I AM African-American (and so are you)

I AM African-American

(and so are you)

YOU = Black people living in America.



  • the process of adapting or adjusting to the culture of a group or nation, or the state of being so adapted: assimilation of immigrants into American life.
  • Sociology. the merging of cultural traits from previously distinct cultural groups, not involving biological amalgamation.

I turn my nose up at any Black person living in America that has a problem with being called African-American.

They say things like: I’m not African! I wasn’t born in Africa!

As if being born in America (or wherever else your Black ass was born) means that you have no ties to Africa or your heritage.


Like many Black people living in America, I had absolutely no idea where my African ancestors came from or what other ethnicities I was “mixed” with.

I just knew I was Black, so a few years ago I happily made the $100 investment to get an Ancestry DNA test kit.

I learned that I am 83% African, 16% European, and 1% West Asian.

My African ancestry includes ties to Cameroon/Congo, Benin/Togo, and Ivory Coast/Ghana.


Here’s another silly argument: Charlize Theron was born in Africa but she lives in America now, so that makes her African-American too!

I see what they’re trying to do there but it’s clear (at least to me) that it is NOT the same thing.

Charlize is not Black. According to Wikipedia, she has French, German, and Dutch ancestry. Her French ancestors settled in South Africa.

European South African-American?

Charlize currently has both South African and American citizenship, so in my mind, when she lives in Africa, it would make sense that she be considered a White-South African or Caucasian-South African and when she’s on American soil she’s just plain ol’ Caucasian. A White or European-American.

You know, after typing the above paragraph then reading it back, I may sound absolutely ridiculous but hopefully you get my point anyway.

Charlize is not of African descent. She was just born there! That, my friends, is the difference.

For example, if I obtained French citizenship or if I was born in France I would probably be considered Afro-French, which I am not a fan of BTW; that Afro shit in regards to race or ethnicity is outdated (IMO).

African-French, Black-French or even the sophisticated sounding, African-European, works just fine for me.


After typing “What are White people born in Africa called?” into Google, the first thing that pops up is the Ask the White Guy column on DiversityInc.

Here’s part of his breakdown on the subject:

“African-American” refers to descendants of enslaved Black people who are from the United States.

The reason we use an entire continent (Africa) instead of a country (e.g., “Italian-American”) is because slave masters purposefully obliterated tribal ancestry, language and family units in order to destroy the spirit of the people they enslaved, thereby making it impossible for their descendants to trace their history prior to being born into slavery.

This was all in an effort to prevent enslaved people from organizing and revolting their bondage (look up Nat Turner).

Ahhh…so, I guess it would make even more sense to say that Charlize Theron is Benoni-American because she was born in Benoni.

Does that mean that I should/can identify as Cameroon-American because that makes up the largest percentage of my African heritage?



Charlize Theron


Racial stigma in this case involves how people perceive Africa. The continent of Africa suffers from many negative stigmas including but not limited to: apartheid, poverty, conflict, Ebola, and HIV.

Because of this, some people do not want to be associated with Africa in any way, shape, or form.

As if America is so damn great AND VALUES the lives of BLACK PEOPLE…

The are also (of course) many beautiful things about Africa. ↵ READ!!!

Just remember, when you walk around boasting that you aren’t African-American (but that you are Black) that you aren’t doing yourself any favors; you sound like a self-hating fool.

Any self-respecting or prideful Black person knows that turning your back on Africa is the same as turning your back on your people and yourself.


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One Reply to “I AM African-American (and so are you)”

  1. I’m going to go ahead and disagree. I consider myself Black American. I do use African American and Black American interchangeable at times. However, when I step back and think about it, I’m not so fond of being coined “African American.” It has nothing to do with racial stigmas, but more to do with cultural identity. And yes, I wasn’t born in African. I’m not even sure what desire there is to hold onto a continental identity. People don’t go around insisting that White Americans call themselves European American, or German American, or whatever White standard. So, why is it so important that Black people call themselves African American? Why can’t people identify the way they want. To be honest, I really just want to be called American. Period. That’s my dream… to simply have people, regardless of their ethnic origin, just be called American. That’s if they are in fact American. 🙂

    Now, why do I prefer Black American over African American? Because I’ve been around Africans and I don’t relate to them. Yes, I relate to them as human beings, but their culture is foreign to me. Not in a bad way, just in a different way. Different in the way I’d say a Mexican families live or an Asian families live. I’m not part of the culture, because I’ve never lived it. It’s not bad, it’s just not my culture. So, why do I have to pretend that I’m something that I’m not. Why do I have to take a label I don’t identify with, just because not taking it makes someone else uncomfortable? I’m comfortable in my skin, and I’m comfortable with being Black American, but even more comfortable with the universal term American. Black American makes me feel segregated. Simply being American makes me think of equality.

    The more I think about it, the term Black unites us far more than African-whatever country you’re from than anything. I think of places like Australia with their Black natives (Aborigines). They’re Black, but are more closely related to Asians than Africans. Australian Blacks suffer from similar oppressions as Blacks around the world. There are some places in the South Pacific with Black people who resemble the Aborigines. Not African. Again, their darker skin color has lead to oppression. All over the world Black people are oppressed and viewed as lesser. You don’t have to be a slave descendent from Africa to experience discrimination. Black is Black wherever you go. In fact, the closer you are to the true color black, the more discrimination you’re likely to see.

    Now the Africans I’ve met in America (whether they’ve obtain citizenship or not), have been wonderful people who seem to band together to elevate each other. Keep in mind, this is the outsider view looking in. I’ve also met a Rwanda genocide survivor, lost his entire family, with a mission to give back to African orphans. Even though, there’s inter fighting among tribes, it seems there’s still a sense of collectiveness. And yes, I’m stereotyping based on my small interactions. However, It’s a collectiveness I don’t find among a lot of Black Americans. On the other hand, I do see a wave of change with movements #blackbusiness and #blacklivesmatter. The desire is there, but other than a lot of lip service, not so much action.

    I traced some of my roots back to the 1800s. It was very satisfying. It really helped me find closure with my own personal history. I’m a descendant of slaves. The history I know is truncated in slavery. I’m 99% sure that at some time my distant ancestors originated in Africa, but I wasn’t able to trace back that far because of the damage slavery has done to historical records. I’m okay with that, because I know that slavery is apart of my history. It’s something I can embrace. In some ways, I take pride in being a descendant of a slave. It reminds of how far my family has come, despite disadvantages. Though I probably should be humble, it makes me feel like all the success I achieve is greater than the success of others, because I’ve had that much more to overcome.

    When I look at women like Madame C.J. Walker, I can’t help but be proud. I would love to connect my ancestral dots to a woman like her or similar.

    I’m Black, American, and a descendant of slaves (most likely from the continent of African).

Tell me how you feel!