Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Published 9:30 AM by with 0 comment

Black, African-American, Negro, Colored: What Am I? Who Am I?

Black, African-American, Negro, Colored: What Am I? Who Am I?

Peace Fam!

So, each week, I browse the internet for motivation on what to blog about. Over the weekend, I ran across an article posted on Facebook that was the catalyst for a VERY controversial thread. The post dealt with something that the actress Raven Simone said in an interview with Oprah.  See: Raven-SymonĂ©: Don't Label Me 'Gay' Or 'African-American'

The controversial discussion involved Raven’s comment about not identifying herself as African-American. Rather, she identifies herself as being part of the Human Race, not one who is defined by the color of her skin.

I was amazed and somewhat shocked at how angry people were getting because SHE didn’t want to call herself “Black” or “African-American”. Now, I saw the interview. Clearly, she was not saying that she didn’t have any love for African-Americans. The girl was simply saying that she didn’t want to accept the label “African-American” because she can’t identify the country in Africa where her ancestors are actually from. I’m actually feeling her on that statement!

Many people commenting on the thread said that Raven has an “identity crisis”. Really? In my humble opinion, that’s like the pot calling the kettle black! No pun intended. 

Why do I say this? Well, the people who made disparaging comments about Raven’s stance were predominantly “Black”. I’m befuddled that a “Black” person has a problem with another “Black” person who refuses to accept a label that is technically incorrect, a gross misnomer in many cases.

Why should she have to refer to herself as “Black” when her skin color is far from Black?

Why should she have to identify herself with an entire continent…when the vast majority of people don’t?

Ok, before you start throwing stones at me, trust that I’ve interchangeably called myself “Black” or “African American” (depending on my mood, I guess) for as long as I can remember. Yet, as I type these words on my black keyboard, I notice very clearly that my hands and fingers are nowhere near as dark as my keyboard. So, why do I have to call myself "Black" when I'm not, technically speaking. As I look at my hands, I see that they are a lovely dark brown complexion. Dark and Lovely, if you will...but not black.

Hmmmmm... So, if my skin is brown, then I must be a Brown man, right? Well, hold up! If I’m actually Brown instead of Black, doesn’t that mean I’m Hispanic or Latino or something like that? No, that doesn’t work because I’m a descendant of African slaves (to the best of my knowledge). So, I couldn’t be Hispanic/Latino or something like that.

Damn! Who the Hell am I?

Back in the day when I was a kid, my grandmother (who was a lighter shade of Brown) used to call folks who looked like us “Colored”. As I got older, somebody said that I was a “Negro”. Then one day, somebody called me “Afro-American”. Then on another day, I heard a man sing “Say it loud…I’m Black and I’m proud!” So, people started calling me “Black”. Nowadays, I’m mostly referred to as “African American”.

I don’t know about y’all, but ummmmm…this sh*t is confusing as Hell!! Again I say, who the Hell am I? When I think about it, I am who I say that I am. No one can define me but ME! Wow, I think I made that declaration in my last blog… but I digress. Seriously, even though my skin color is not as dark as the Black crayon in the Crayola box, I feel comfortable identifying myself as Black.

Still, I have to stop and applaud Raven Simone and, say Thank You Baby Girl! I thank you and I appreciate you for not allowing others to tell you who YOU are, especially when many of the people pointing fingers at you don’t know for a fact who THEY are! Thank you Raven for not accepting a label that’s not specific enough to properly let the entire world know the country where your ancestors were born - a knowledge that many other people embrace to their core.

Honestly, when I think of the term “African-American”, being connected with an entire continent is a bit insulting to me when most everyone that I know who isn’t “Black” knows what country their peeps are from. It’s like someone was trying to appease me by saying, “Hey, er ummm…just say you’re African-American because nobody knows exactly which country you’re from buddy.”

Keeping it One Hunnid, unless you’ve taken a genealogy test or have done some serious investigation like Alex Haley did, how may “Blacks” or “African Americans” REALLY know where their forefathers are from…besides from somewhere Down South? Don’t hate me for asking these questions. Hell, I don’t know either!

Personally, believe it or not, when I see people, I don’t focus on color. I focus more on energy, truth be told.

Focusing on color and nationalities is part of the grand old “Divide and Conquer” campaign that has kept people at war with each other for eons! That’s why I focus on the Source Energy that emanates from every person and not someone’s skin color. But that’s just how I get down.

Like Raven Simone, neither skin color nor race matter to me. Please don’t get it twisted…I love my kinfolk…those who do look like me…aka my beautiful “BLACK PEOPLE”. At the same time, I can honestly tell you that I have great love for ALL PEOPLE, regardless of their skin color.

So again, I applaud Raven for the non-conformist position that she takes on how one labels oneself. I have the utmost respect for everyone, no matter if you agree with me or not. Call yourself whatever YOU want to call yourself. You don’t have to accept society’s label that they “give” you.

You know what? The next time I see one of these…
I might just choose “Some other race”. It depends on what I want to call myself that day.

Peace and Blessings to you all!
-Markie B aka Scientific


Post a Comment