Pan Africanism : "WESTERNIZED" AFRICAN AMERICANS/AFRICAN CARIBBEANS..

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by Isaiah, May 16, 2005.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I have heard this phrase used by my brethren from the continent on a number of ocassions, and I am intrigued by what they mean when they say this? Yes, I understand what westernization and western means beyond the points on the globe... It means that we are, somehow, white folks in Black face - at least that is the implication of it... It means we are less culturally African than Continental African - to which I agree...

    Having been HERE, rather than in the Motherland for the past 400 years, it stands to reason that we would have lost a great deal by way of formal African custom, even as we have retained some very obvious "ways" which clearly come from the AFrican tradition. What troubles me is the implication, that we are "alien" to Africa and Africans because of no fault of our own. It is as if we are identified with White Folks more than we are with our own.

    I think it is, also, contradictory to say this when many are coming here to partake of so-called "western" education, to earn "western" dollars, to buy "western" cars, suits, and amenities... Some are coming here, either, with a White wife as their woman, or seeking a white woman to be their wife - and out of that other side of their mouth calling me western as if to curse me out...(smile!)

    Again, I agree with the notion that African Americans and AFrican Caribbeans are as "Westernized" as come, but to say it as if there is a African Cultural Purity after hundreds of years of colonialism, comes of as contradictory. Afterall, Europeans controlled Africa until quite recently - and some say they're still controlling it behind the scenes... How is it possible that the European rubbed off on us more than brothers and sisters on the continent???

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  2. Nisa

    Nisa Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Europe/America has rubbed off on everybody. Why is America called the melting pot? Because everyone here has melted down their culture/religion/beliefs to fit into american culture...
     
  3. African_Prince

    African_Prince Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    It's not an insult to say diasporan Blacks are culturally Western and a part of the Western world. America is considered part of the Western world and American culture is Western culture, and many BA's would be rightfully offended if a foreigner or a White American were to imply that they weren't 'true' Americans ( am I wrong, minus Black Nationalists/pan-Africanists do most BA's not feel America is their rightful home which is why some object to the term 'AA' which they feel is some subcategory of a 'real' American? ). On the Continent, particularily in the urban cities/towns and not the rural villages ( but a little there too ) Africans are Westernized (have adopted much of Western lifestyle and Christianity-European religion), but not Westerners. It may be a tragedy how diasporan Blacks became a part of the Western world but they are, this alone may seem like a petty excuse but, language ( it gives a people their identity and carries their culture), BA's and WI's ( WI proper refers to the English speaking Caribbean islands ) claim English as their natural language, they may be vastly different in behaviour, mannerisms, traditions then the White Europeans/Americans that they got the language from and have a completely different cultural and historical experience from them but language is an incredibly important part of any culture, we don't really think of that seriously because we're so familiar in English ( myself included) we ascribe 'culture' just with behaviour and traditions. Your whole cultural perspective, experience, I don't know how to put it, would be incredibly different if you claimed Mandarin Chinese or Punjabi or Arabic as your first tongue, even if diasporan Blacks had their own dialects of those languages. Imagine if Africans had been colonised by South Asians, accepted Sikhism,Hindu,Islam and the religions of South Asian peoples and the official languages of African countries were languages like Urdu, Punjabi, Hindi etc. and many Africans had first/middle names in those languages, even then we would still have our African surnames identifying our own ethnic languages and ethnolinguistic groups. Imagine if Black and White Americans had adopted Native American languages, and taken Native American surnames , and even Native American religions, White North Americans may not feel as culturally close to Europeans as they do now (whether they consciously identify as Europeans or not ). Black Americans are an amalgamation of several mostly West African ethnic groups ( and some White/NA blood), I would think most African groups carry the tradition of identifying the child with his/her fathers group and we know most people around the world carry their fathers surname, so you, Isaiah, could trace your foremost paternal ancestry back to the Wolof, and PanAfrica back to a Yoruba and another BA to a Kongo or a Cherokee and you couldn't divide the three of you like 'ok, this is your language/group and this is yours and yours is' because you belong to same ethnic group (or 'tribe') and share the same culture, Black Americans need one language since they are one 'tribe', and that language is English. The Black American ethnic group was 'born' in the southern portion of the United States of America and you can't seperate them wholly from the history of that country. I think people naturally view Caribbean culture as more distinct from Western culture, having more African influences, but it's the sames scenario. Black Americans/Black Caribbean people and Black Latino's are still of African descent and what they have in common with Africans is race.
     
  4. SAMURAI36

    SAMURAI36 Banned MEMBER

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    PEACE AFRICAN PRINCE:


    Not only that, but America has been set up as the CROWN JEWEL of the western world (the sole heir of Europe).

    Sadly, the "Negroes" of our people do feel this way.

    They are the orphaned children of a land that no longer knows them, and the stepchild of a nation that has never loved them.

    This is a very true analysis, There is indeed a difference between being western and westernIZED.


    True indeed to this.

    CHEIKH ANTA DIOP defines language as the main portion of 5 criteria within a culture.

    Interesting perspective; I had never stopped to think what the ramifications would have been, if other non-white groups had colonized us.......But then I suspect I most likely would not have to, since that whole destino manifesto nature of conquering wasn't in the nature of the peoples that you mentioned (those original tribes, and not their Indo-Aryan counterparts, that is).

