there are inuets...sometimes there are aborigines...

so...stick with Somalian and Swedish...two defining identities...

put yourself in James Brown's shoes...

"Aye'm Somalian and Swedish and proud!"




why is it any better to define yourself by the nation-states ones parents happened to be born in?
isn't the nation-state just another arbitrary distinction arguably based more on past political realities than the sentiments of those trapped in the Westphalian paradigm?

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Re: Am I Black or Middle Eastern?
« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2007, 03:54:00 PM »
My father is from Somalia (East Africa). The term "black" usually refers to those with African origins. Somalis are Black in appearance. However, Somalia (as well as Sudan) are considered part of the Middle East. In addition, Somali culture parallels Middle Eastern culture in terms of religion (Islamic) and most other customs.

Filling out LS apps prompted me to question this critically.

To complicate matters even further, my mother is Swedish.

Your thoughts?


you are how you define yourself...if you wish to be associated with a Color...then you are black and white...but the world is not made up of black and white countries...sometimes there are inuets...sometimes there are aborigines...

so...stick with Somalian and Swedish...two defining identities...

put yourself in James Brown's shoes...

"Aye'm Somalian and Swedish and proud!"




why is it any better to define yourself by the nation-states ones parents happened to be born in?
isn't the nation-state just another arbitrary distinction arguably based more on past political realities than the sentiments of those trapped in the Westphalian paradigm?

Let me guess: One of your exam questions. ;)

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Re: Am I Black or Middle Eastern?
« Reply #42 on: January 01, 2007, 03:56:56 PM »
nope--I would never write an exam question like that

edit: although that would be a good class debate.  I may make my students do it next semester.

Re: Am I Black or Middle Eastern?
« Reply #43 on: January 03, 2007, 01:33:20 AM »
Given the complicated history that Somalia has to other East African and Middle Eastern countries, I'd be interested to engage you in a conversation about how and why you consider yourself Middle Eastern. Being from East Africa myself, I think that the relationship that sub-Saharan Africa has to that of North Africa and the Middle East is complicated by what it means to be Middle Eastern (is it aesthetics, being a member of the Arab League, or both?).

With that said, I think the the conversation about race and/or ethnicity is an interesting one to have and am glad that it is being had on this thread. I think that you should put that you're black, especially if you grew up in the United States, because you are a member of the African Diaspora and that is what the label of black alludes to.

Now, the complicated relationship that race and ethinicity have with one another is this: they aren't the same thing.Take, for instance, the case of those people who are from North Africa. Up until now, the US Census has defined their race as white, but technically they are "African-American" since they are Africans who live in the United States. See where the problematics of the race/ethnicity divide come into play? This is something that I could write about in more depth than I would like to admit, but will leave my diatribe for another place and time. Until then, I hope you have a fun time figuring what it is that you're going to put on your application(s).


Best,

T


P.S. I wonder why you state that Ethiopia is a different case, separate from that of Somalia and Sudan (forgive me if you've already answered this. I haven't had enough time to read through the entire thread.) I'm curious because most of the debates that go on between academics who study identity in Africa point to the fact that Ethiopia is a Christian nation that holds the beliefs of the Orthodox Church at its heart. If that's the argument you take, then what can be said for those Arabs who aren't Muslim or those Ethiopians who are? Just something I've been thinking about; perhaps you have the answer!

Re: Am I Black or Middle Eastern?
« Reply #44 on: January 03, 2007, 07:09:14 AM »
Filling out LS apps prompted me to question this critically.

you are not "black".. you are African.. More specifically, you are Somali.

If I were in your situation, I would check "Other" in the "ethnicity box."

that box pisses me off due to the choices: black, white, et al.

Black? Since when do colors indicate ones' ethnicity? You are African-American, Caucasian-American, African, etc.

redemption

Re: Am I Black or Middle Eastern?
« Reply #45 on: January 03, 2007, 07:12:05 AM »
Given the complicated history that Somalia has to other East African and Middle Eastern countries, I'd be interested to engage you in a conversation about how and why you consider yourself Middle Eastern. Being from East Africa myself, I think that the relationship that sub-Saharan Africa has to that of North Africa and the Middle East is complicated by what it means to be Middle Eastern (is it aesthetics, being a member of the Arab League, or both?).

With that said, I think the the conversation about race and/or ethnicity is an interesting one to have and am glad that it is being had on this thread. I think that you should put that you're black, especially if you grew up in the United States, because you are a member of the African Diaspora and that is what the label of black alludes to.

Now, the complicated relationship that race and ethinicity have with one another is this: they aren't the same thing.Take, for instance, the case of those people who are from North Africa. Up until now, the US Census has defined their race as white, but technically they are "African-American" since they are Africans who live in the United States. See where the problematics of the race/ethnicity divide come into play? This is something that I could write about in more depth than I would like to admit, but will leave my diatribe for another place and time. Until then, I hope you have a fun time figuring what it is that you're going to put on your application(s).


Best,

T


P.S. I wonder why you state that Ethiopia is a different case, separate from that of Somalia and Sudan (forgive me if you've already answered this. I haven't had enough time to read through the entire thread.) I'm curious because most of the debates that go on between academics who study identity in Africa point to the fact that Ethiopia is a Christian nation that holds the beliefs of the Orthodox Church at its heart. If that's the argument you take, then what can be said for those Arabs who aren't Muslim or those Ethiopians who are? Just something I've been thinking about; perhaps you have the answer!

abesha neh?

Re: Am I Black or Middle Eastern?
« Reply #46 on: January 03, 2007, 07:58:16 AM »
Ow, abesha neyng. Ancheese?

redemption

Re: Am I Black or Middle Eastern?
« Reply #47 on: January 03, 2007, 08:02:47 AM »
americawi neng. Gin amarigna ichilalehu. ke ante gah practice aregalehu indalresaw.

Re: Am I Black or Middle Eastern?
« Reply #48 on: January 03, 2007, 08:15:09 AM »
Lemendinkno anchee amaryingya t'chilalish?

redemption

Re: Am I Black or Middle Eastern?
« Reply #49 on: January 03, 2007, 08:26:21 AM »
arat quanqua ichilalehu i'na amestegna sifelig, ke ye'africawi quanqua amarigna yishalegnal biye, temarkehu. Bizzu alchilim, g'in ques be ques iyegebagne new.  :)