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Subject: ""Black Is Black"" This topic is locked.
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poetx
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Thu Jun-08-00 07:21 PM

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10. ""Black Is Black""
In response to In response to 0


  

          

Black is universal. African American, and all the other combinations and permutations are limiting (plus have mad syllables), and do not designate race, but national and cultural specificity.

as a writer, i'll switch up and use AA every once in awhile, but as has been pointed out, even the word "African" can confuse matters. its cool to the extent that it makes us think about Africa when we otherwise wouldn't, but in a lot of cases, it promotes the whole "continent as country" bullshit that trivializes the tremendous diversity of culture and shared experience that exists among non-white people.

y'all can tell the difference between and Englishman, a Scot, a German, a Spaniard, an Italian and a Frenchman no doubt. but can you do the same for a Senagalese, Ethiopian, Nigerian, Ugandan, etc.?

when African American first came into "vogue", the proponents were pointing out that previous terms, like colored, negro and Black, didn't tie us to a landmass, an origin (and Africa was as specific as we could get). based on that reasoning, i used to think it was aight as a synonym, at the least, and could be useful in awakening some type of pan-african consciousness. but what quickly ensued is that you had folks loving it because it allowed them to affirm and emphasize the "American" part (after 400 years, if muhfuckas haven't caught on to the fact that we're 'american', they really ain't gonna get it no matter what we call ourselves). others of us quickly coopted the symbols and trappings of africana, without any deeper analysis or understanding -- so it is that we got preachers that drape a little kente cloth around the same ol' king james shit they been talking for years.

besides, like the race names of many other non-white peoples, the term African is not indigenous. we never called ourselves Africans in antiquity (i've read in several places that as far as historians can tell, the word originated centuries ago with a slave named Leo Africanus...). its akin to the folks we call American Indians. even though they were almost completely wiped out, and were "named" by a cat with a fucked up sense of direction, its ironic that a lot of their true languages and names survive on maps as names of rivers and towns, etc.

"Black", a name derived from an exaggerated physical description of skin color, actually has deeper roots then most of us realize. some of the ancient names from indigenous "africans" referred to themselves as "people or children of the sun". place-names like "AlKeBuLan" and "Kemet" actually translate to "land of the blacks" (Kemet, of course, being the name the so-called Egyptians gave their own civilization before the Greeks gave us "Egypt" or Aeigyptos, which means land of the sun burnt people, by the way). unlike the appellations, "colored", "negro", and "nigger", we actually gave ourselves "Black", and it turns out to be the most historically appropriate way to address each other without excluding huge sections of our extended family tree from the discourse.

so, if i need to be specific, i'll go there. when discussing Roy Hargrove's (or Dizzy Gillespie's) musical influence, the designation Afro-Cuban is significant. but if i'm building with somebody on global politics and economics, we Black.

hope this is helpful.

peace,

x.


"do i love you cause you drive me crazy/
or do i love you for the Africa in you" Get Set V.O.P

"...picked me up around 10/
an i was going to see my favorite speaker -- Dr. Ben/
Kwabinah didn't riff, he just gave me a lift/
so we took a short drive to 125th" Kundalini - Get Set V.O.P

" i be the sandalwood-smellin, no drug sellin/
never even seen a misdemeanor or a felon-/
-y see, the p o e t, the x is/
rhymin for my brothers givin others complexes" poetx '93

peace & blessings,

x.

www.twitter.com/poetx

=========================================
I'm an advocate for working smarter, not harder. If you just
focus on working hard you end up making someone else rich and
not having much to show for it. (c) mad

  

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African vs./or African American [View all] , nappiness, Thu Jun-08-00 09:03 AM
 
Subject Author Message Date ID
You asked
Jun 08th 2000
1
Amen, Boodah...
Jun 09th 2000
19
      Are you around Africans born in Africa much
Jun 09th 2000
30
           Thought I Was Alone
Jun 09th 2000
32
                I'm not arguing....
Jun 09th 2000
33
                     I Feel You
Jun 09th 2000
35
                          RE: I Feel You
Jun 09th 2000
36
I want somma dis but
Jun 08th 2000
2
Listen to NuShooz...
Jun 08th 2000
3
      Black on Both sides
KoalaLove
Jun 08th 2000
4
      I'm sure I'll regret this
Jun 09th 2000
14
           I said
KoalaLove
Jun 09th 2000
16
                "damn" ?
Jun 09th 2000
20
                     What did I say!?
KoalaLove
Jun 09th 2000
22
                          Stop yelling at me, dammit!
Jun 09th 2000
25
      NO HYPHEN!!!!
Jun 08th 2000
7
      Boo, have I told you
Jun 09th 2000
15
RE: African vs./or African American
Jun 08th 2000
5
RE: African vs./or African American
Jun 08th 2000
6
      PLAY NICE
Jun 08th 2000
9
      RE: African vs./or African American
Jun 08th 2000
11
           RE: African vs./or African American
Jun 09th 2000
23
                Hey odu
Jun 09th 2000
24
                     RE: Hey odu
Jun 09th 2000
29
RE: African vs./or African American
sinestress
Jun 08th 2000
8
Dope
Jun 08th 2000
12
RE:
Jun 09th 2000
27
      Its Cool...
Jun 09th 2000
40
           RE: Its Cool...
Jun 14th 2000
55
RE: African vs./or African American
Xala
Jun 08th 2000
13
RE: African vs./or African American
Jun 09th 2000
17
      RE: African vs./or African American
Xala
Jun 09th 2000
21
           True dat - on the TV thing
Jun 09th 2000
26
           EACH ONE TEACH ONE
Jun 11th 2000
42
           RE: African vs./or African American
Jun 09th 2000
28
           RE: African vs./or African American
Xala
Jun 12th 2000
44
                RE: African vs./or African American
Jun 12th 2000
45
                     RE: African vs./or African American
Xala
Jun 13th 2000
50
                          RE: African vs./or African American
Jun 14th 2000
54
                               RE: African vs./or African American
Jun 14th 2000
56
           RE: African vs./or African American
Jun 10th 2000
41
all of this reminds me...
Jun 09th 2000
18
If they are white & living in Africa
Jun 09th 2000
31
RE: If they are white & living in Africa
Jun 09th 2000
34
I hear you, but...
Jun 09th 2000
37
      my experience
Quinn
Jun 09th 2000
38
           RE: my experience
Jun 09th 2000
39
RE: If they are white & living in Africa
Xala
Jun 11th 2000
43
Call my view "limited"
Jun 13th 2000
46
RE: Call my view
Jun 13th 2000
47
      Way to win support. . .
Jun 13th 2000
48
why african over african american
earthboy
Jun 13th 2000
49
concept
dr_no
Jun 14th 2000
51
      good points!
Jun 14th 2000
52
           RE: good points!
Jun 14th 2000
53
           RE: good points!
Xala
Jun 14th 2000
58
race matters
Jiggly_Puff
Jun 14th 2000
57

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