Written February 23rd, 2012
Among the community of those having African descent living in the United States, an air of controversy provides the framework for an internal crisis, pitting the culture against its history. The terms “Black” and “African American” have long been used to refer to Americans of African descent, and though it is improbable the debate is solved solely as a result of a blog post, there are indeed some revelations to be made about which term is more justified—more encompassing—more historical.
To be “African American” is much less a name than it is a label. It was only through despicable acts of imperialism that Black people were brought to America in the early 1600s, and because of these acts, these people became American by circumstance. Mind you, these were Black people—they had been Black people for generations prior. If you subscribe to the belief—or, better yet, the reality—that the history of mankind began in Africa, you must also acknowledge the reality stating the staples of mankind began in Africa, as well. The concept of the modern university, linguistics, mathematics, and sciences were all African developments—Black African developments—and it is that greatness with which the modern Black ought to identify. To be labeled “African American” is essentially an acknowledgement of and identification with Africa only so far as its American roots go, whereas “Black”ness has existed forever, with all the honor and regality that accompanies it.