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