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By Guest Writer Tanikia Thompson

“You’re not African American, you’re American. You guys just say African American so you can have some relation to Africa.”

These are the words that were spoken to me from a Nigerian lady that I attended college with. It was hurtful to hear her say this. I have traveled to Zambia twice and the first time was challenging. In a debriefing session I explained to the white people on the trip, that my entire life I had been told that I am African American, and here I was in Africa and had no culture to call my own. When a man in the market realized that I couldn’t speak Bemba he told my Zambian host that I should be ashamed of myself for not knowing my language. He didn’t know that I wasn’t from Zambia, because everything about me along with the rest of the African American community screams Africa. While in Zambia, I noticed how the people looked just like African Americans back home. It was very evident that African Americans are from Africa.

There are two major problems at hand: not enough African Americans acknowledge that they are Africans and not enough Africans acknowledge that African Americans are African. I’m sure growing up we have all heard the “You look like you African” jokes. Well that cruel joke has followed us to adulthood. How can a Black person look like an African, when they are African? And why is that meant to be offensive? I will admit that it wasn’t until after my voyage to the Motherland, that I began to take ownership of my African roots. What’s weird is when I say that I’m African around African Americans that know me, they look at me like I’m crazy and question me. I respond by saying “You’re African too!”

On the other hand I have heard Africans speak like the Nigerian lady who told me that I wasn’t African. Is the history of slavery not enough explanation on how we separated from our homeland? That isn’t American history; it’s African and American history. There are African Americans like myself who have gone through major identity crisis’ and struggled over the fact that we have no knowledge of what country in Africa we came from. Just because we weren’t born in Africa, don’t strip us of our African identity and heritage.

What frustrates me is I can see how the media has played a crucial role in dividing us. In America they have presented Africa to us as the Dark Continent with uncivilized people. To an extent we have believed everything we’ve seen on television. I remember on my first trip to Africa I was scared that some random men were going to break into the house I was staying and rape me. How crazy is that? In Africa they have presented African Americans as all being uneducated, rappers, thugs, and hoes. It was very irritating when the Africans would try to use slang with me. The media alone has caused us to form stereotypes about each other.

This is an issue that frequently comes up in my diverse circle of friends, so I wanted to share it with you guys. I leave you with this question:

At what point did African Americans stop being African? When we got off the slave ship?

Yo I tell you the rest when I see you… Peace!

Nikki

Follow me on twitter: Nikkiandthecity

Check out my blog: www.nikkiandthecityadventures.blogspot.com

122 thoughts on “The Beef Between Africans & African Americans: Why Can’t We Get Along?

  1. We need to address this issue more. I have had to stop children from calling each other “Ugly” africans and fighting amongst each other over nothing. Black people (both African and African American) have to stop tearing each other down in the name of difference. Africans are not ugly and uncivilized. African Americans are not lazy and criminial minded. We have to let these stereotypes go because at the end of the day, we face the same racial and ethnic oppression worldwide and the only way to fight it is to join together.

    1. Its very disturbing when people say that Africans are uncivilized ,poverty stricken and etc, yes some countries are backward due to poor leadership, but its not the entire continent. Believe me when energetic Africans were shipped to the Americas and the Caribbean, Africa was ‘striped naked’ and that wasn’t enough, colonialism and now post colonialism hurts Africa more and Africans are trapped in viscous cycle of confusion ,dependency and hopelessness, because they are ‘remote controlled’ by colonial masters this means more exploitation of natural resources plundered for years and today with discovery of black gold African countries have no choice but to bend because they do not have the technology to drill oil reserves and gas.

      Africa is a huge continent with descent people who respect African Americans b’se many know the history of slave trade. whether African Americans love Africans or otherwise,that will not take away racism and exploitation of all kinds in any way.

      What we see on TV about African Americans is hard to believe drugs,ghettos,uneducated violent young blacks and jails full of black people but we know there are black people who have endured hardships and overcome insurmountable odds to move forward.

      This world has no mercy. We have saying in my language that ‘a bird that never ventures far from its nest can never know where the ripe grain is’, Travel to Africa and see for yourself what this beautiful land means to the World.

