Black In White America

I prefer Black over African America in turns of ethnic/cultural identity. I don't consider myself American. Like Malcolm X said, being born in America doesn't make you American. I'm one of the 22 million black people who are the victims of Americanism. Black better defines the essence of my ethnic and cultural experience. For me, it connects me to the broader African Diaspora and Maafa. And its not a paradoxical appellation like African American--which raises the issue Dubois raised around Double Consciousness. How does one make sense of being both a son of Africa and having a national identity in a strange land that doesnt respect or recognize your nationality or even your HUMANITY for that matter. I am Black. And I love to preface much of what I say with that statement to help people to see where I'm coming from. My perspective on religion, politics...life in general is through those cultural lenses. When I was in elementary school I used to watch Soul Train. A memory that stays with me is my absolute repulsion of the black women dancers on the show. I thought they were disgusting, unsightly to look at. And yet the white dancers seemed...angelic. Sort of an unexplainable divine beauty and appeal that I could not fully grasp. All i knew was that they were desirous, especially juxtaposed to the black ones. I don't exaggerate this experience. I couldnt exaggerate it. Its reflective of the type of society we still live in. The type of culture that we are still be shaped by---one that is anti-black. One that rejects blackness as not meeting the criterion for beauty, excellence, and freedom. No one wants to be black. It as if blackness is the plague of the nation, of the earth even. I had to come to term with what it meant to be black in a white country. A country that was messaging to me daily that my blackness was a badge of shame. That i was to be grateful for the meager existence that I and my people have, because once we were slaves and had NOTHING. This is advancement, they taught me in their media, their schools, and other institutions that control the flow of information. If you don't like your lot, you can leave ya know. Because there are hundreds and thousands that would love to be in your place--as miserable as you may perceive it. Just look at your poor, sick and diseased brother over in Africa. I rejected these messages and as i matured I learned to develop a healthy embrace of my identity as a black man. And though initially it was contingent upon a rejection of whiteness it later became a more healthy rejection of whiteness being the standard.  
sleep140 sleep140
22-25, M
6 Responses Jul 9, 2010

perhaps if more black people was aware of the common malady suffered by our people called "Double Consciousness" they would lower their hypercritical cries about President Obama. He is being criticized for not travelling to black locations and pasting more measures that will aid African Americans. Obama being black is torn between "two worlds" I can imagine it is difficult him to be in this position. If another Black president is elected in the future if he too will have a double mind. No wonder the great black novelists Richard Wright and James Baldwin moved to France. They wanted to escape this type of enviroment that splits your mind in two directions.America what a place!!!

when i worked in the mental health field i had a 6 year old black boy as a client. once in a session i read him a poem written by another child and he asked me "who wrote that poem a white boy or a black boy?" I told him that i didnt know and asked him what he thought. "A white boy." he replied. When i asked him why a white boy he said to me "Because white boys are handsome and black boys are ugly."<br />
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this is an example of the legacy of centuries of dehumanization and systematic psychological and cultural destruction. white supremacy and black inferiority, two sides of the same coin. they are inextricably link. And this two headed beast continues to live because we won't acknowledge, as a nation, that he never died. we believed that political reform was a strong enough weapon to behead him. he breathes. he walks

there is one thing i can say to you as a person, you write beautifully. I understand what you are saying, although I'm African A merican.<br />
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I remember when socitey addressed me by other terms, they were not pretty.SOOO i rather be called by my origen, and American..

there is one thing i can say to you as a person, you write beautifully. I understand what you are saying, although I'm African A merican.<br />
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I remember when socitey addressed me by other terms, they were not pretty.SOOO i rather be called by my origen, and American..

Wow! You put a whole lot of thought into this i see. though i don't agree with everything you wrote i think i see where your coming from. Nice to see people thinking. I consider myself what i like to call 'regular Black". I was born here, both my parents were born here, all 4 of my great-grandparents were born here and my great great grand parents were born here. We all speak only english though my mom learned to speak french and spanish fluently and encouraged me to do the same ( my spanish is ok but my french is so-so lol). anyway good for you. Sincerely, A regular black chick =)

it's always good to see others discovering their blackness. black is beautiful!