Black People : Identity:The perplexity of defining yourself.(please read)

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by I-khan, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. I-khan

    I-khan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Recently I read a post on a seperate messageboard(do not remember which) that a person(ethnicity unknown) posted on the concept of Pan-Africanism
    and black people all over the world possibly calling themselves Africans.To sum it up,he basically called all of the blacks not in Africa "wannabes" and "fakes" but contradicts his statements when he mentions that many blacks that go or move to africa are thought to be native to Africa in terms of birth.

    That had me thinking,how does one define oneself? I read that some white people that live in Africa know the cultures more than some blacks in the diaspora, if so,than that white person can be considered and African.The conflict comes along when a black person not born in Africa tries to reconnect with their African roots and they are criticized and being told since you are born here, you are this or that.If that black person is just trying to reconnect,than doesnt that mean that they are returning home?

    The term he used often was "wannabe". But if Africa flows through our veins than does that makes us the "be" aspect of it and the non-black white people the real "wannabes"(depending on how you may want to define what they are trying to be in the first place)?

    Why is it that the governments of the world want to define you instead of asking you what you consider yourself to be?

    What it seems to be is that some people that would be considered non-black do not know what we as people try to do when we attempt to find ourselves in this world.We know that this land called "America" is not our true homes,the old phrase "Home is were the heart is." plays a roll here.
    Those who do not get why some of us would chose to make the reconnection do not realize what it is about,it goes much further than simply a Pan-Africanism in a sense to say that it is our soul that needs the journey.

    Some of us do not know any of the languages or cultures of our ancestors,but why do critics of our soul searching endeavors act like it was our choice not to know those things when it was not! Dont they realize that we were stolen from our land before we were even born!!!!They do not realize how angry:)mad: ) it makes me when they fail to realize the cultural,spiritual,and physical castration we have undergone!!They do not realize that since we in the diaspora are in the diaspora that makes us the victims of cultural castration!!

    Anyway,I am beyond angry, I feel a burning sensation in the deepest pits of my being when I look inside myself and see confusion! I also see something more complex,something that says I have a long way to go,like it knows I am making a journey that will continue until the day I die and finally see the truth instead of feeling it and not being able to identify it exactly.

    For years people have been trying to figure out "Who or what is black and what does it mean?" And my answer (yours is probably different)goes like this:1) a black person is a person of predominately black african descent,whether or not that person is familiar with the culture that begot their ancestors. 2)being black is defined in many ways, in various places the meaning changes. Being black in a predominately black part of Africa means nothing in most ways.You will be defined by ethnicity instead.Being black in multiracial parts of the world means being seen as some bad or something that represents bad things.(ie black tuesday{great depression},the black market,etc,etc)Or it means being a character that many will chose to hate for no **** reason.

    What is up with this "black history month"? It seems to me that mainstream media and education will only give us one month(on top of being the coldest in the year) to be proud of who we are and show our roots. I celebrate myself ALL YEAR ROUND, any peoples should always celerate themselves at all time,not just a specific one.Besides,we do NOT need anyones persmission to celebrate ourselves.All people should be happy of who they are at all times.
     
  2. kemetkind

    kemetkind Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Great thread and I can see you've put some thought into this...

    My question is with the phrase "predominately black african descent".... how is that defined? Does Halle Berry qualify? Bob Marley? Malcom X? J. Edgar Hoover?
     
  3. I-khan

    I-khan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    It is defined by that individual. John Horse for example, it is said that he spoke and taught of his "blackness" more than he spoke of his Native American heritage, he defined himself.

    Hoover denied his blackness,that was his choice to be seen as a white man.
    Malcom X defined himself as well,he did have a white grandparent but he caught the same problems that black people faced.Malcolm defined himself as well.

    It is a matter of self definition,I had a white freind who would tell me that one of his great-great-great-grandfathers slept with his white female owner and ran off with her,abandoning her white husband.I would ask him what he sees himself as and he says calls himself white.People can chose to define themselves or be defined by others.
     
  4. Blaklioness

    Blaklioness Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I consider myself African even though I was not born on the continent. Whenever someone uses the term "Afric/kan', my brain computer AUTOMATICALLY" reads "Black"; therefore, I do NOT see ANY nonblack person as an African. Being African/Black to me carries genetic AND psychological implications; the only reason people like to debate "black" is because everyone (including many of 'us') thinks we're the genetic dumping grounds of anything moving. It promotes the arrogant notion that what's mine is mine and what's yours is mine.....so, essentially, we're like property in the eyes of the white supremacy dynamic. Considering the immense amount of cultural and identity theft that the lighter races have committed against us, it is hardly difficult to believe that many of them know more about us than we do.

    Halle Berry---mixed
    Bob Marley---mixed
    Malcolm X----BLACK!!!!
    "Gay" Edgar Hoover (You gotta be kiddin' right?)----WHITE!!!!
     
  5. spicybrown

    spicybrown Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Blaklioness.......

    "Malcolm X----BLACK!!!!"

    :bullseye: I guess the majority does rule, genetically speaking, 3/4 vs. 1/4
     
  6. Blaklioness

    Blaklioness Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    It's not about that in his case...Malcolm's grandmother was RAPED by a white man...and his mother was a product of that. In my eyes, he's not like a Halle Berry or Bob Marley whose 'black' parents made a CHOICE. I still distinguish them in looking at that term "black"....
     
  7. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    not to rain on your parade but i have never had a doubt about who or what i was.
     
  8. I-khan

    I-khan Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Neither have I,I am speaking in terms of expanding on that identity to a point to were I can put it in words and find what past it leads me to.
     
  9. kemetkind

    kemetkind Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I know this feels like deja vu but I still don't follow this logic. How can a White person born and raised in South Africa NOT be African? Are only white people capable of being Americans? The confusion is being introduced by using the word "Afrikan" as both a genetic/racial categorization AND a nationality.

    There are white Africans just as there are black Americans.

    As for introducing whether or not someone was raped as part of the criteria for classifying their race.....that thinking heavily supports the notion that Race is a social construct where categories are arbitrarily defined depending on the group who happens to be doing the defining.

    I think I-khan's definition is pretty much on point....the genetics (the black african descent) plus the social orientation (claiming yourself as black) both add up to your being black. I just wouldn't include the "predominantly" since for some the ratio of black genes to other genes is impossible to measure.

    By I-khan's definition only Hoover was white (who likely had 2 black parents but "passed"), while Malcom, Hallie and Bob Marley had black african descent
    AND claimed their blackness. His definition allows room for "mixed" heritage and doesn't exclude sellouts like Clarence Thomas as mine would.
     
  10. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    will someone explain to me how this is relevant?
    sounds like "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" to me.
     
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