I didn't want to be the only one saying it. Thank you for reppin'
Quite frankly, the first thing you hear from most continental Africans' mouths is "I'm an African." There is a strong, pan-continental identity that most Africans feel, and there is no less a bond between those of us who weren't born on the continent. Calling ourselves Africans reaffirms the commonality of our origins and relegates the circumstances of our birth (with a couple of twists in fate, I may have been born in Cuba or in Bahia or in Charleston, South Carolina). We are irrevocably linked through our African blood (which is inclusive of every variant of our lifeways from Virginia to Vai), and that's why I feel it is completely appropriate, even necessary, to call yourself an African if you are a person of African ancestry. It by no means disavows our individual cultures, just like calling yourself an American (which I'm fine with if it's the country of your birth) doesn't mean you fail to rep Uptown or N'awlins or whatever. Inclusive, macroscopic terms like "Africa" and "Africans" are very necessary if we are to recognize the commonality of our struggles and the beauties of our similarity. It doesn't mean you have to abandon whatever word signifies you on the micro level.
"A-F-R-I-C-A! Puerto Rico, Haiti and JA New York and Cali, F-L-A Yo it ain't bout where you stay It's 'bout the motherland!"
Much as I think dead prez is overhyped, I really feel the message of that song.