Black People : Time to ditch the word BLACK

Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by Zulile, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. Zulile

    Zulile Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I came across this article hidden away on my PC.. it's a couple years old but I find myself still wondering about the term "black' and why many embrace it, as opposed to other "races" who are not referred to as a colour as much as they are referred to (and refer to themselves as) an ethnicity and/or nationality. Anyone care to share on why they feel the term "Black" represents?

    :heart:
    Zulile

    Say it Loud: I’m African and Proud
    by Joseph Harker,
    New Nation
    12 July 2004
    Why the time has come to ditch the word ‘black’

    Say it loud! I'm black and I'm proud!' Who can of forget the words of James Brown, coming hot on the heels of the black power movement of 60s America, which for the first time cast aside the sense of inferiority that so many felt about their own race? As a young child at school around the same time, used to being called 'blackie' in playground taunts, for the first time people were telling me I need no longer feel ashamed of who I was. So it was a sign of defiance that 'black, which until then had only been used in a derogatory manner (intended to emphasise how different we were from our white 'superiors'), was now being boldly reclaimed.

    Back then, black definitely was the new black. But times have changed, and is it now time to rethink our identity? Right now, if I were to ask 100 people what being black means, I'd probably get 100 different answers. And if I were to ask 'how black are you?' what kind type of calculations would go through your head before replying? Would it be how many black friends you have? Would it be how many times you've visited Africa, or the Caribbean? Would it be whether you can speak Jamaican patois? Would it be how many of this paper's recently-published '100 best albums' you could find in your CD collection?

    Unfortunately, many of our youngsters believe it's all about Street' culture: how often you kiss your teeth; how disruptive you are in class; how aggressive and intimidating you can be. Wouldn't it be better if we could just do away with all this angst and just have one term that describes us perfectly and is not open to all manner of misinterpretations? One that links us directly to our shared history and releases us from the shame many still feel about our racial origins?

    Wouldn't it be better if we could forget 'black' and simply call ourselves 'African'. Let me immediately explain that I'm not an Afro-centric radical demanding that we all leave this country to re-bond with our Motherland. I merely think that, like our fellow minority communities, the Asian and Chinese, we have a right to define ourselves in terms of our history. After all, African, that's what we are, no ifs, buts or maybes. Our ancestry in this continent is ultimately the one thing that bonds us with every other black person in the world. There's nothing left to prove.

    The Asian/Chinese experience shows that it is possible to integrate this identity with a sense of citizenship in this country. In the same way we have British Asians, why can we not have British Africans? Remember the 70s, when to some it seemed progressive to call Asians 'brown'. Thankfully for them, they quickly realised the error of their ways. Would you expect a Chinese person to say: 'I'm yellow and proud of it? Or a Native American, say, to be calling for a 'Red history month'? Being known only as a colour is a superficial, one-dimensional way to describe a hundreds-of-million strong group of people, with a history which, for us, stretches back hundreds of thousands of years, to the first ever human being.

    And the dangers are all too obvious when you take a look at the dictionary.

    Longmans tells us - 'Black: Dirty, soiled, sinister, evil, indicative of hostility, very dismal or calamitous, grim, distorted or grotesque... see also blacklist, blackspot, black mark, blackmail.

    'White: Free from soil or blemish; innocent, not intended to cause harm'. You can see whose interests are served by labelling us a colour.

    The Commission for Racial Equality has always used 'black' in its ethnic-monitoring questionnaires. The CRE is soon to be abolished subsumed within a huge overbearing human-rights bureaucracy riven with ethnic, gender, religious and sexuality tensions - but for now it's ours, so we must make our voices heard while we can, and get them to re-classify all their forms.

    Of course, we've been (partly) down the re-naming route before, using the general term 'Afro/African Caribbeans'. But this has muddied the waters. For one thing, we're still unsure what it means no-one's been able to tell me unequivocally whether it applies to all Africans and Caribbeans (as is popularly used) or just to Caribbeans of African origin. More importantly, though, it's incorrect because ethnically and racially we are NOT Caribbeans.

    Let's be honest, our forefathers and mothers were forcibly sent to the Americas, from Africa, as slaves just 400 years ago. If the slavetraders had our people to the far east of Russia. would we be proudly calling ourselves 'Siberians'?

    The Indian community has been established in the Caribbean for nearly 200 years, yet we refer to those who have migrated to the UK as Asians. Likewise those who came from East Africa in the 60s and 70s. Are they ever referred to as Asian-Africans? That's because their ethnic/racial/visible identity is obvious. And they're not ashamed to declare it, and don't feel it should be confused by the relatively short geographical detour their ancestors took.

    If we're talking in terms of racial origins, the only people who can tick the 'Caribbean' box are the original Carib people, most of whom were wiped out by the european colonisers. That's why, no matter how we got here - whether direct from Africa, or via the Caribbean, the United States, the Far East or wherever - we are all African. And please let us not confuse origin with nationality. In terms of ethnic/racial group, we are African. But we can still be Jamaican, British, Nigerian, or whatever, in the same way that Asians can be Indian, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, etc.

    We need to rid ourselves of the shame so many seem to feel about Africa. It's our heritage, and we must embrace it. Yes, it has its faults, but we should not abandon it. In any case, our faces will always undermine any attempt to separate ourselves from our land of origin. It's often said that a tree needs its roots. We need to welcome our history, not hide from it.

    Joseph Harker is a Guardian journalist and former editor of Black Briton newspaper
     
  2. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    As more Black folks continue to disgard or disregard their "Blackness" perhaps I may be the last one standing and find myself having returned to the "Shadow Being" I once was.

    I know that I will be in good company if its only James Brown, Steve Biko and myself.