      God bless you all

    2. True that my sister its time for us Africans and African-Americans to stop fighting each other and join together and fight racial prejudice and styreotypes against us, no matter where we are born, whether in Africa or elsewhere in the world, by the end of the day we’re still black or brown, or in a simple term Africans. Love to you all my brothers and sisters!

  2. This is a very good topic.First,I would like to say I am an American born woman of African descent.I’m not an African because that is not the country of my birth and I am generation removed from that country.The problem is the title.African American which really should be American African.We have allowed ourselves to be put in another category so that the color of skin can be recognized.When filling out an application anywhere most of the time you will see that all races are categorized(ex.asian,hispanic,indian etc..)but when it comes to whites you don’t see that on the application. All nonwhite races are to check one of several boxes.I’m quite sure there are germans,polish, swedish ppl possibly applying for the jobs too but they don’t have to check a damn box.Saying that to say this, we are the keepers of our own history we can’t be mad or upset because they don’t understand the American African,shit we don’t understand them either.So it is up to us to teach our younger generation about our Mother Land.The land where all mankind originated from.I think on both ends we can learn from each other so we can understand each.

    1. I have no intention to offend you but I believe what you intended in your opening remark was ” I’m not an African because that is not the continent of my birth and I am generation removed from that continent “. Africa is a continent with 54 countries.

      Cheers

    2. Just to remind gwenette collins that your nationality is american cause you were born in the US;but even if you try, you will never run away from your identity!!that is AFRICAN.being black by race just like i (kenyan) our identity is AFRICAN.

      1. Truth

        I am african american.I have a history that is unknown.I think that if anyone should show hate it should be the african americans.The africans in africa know their mother and father and maybe their great great grandma of grandfather.I dont have to much of a past.I my true african idenity is gone My family and each family here in america have been threw struggles
        The hanging trees in my neighborhood tell stories of the people who died with no idenity but desendants of slaves. I love my people!I am african each one of these african americans here in america. Ya wouldn’t say that only africa is africa he said he will take all of his people even the ones that have been taken from home. The hate of color must end the hate of your own people is sad He has taught us to love and still all we do is HATE. It is time for all blacks to learn to love who we are and respect and learn more about our true culture. I have spent days praying for everyone. The color doesnt matter the place we are born is just a land and until we work on what YA has told us to obey, as humans we will all still be lost!!!!!!!!!! it’s time to show respect to the most high 24/7 while we are still blessed to live. He is the all and the only way of LIFE!Here in america all we learned is that we were coons and hung raped whipped and that we were dumb!We shouldn’t be told that just because we are in america that we arent african we are apart of africa and it is my ancestors PAST!