    True, though I think most Whites in America are easily identifiable by their specific Euro-ancestry--if not by looking at them, then certainly by their surnames that you mention here later........

    They've maintained their French, German, Irish, Russian, And Gaelic heritage, even if in (sur)name only.

    That was the way that they had gotten us to detach ourselves from our heritage; not only by making us forget the language, but also our names in those languages, which immediately identify us with our specific tribes.

    The problem here being, that any and every other Black Ethnic group is bilingual--often times tri- and quadrolingual, depending on their trible dialects, and colonial language (French or English).

    Blacks in America do not have that privilege.......However, I would like to state that not all of the ethnicity of Blacks in America is immediately tied to West Africa........there were slaves taken from many different parts of Africa, such as Chad and other aspects of north-central Africa as well.

    Many Blacks have Nilotic features that are indigenous to Eastern Africa.

    I don't think it's as simplistic as that (particularly the last statement). There are numerous aspects to Black American culture, and even moreso with Caribbean culture that are reminiscent of Africa, moreso than any aspects of our the American experience.

    You mention the American South; in South Carolina, there is a whole island of blacks that still speak a version of a African tribal dialect. Their dress, diet, and other cultural factors were nearly fully preserved.

    The same applies with the Caribbean as well. Not all Blacks in the West have become totally western, nor westernized, just as the opposite is not totally the case for Africans in the homeland.
    Africans are perm-ing their hair, lightening their skin, buying namebrand clothes, and worshipping the White Jesus, just like many of us "Negroes" are here in the west.

    Our people do the same in the European countries that they migrate to as well.

    The issue is international, not just national.

    Culture is not just a generational thing, but I suspect it's almost a phenotypical phenomenon as well, being not just learned traits but also very inherent.

    We've only been here a few hundred years.......In the overall historical scheme of things, that's not nearly enough time to totally eradicate our legacy from our consciousness.

    HOTEPU
     
  5. Nisa

    Nisa Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    Good points :welldone: :bingo: :bullseye:
     
  6. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    My brother, African Prince, I understand, as my initial post would indicate, that the Africans in this hemisphere have been westernized. In the context of how it is oft used, however, it is to completely alienate and dissociate... It is counter-productive to even bring that up, as we know the causes and consequences of our being brought here was to have to adapt ourselves to a different set of values.

    Now, what is contradictory is that in using this terminology in the service of dissociating themselves from African Americans and African Caribbeans based on our westernization, no such disscociation occurs when it comes to White folks and their dollars and educational institutions. This means that some brothers and sisters are playing the same sinister game of so many immigrants, or separating themselves from African Americans, while claiming to be our long lost brethren(smile!)

    I don't mind being referred to as Western as long I'm dealing with Africans who are clear about their own Westerness - them suits, them cars, them Nike sneakers, and other "western" things Africans fancy. You may say that this does not make you "western", but the desire to partake of these western things means that your mind, consciously or unconsciously, has been duly influenced by the West... It almost sounds as if some folks are jealous, and I take no comfort in that - none... It means that Africans may be as AFrican as they come, but they are no less brainwashed in the things they value than an African American. What's the word, African Prince???(smile!)

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
  7. African_Prince

    African_Prince Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    I don't know what word you're referring to, hypocrisy? It's contradicting? I never meant diasporan Blacks were 'Western' in that they're 'brainwashed' , 'lost' etc. I can only wonder how the whole world would be with absolutely no Western influence whatsoever, our lives would be drastically different,we would think differently, whether we're talking about NA's on a reservation, people in Nigeria, Turkey, India, Fiji etc., Europeans have influenced the whole world because they've colonised literally every single continent inhabited by people outside of Europe and the Western world dominates this planet, if I'm not mistaken China and Japan are really the only non-White superpowers, they have Western influence too.

    I understand if you disagree with me because of your ideaology, and most arguements are just a matter of perspective,maybe this is going completely against what you were trying to say to me but I feel the Africans who believe in pan-Africanism but want to maintain their traditional African heritage * as much as is possible * especially living in the West, or even just in urban Africa, should keep in consideration that diasporan Blacks are a part of the Western world, these same people may think marrying a White person or any non-Black would bring them one step closer to diluting their African heritage but they'll be fully preserving their African heritage by marrying an American or Caribbean/Latino Black person because they have African ancestry, but 'right' or 'wrong' diasporan Blacks aren't going to by default identify with Africa/Africans and traditional African heritage and they could be diluting their African heritage to assimilate into Black America as much as White America or White Europe because truthfully it's diasporan Blacks with a specific idealogy or viewpoint ( even if it is the 'right' or 'sensible' one as you would argue) who identify themselves as African people, Africans may be Westernized, but whether they're ashamed or not they have no choice but to admit they are Africans, they have nothing else to be ( except for some confused Africans like some confused Ethios/Somalis, the Swahilli on the island of Lamu that Henry Louis Gates Jr. interviewed, so called "Persians" of Zanzibar he also interviewed ). They should just keep that into *consideration*, that's all. I remember even Pan Africa once saying that Africans who marry Black Americans or Black Caribbean/Latino people may do so, not in attempt to promote pan-African solidarity and pan-Africanism, but from an underlying desire to become Western.
     
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