    From a social Liberation standpoint Steve Biko articulated racism/white supremacy than all these nowday counterracism theorists and ideologues combined and created a Liberation movement that channeled that energy and eventually led to the defeat of apartheid in South Africa. If this same Black consciousness was applied Universally this "cosmic consciousness" would wipe out every form of oppression and exploitation that we face.

    Folks are a trip. Really. You know for thousands of years "Indian" and "Oriental" people have keep their cultures intact, even under conditions of colonialism, because they maintaned their traditional spiritual systems and because they recite Mantras. Let me suggest the same and the only response I get is ridicule and it comes first by these same counter-racism theorists who one day say there's no such thing as white people then they say the opposite another. No such thing as black people then refer us as non-white people disregarding and negating our Blackness. Its as if the Black power movement, the Black liberation movement, the Black consciousness movements are being disgarded and not seen in their proper context which led us out of the conditions of segregation, apartheid and colonialism within the past 50 years.

    Forget black? Sorry. No way I can do that because it would entail forgetting who I am and how I came to be. Peace.


    Om
    for now on lurking in the shadows...being....world...
     
  3. smalllady

    smalllady Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    THIS!

    :welldone:
     
  4. emanuel goodman

    emanuel goodman Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    You made me look differently at this issue . Some times people think if u change the terminology the thoughts memoires and emotions that are associated with the the term "black" will some how change the horrific betrail and existence we have termed slavery. There are so many mixed emotions regarding our culture or history that we had be named after the essence itself. "black is beautiful" makes me feel so good when i hear it!!!! We are a well diverse group of individuals whom have come here from all parts of africa and some islands abroad. I remember when i was in the first grade there was a new kid in class and he was from another country. I remember one of mr friends saying" we the same color but he aint black though" meaning we do not have the same culture. He doe not come from the womb of a wo man whom was inslaved in america. In america we are black. Black is my culture! It is what it is! It can't be any thang but that! hotep
     
  5. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Exactly the point. Its not about race, nationality, ethnicity, none of that. Remember Bobby Hemmiit talks about cosmic consciousness and how we came to be in the physical realm. He talks about a "Mirror Image". Just like the bible talks about our origin being made in god's image. Its the spirit of Blackness manifesting. The spirit of Heru incarnated. There's more to this but Im tired.
     
  6. Clyde C Coger Jr

    Clyde C Coger Jr going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In the Spirit of Sankofa!




    omowalejabali,

    Good looking out in the emergency thread! Peace!

     
  7. anAfrican

    anAfrican Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    WE ARE AFRICAN. period.

    i suppose it is well that "we" grabbed something that "we" considered that "we" had defined for ourselves. but until we remember and EMBRACE our African Spirituality, "we" will continue to be nothing more than slaves.

    considering that many will acknowledge that we have been through some pretty deep conditioning since we've been here, i wonder that it isn't recognized that that conditioning included the issue that "we" now do their work of continuing to keep us divided by such things as:
    having extreme difficulties attempting to discuss the concept of rebuilding the African Family in america;
    not rebuilding the African Community in america;
    not building any real African infrastructure in america (no power companies, no utility companies, no transportation networks, no communication networks, no educational networks, no healthcare networks, etc.);
    not believing that we are the richest, healthiest and "most powerful" Africans on the planet!

    but we be really pretty tho! oh, and talk about "religious"! wow! we got some massive scholarly knowledge of "religions".

    we will remain "enslaved" to this "system of r/ws" as long as we keep doing their work for them; as long as we don't stand up and say "I'm sorry, Mother Africa, for not reaching out to you and asking how you might help Heal us so that we can bring the skills, knowledge and strength we have gained in this Diaspora to the task of Re-Uniting Africa for Africans!" instead of watching and complaining every time somebody walks over us AGAIN and continues the rape and degradation of Our Nation. but, "hey! the olympics are on and there's this tight new joint put out by ..." ...

    it IS time to ditch this word; LONG past time. but the conditioning runs deep, doesn't it, myAfricans!
     
  8. emanuel goodman

    emanuel goodman Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I am not denying my point of orgin dear brother. however i am labeling my culture! There are people in africa right now with different cultures. I am a collection of all things african but the title of this culture is black. Just like yourba,dinka,etc. I cannot deny any parts of my heritage even if i really really really really wanted to. I must embrAce all of it because to deny anyl of my past i am denying myself. Be live me i sometimes dont like it either having to claim something that derived from something embrassing and negative. But it is my blood. I got love for my blood! However i dont like being forced to claim an entire continent. When was the last time u heard some one call them selves "north american" lol.
     
  9. Omowale Jabali

    Omowale Jabali The Cosmic Journeyman PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Again, here we go with this African in America ethnogentric BS. Which is why I specifically mentioned the Black Consciousness Movement which was brought into being by BLACK PEOPLE in South Africa. Then comes the garbage, yes that's right, garbage about embracing "African Spirituality" whatever that is. Talk about lack of specificity!

    If African Spirituality is based on Kinship then the only thing that needs to be "embraced" is ONESELF because the "spirituality" is inherent to ones Kinfolk.

    The problem here is some folks still got this negative conception concerning BLACK people, "blackness" , "dark matter", "shadow beings" whatever and it is this negative energy that is being wasted in FEAR of "embracing" ones true self that transcends "race" and "nation" but some Negroes are too stuck in dogma, doctrine, and ideologies of THIS WORLD they can't see beyond their own shadow which they are afraid of.

    This is why some folks still talk about being "enslaved" because they are scared Negroes with a SLAVE MENTALITY.
     
  10. jamesfrmphilly

    jamesfrmphilly going above and beyond PREMIUM MEMBER

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    say it loud......

    i'm black. i'm proud. and i am comfortable.
    other ethnic groups can kiss my boDinky.... :number1:
     
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