I was at the bank the other day

attempting to look thoughtful . . .

I’ll share a conversation that I hope sparks some conversation . . . .

There were two young ladies there and I confess I overheard their conversation.  One of the young ladies had a view of her ethnicity that frankly I had never considered (ha – and I am in diversity).   Young Lady A (YLA) said to Young Lady B (YLB) “I told them I am not African- American. I am American.  I have never been to Africa, I have never seen Zimbabwe,  South Africa or Nigeria . . .  But I have been to California, Arizona, New York. . . . ”  She proceeded to say to YLB that it’s truly pisses her off when someone calls her an African American.  I couldn’t hear YLB’s response, but imagine a lot of head nodding.

I was tickled, appalled and intrigued all at once by what I overheard.   It was one of those moments that makes you go “hmmmmm . . .”  And I asked myself  “Do Caucasians of European descent call them selves European-American?  Do American’s of Australian descent call themselves “Australian-Americans”?  Then why are people of color labeled “African-American”, Chinese-American,  Carribean-American, Hispanic American . . . . Should blacks be called American’s of African Descent?  Asians . . . American’s of Asian descent?  It could get a little long when completing forms.

Anyway, I have no solution (do we need one?).  I will more than likely continue to call myself African-American or “Black”, but just for kicks I’m going to try on “American of African descent” (I like it – sounds regal).  I will say that YLA makes a really good point.  We are ALL Americans.   My commentary on this “Once we get to that point when every American is just that in America ~ we may truly be post racial.”  Very best – SS

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2 thoughts on “I was at the bank the other day”

  1. Very interesting…..more than interesting it’s spot on. I just never thought of it that way either. But I have to agree with YLA.

    Sign me off ….An American of Irish Descent.

    1. Thanks Annie! Ironically, this week an executive assistant at my employer randomly stated that she is black, not African American. Maybe it’s a D.C. thing. I have lived in 6 cities, in 4 states and this new dialog for me. Kinda makes you go . . . . hmmmm. Very best – SS

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