3056, RE: first of all|
Posted by ConcreteCharlie, Wed Nov-12-03 09:05 PM
WOW, that was a huge response, I will try and get to it all but no promises.
Of course this is my view, isnt that what we are supposed to write here? Not to be defensive, I just wanna answer your question and state emphatically that I never claimed to be dictating anything to anyone nor do I feel that ALL members of any race or social category are to be expected to act in one way. By the way I think monolithically is a word, I heard a dude use it in a play earlier this evening (very weird coincidence). I couldnt agree more, if you wanna repatriate go ahead, if you wanna stick around you agree with my hypothetical opinion (I am not black myself). Debate is great but I think imposition of either view is not; and I think you concur there from the sound of things.
I agree completely about flying below the radar; "the revolution will not be televised" wasnt just a Nike slogan, it used to mean something and that is just it!
I think they are suspect because of some of the motives and that often people dont have enough info about Africa. I am however in the process of checking out some very informed afro centric scholars and changing my views a bit; actually as a result of this post. Dialogue does produce things, so while I agree that individuals can excercise choice, I have to disagree that this should not even be a debate on a larger scale.
I am totally in favor of multi cultural identity, even for people who are necessarily born into a culture. I was making the statement about mixed Afro-Americans there because in the Bell story there is some biological component that makes the island totally inhospitable for whites, I mean like they die on contact and fine for blacks. That seemed fishy to me, but hey, willful suspension of disbelief is always an option and it was sort of beside the story's moral anyway.
As for the utopia, it wasnt actually Africa or even a continent. It was an island and the whole thing sunk, thats why they had to go back to America. The rest of the details are fuzzy, this was a while ago. The book is entitled Faces at the Bottom of the Well, you have probably even read it at some point, its very popular in black studies and soc sci programs.
Obviously I dont feel that the class survey was comprehensive, I am just stating that for the most part people shared the view of African Americans as being Americans. No doubt there is some kinship across diasporas; it is very evident in Semitic, Asian and other cultures and I am certain it has potential within black cultures. I would point out the key difference is that often those other groups have contact with family members in those nations or recent immigrants from them whereas the atrocious history of slavery mangles that for blacks, but that's merely a difference and possible dilution, nowhere near a total negation.
I think the fact that African nations, which I am aware of, in general sort of convolutes identification with Africa; though knowledge of various cultures there could be highly enlightening. Perhaps knowing one's ancestral background as to what region one came from could help in this matter, which I doubt is impossible.
Points about being "mixed" are well taken, I am not looking at my original post and there is no quote there so I am not sure if that is in response to my original post. Certainly it is irrefutable that much of the world is comprised of mixed people although some scholars would argue blacks are a particularly hybrid race. Personally, I cannot comment, would need a lot more data to draw such a conclusion.
I also hear what you are saying on defining a group in cultural terms; colorist hierarchies and eugenics BS would be enormous detriments to a movement.
As for why she wanted to leave, um, I think I am going to leave that one alone, if personal opinions arent that important here I will shelve both hers and mine, it's really not a big deal here.
I hear what you are saying about Douglass's comments in historical context, obviously I am aware of the potential contradiction since it is plain when his statement is juxtaposed with Lincoln/white action. If you read the oration though; it's pretty clear in his rhetoric that he means permanently although one could argue that he was posturing because of context. Personally, I will take his word at face value because he is one of the few historical figures who I feel has earned that right to be read thusly.
I was throwing in Griffin for a little comic relief, but I do agree that his view of Africa is unenlightened, obviously it is based upon western depictions of africa in film which I have bemoaned elsewhere. That was probably misplaced, but it does show how a lot of people feel. After I visit Africa, I may feel differently, but for now it just seems to me like the average person couldnt just pick up, move there and adjust seamlessly.
Birth-given heritage is an assumption a lot of people are not willing to make but there are definitely no simple answers and I am not under the ridiculous presumption that things are wonderful for black folks in America, no one is.
Knowing one's OWN culture solely is limiting because it narrows one's view; if this were an Israel-Palestine post we'd have a clear cut example. I am all for cultural education but I think it's important to get a breadth of knowledge about as many cultures as possible. If you seek to focus on your own, that is understandable, but avoid that being the sole focus. That is why I brought up the Huey example. Certainly he was seeking advancement and education for his own people and means of achieving them in other cultures. Still, he is just an individual, others might have different motives and arrive at different conclusions from the type of studies he undertook. While not everyone is as brilliant/inquisitive as Huey, we can all try; he did it all with dyslexia (sp) I believe which makes it even more incredible.
Anyway, yeah, certainly that post was my opinion as were most aspects of yours; I thought that is what we were supposed to offer. Your points about subjectivity are shared and many others well taken, which is not to act as if my judgement of your opinion is in some way validating because I am sure its not that important at all. I hope I responded to everything; it was a task at 2 in the morning here...