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December 10, 2008

Blackness is Blatantly a Cultural Inheritance of Oppressed people

Alek Wek, Dinka
Women above Fulani

Akon, Wolof/Senegalese-American

Misnomer: –noun1. a misapplied or inappropriate name or designation. 2. an error in naming a person or thing.

Black is a construction which articulates a recent social-political reality of people of color (pigmented people). Black is not a racial family, an ethnic group or a super-ethnic group. Political blackness is thus not an identity but moreover a social-political consequence of a world which after colonialism and slavery existed in those color terms. An identity is generally geographical and ties the people to their native environment or their core doctrine (Jews of Judaism, Muslims of Islam, Chinese of China). African and black are not interchangeable just as Dark continent and Africa are not. Self-determination allows a people to re-examine definitions and sculpt them to their reality. Black, like Negro is facing linguistic extinction, especially in academic circles, due to its poor foundation in speaking about the oldest and most diverse people on the planet.

The word “Black” has no historical or cultural association, it was a name born when Africans were broken down in to transferable labor units and transported as chattel to the Americas. The re-labeling of the Mandika, Fulani, Igbo, Asante, into "one bland color label- black, was part of the greater process of absolute removal of African identity; a color epithet that Europe believed to be the lowest color on Earth, thus reflecting the social designation of African people in European psyche." Black does not fully articulate the history and geopolitical reality of African people. Black as a political (or colloquial) term was fashioned as a reactionary concept in the 60's and 70's against White supremacy, but it was never meant as an epithet for African people, but moreover a transitory term to move a people away from Colored and Negro. As a political term it was fiery and trendy but never was it an official racial classification of peoples who have a 120,000 year old history. Indians are from India , Chinese from China . There is no country called Blackia or Blackistan. Hence, the ancestry-nationality model is more respectful and accurate: African-American, African-British, African-Arabian, African-Brazilian, and African-Caribbean.

The mass usage of “black” by people of African decent is poor justification for the flagrant usage of the word. Because if that argument is to hold-up it would be justified to start using the term Nig+er again, due to the self-destructive resurgence of this word among African-American people. Europe has created a linguistic identity crisis, so they cannot then point to the victims of that crisis for justification for using a term they branded people with. Even today when African write they carelessly jump between Black, black and African without any continuity.

And if Black people has some validity as a political term it can not be limited in its application to people of African decent. Nostalgia is not an accurate place for African linguistic self-determination, and blackness is blatantly a cultural inheritance of oppressed people. The pattern of acceptance of a black identity globally walks hand in hand with European cultural oppression. It is worth noting parts of Africa that are culturally intact such as in Ethiopia, Mali, Somalia, Nigeria and Niger have absolutely no fondness or linguistic presence of a "black identity."

How does one arrive at the term “black Africans,” are there green Africans? Would you speak of “yellow Chinese,” or “brown Indians”? If 95% of Africans are “Black” (capital B, if it must be used) then the minority should bear the adjective--not the majority. It is disrespectful to describe Africans with a label based solely on a color, especially when it does not accurately reflect the physical appearance of most Africans. This is made even more offensive when the etymological root of that label (black) is derived from the word Negro, and is used in place of the word African as a racial or cultural identity. In reality we must ask ourselves what is the difference between "Negro" and "Black" save historical association, the words mean the same thing, so we have moved from being Black in Spanish (negro) to Black in English (black). It is strange that despite all the genetic research and advance human anthropology we are still clinging to primitive 18th century post-Darwin model of race, which sole aim was/is to segregate and de-culturalize and enslave.

The concept of a “black Africa ” is a Eurocentric term based upon their ignorant primitive regressive deductions. It is true Arabs and Greeks referred to Africans as "black" but this was not a racial label, and moreover Africans themselves did not self-apply these external labels. Like the Phoenician who were called the "red people," but no Phoenician would have referred to themselves in this way.

Some say, Africa was a foreign name given to us, if this is true, it was given to us by our contemporaries not our conquerors. In addition, Africa is a name of a place and Africans are simply people who are native to that place. Many fail to see that “black” ultimately sets Africans outside of their connection to history and culture. Black does not connect us to Kemet, it only goes back 500 Years ago. Hence, “black” people are an “urban” people/culture and “urban” people's history is 5 minutes old. In addition, because it is a term placed on us, we have no bases for its control, and hence they are able to say; “Ancient Egyptians weren't black.” Black has no meaning; except the meaning they place on it, if and when they chose. source


Anonymous said...

The identity series you have going are great. Keep it up.

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Anonymous said...

"Black has no meaning; except the meaning they place on it, if and when they chose"

This is so true, love the note and your blog.

Anonymous said...

I can dig it

Anonymous said...

Yeah, and many people seem to conveniently forget that 'black' is connected to all colors - a symbol that connects all life to it. It encompasses all the colors of the spectrum, and therefore reflects the 'beginning life force'....
Genesis (Greek: "birth", "origin")- and Elohim created light from out of the darkness....


Divalocity said...

You never disapoint me with your research. If you could do a survey you'd probably find a lot people who don't want to identify with being called African and it is a shame to deny your heritage.


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