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Is It Correct To Use The Phrase "African American"? (1878 hits)


Many scholars have said that it is incorrect to say "African American" because most those people aren't really African. They say that such usage is improper. So what is proper? Should we say we're just "Black"? Or "Negro"? Or does it even really matter?

I'm from the younger generation, and I've always referred to myself as African American. I may not be an African native, but my ancestors were born there. Quite frankly though, I don't see what difference it makes. What do you think?
Posted By: Dante Lee
Friday, July 18th 2008 at 11:56PM
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You are "Black", I don't like the term "African American", I am an American, there is no term British American, or Spanish American, or German American. Anyone of the caucasion is considered white. Black doesn't describe the color of my skin, it is the essence of my existence in a while world. In the words of the worlds hardest working entertainer. "Say it loud, I', BLACK, and I'm proud" James Brown
Sunday, July 20th 2008 at 2:26AM
antonio harvey
I have always preferred the term 'Negro' because for me it reminds me of a time when black people were far stronger and positive than today. That period of the 50's and 60's it seemed that even though socially and economically are struggles were not as good as today that we still had a sense of our dreams. Family was held at a much higher regard than today.
Sunday, July 20th 2008 at 3:15PM
Angel Jones
Negro, Black, these terms were not the names we chose for ourself, but rather, the name given to us by White U.S. society. African American was a choice to reclaim some of our lost heritage and a chance to define ourselves on our own terms. I am American because this is the country of my citizenship. But I am also African because this is were my ancestors come from. Antonio, I have to address you because there are many people who label themselves with dual nationalities. Just do a Google search. Many people do call themselves German Americans, Italian Americans, Mexican Americans, Japanese Americans, etc. The ones who do not are those who have assimilated so much into American society they have decided to let go of their ancestry. As an African American I am not willing to forget my ancestors were brought here by force from the continent. When addressing the topic academically, however, I prefer the term "Diasporic Africans" to refer to African descendants not living on the continent but throughout the rest of the world.
Sunday, July 20th 2008 at 10:45PM
Maria Stuart
While I don't believe in allowing titles to define who you are, I personally don't see anything wrong with using black or African American. I fully embrace that I am of African descent and I love being black. I do believe, however, that we should be posing the question, "Are blacks ready to accept the fact that we are Americans?"

Our ancestors worked hard to build this country, invent a large majority of the items that make our lives easier and next to the Native American, I feel that we belong here more so than anyone else.

I am still amazed at all of the negative talk I hear from African Americans about our country. However, I have traveled the world and can truly tell you that we have freedoms here and advantages here in America that every other race of people are taking advantage of accept for ours.

I say, let's claim our wealth and take control of our decisions and use our energy on being successful African Americans.

Monday, July 21st 2008 at 9:25AM
Trina Newby
I agree wholeheartedly with Trina regarding reclaiming our wealth.

Phobus, since it seems you are implying that I do nut understand the "context under which the term 'Diasporic" was formed," can you please share with us the information you have?
Monday, July 21st 2008 at 4:58PM
Maria Stuart
I would have to agree with you. I refer to myself as African American, although I was born in America, I still hold on to my African heritage. I take pride in saying African American and I think most people should. Just identifying yourself as black isn't enough, you need to have a history. Like the saying goes- if you don't know where you came from- you won't know where you are going!
Tuesday, July 22nd 2008 at 4:21PM
shakira moran
I have a problem with the word BLACK
Look at the color BLACK
We are not BLACK
I consider myself to be caramel color - Brownskin
Sunday, July 27th 2008 at 9:46PM
Mrs. Barbara Stevens
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