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Monday, July 30, 2007

What Kind of Black are You?

This is the question posed by yesterday's Washington Post. It is definitely worthy of discussion. It is more than likely the reason for this blog. The Post article attempts to analyze this supposition using ethnic indicators, however Afronerd attempts to expand this analysis from a political, socio-economic and cultural perspective. Whether it's the media, various racial groups, society (including people of color themselves), there appears to be a reluctance to explore the existence of diversity within the African in the Americas experience. Take a gander at an excerpt from the Post article in question:

Then the circle broke, and the class ended. As we drifted away, I wondered: "What kind of black are we now?"

That used to be an easy question for Americans to answer.

African American identity was built on two criteria: African ancestry and an ancestral connection to chattel slavery. We looked at skin color, hair texture, and the size of noses and lips to determine whether a person met the first criterion. The second was assumed: If you were black in this country, somebody in your family had been enslaved.

In the past 30 years, however, 1 million people have come from Africa to the United States -- more than were brought during the transatlantic slave trade. According to the most recent census figures, 1.5 million blacks claim Caribbean ancestry. In fact, scholars say, the United States is the only place in the world where all of Africa's children -- native-born Africans, Afro Caribbeans, Afro Hispanics, Afro Europeans and African Americans -- are represented.

This development hasn't received much attention in a national debate that has made "Hispanic" synonymous with "immigrant." But the change has profound implications for the country's 35 million blacks. It sometimes leads to interracial tensions, which were on display during last week's CNN-YouTube Democratic presidential debate. A black college student asked Sen. Barack Obama -- whose mother is a white Kansan and whose father is Kenyan -- whether he is "authentically black enough."

For more from the Post article, click below:

What Kind of Black Are We?

Also check out a young man's impassioned rant (excuse the expletives) regarding Black authenticity-Introducing Outlaw:

Outlaw on Youtube

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