  3. The media has played a significant role in distributing stereotypes about Africans and people of African decent. However, I must agree with the Nigerian woman “WE ARE NOT AFRICAN” ! Why do I say this? The answer is simple SLAVERY ! SLAVERY caused the purity of our African ancestory to be dilluted with Anglo blood. SLAVERY is the reason why we cannot trace our roots back to Africa let alone here in America. My Grandma told me that her Grandparents were slaves. She also told me that her Grandpa was called the “Stockman” . Why? He was a big, strong, burly black man and slave masters believed that men with these characteristics could produce the best off-spring. I have family scattered across this continent that i don’t even know and will probably never know because of SLAVERY! Whenever someone would menton Africa or tracing their roots back to Africa my Grandma would always say “I ain’t lost nothing in Africa”. i use to wonder what she meant until I read an essay by Annette Dula titled “No Home In Africa”. After reading his essay I begn to think that most Africans were as arrogant as the ones she described in her essay. I rarely make assumptions based on what I’ve read before actually finding out for myself but Annette Dula painted such a compelling picture that I almost swayed to her perspective. Upon entering collge, i finally had the opportunity to meet students from Africa. I met a girl from Ghana who lived on my floor. She explained to me that the images portrayed in the media about Africans and the continent itself wasn’t true and that they go shopping, and go to the clubs and have paved road just like we do here in America. It was interesting and exciting to have this dialogue and it made me want to learn more. I began reading everything i I could find on Africa and I was really starting to embrace my African ancestory. It wasn’t until I entered a Sengalese Braiding Salon that I realized how some Africans really view black people. I’ll never forget the feeling a I got when I walked in the place and they way they looked a me, standing there with my natural coif. I wanted to leave but my mama insisted on me staying and getting my hair braided but their cold expressions made me feel very uncomfortable. Relucatantly I sat down and allowed them to braid my hair. After the braiding began the two girls who were brading my hair began speaking French and Arabic interchangeably. One of the girls began talking about an encounter she had with a young black guy outside of the salon which was located in a shopping plaza. I knew enough French to understand some of the conversation. The guy obviously tried to make an advance towards her by saying “What’s up sexy” ! She ignored him and said ahhhhhh Americans. AMERICANS not AFRICANS. Yes we may look like AFRICANS but WE ARE NOT AFRICANS. We are just distant relaltives whom they don’t claim because our bloodlines are saturated with Cherokee, Chinese, European, and ethinic backgrounds other than AFRICAN. I am a product of the revolutionary brothers and sisters who fought on THIS soil and THIS continent for and equal rights and not to be referred to as COLORED. As my Grandma once said ” I never thought of myself as colored, colored could be anything” I’m BLACK, a BLACK woman” I am as black as my African ancestory, my skin says so but my history reveals otherwise, the dilluting of my bloodline. Yes I embrace my hair in it’s natural state as a visual symbol of the knowledge of my culture but I know I will not be considered African by Africans because of the poison that has been injected into the minds of Africans upon entering this country, heck my college professor who hails from Ghana, even told us that Euro-America told them to steer clear of blacks in this country. I am no more AFRICAN than he is nor am I no more HAITIAN than the lady who lived next door to us when I was a kid. I AM BLACK and the worst kind of BLACK. I’m the kind of BLACK that Euro-America fears and hates because when they look at me and other black brothers and sisters in this country, they see American History in all it’s splendor despite the way it’ appears in history books. They see themselves in the our diverse skin tones. They see THEIR blood.

    Thanks Nikki for an awesome topic for discussion! Although my views may differ from others, I definately think this is a very neccesary dialogue 🙂

    1. They don’t associate black peoples as africans because of the cultural difference and what is valued here in America, not because you are “saturated”. There are plenty of mixed of African children that have the culture and are therefore considered African. It’s all about culture.

      1. “”If an European white (in US they say Caucasian) wrote about “purity of the blood” in the terms used by you, he would be branded like a “racist” or “nazi scum”.””

        Who care what a European white guy does? This discussion is about Black Americans and Africans.
        In various African countries a person would be considered multi-racial–they are mixed, colored, but not 100% Black African–that is just a fact.

        “You talk of slavery like it was something only black people were subjected. Europeans were put in bondage by Arabs also, for centuries.”

        I’m trying to figure out where in this article did it say only Black people were subjugated to slavery? So we are discussing it in the context of our experiences and culture. Why does that make you feel so uncomfortable with yourself?

        “So, you are not special. You are normal. What make Afro-Americans different is they are whiners compared to Black Caribbeans, compare to Africans, compared to every one else. Your identity is based on what others did, not on what you did. Take away this and there is nothing left.”
        Who said we were special…YOU said that lol. White Americans are the first and last whiners and complainers. Case an point your entire post. You don’t get decide how people define themselves or what the topics they discuss in their free time. Maybe your energies would best be used hanging around people that aren’t “whiners”–instead of being a narcissistic jackass and trying to belittle people. You are obviously very insecure.

    2. “The media has played a significant role in distributing stereotypes about Africans and people of African descent. However, I must agree with the Nigerian woman “WE ARE NOT AFRICAN” ! Why do I say this? The answer is simple SLAVERY ! SLAVERY caused the purity of our African ancestory to be diluted with Anglo blood.”

      If an European white (in US they say Caucasian) wrote about “purity of the blood” in the terms used by you, he would be branded like a “racist” or “nazi scum”.

      http://www.calvin.edu/academic/cas/gpa/rpt27c.htm (Adolf Hitler’s Speech at the 1927 Nuremberg Rally Three times he repeated “purity of the blood” and his flag represented the “purity of the blood”).

      You talk of slavery like it was something only black people were subjected. Europeans were put in bondage by Arabs also, for centuries.

      “Professor Robert Davis, in his book Christian Slaves, Muslim Masters: White Slavery in the Mediterranean, the Barbary Coast, and Italy, 1500-1800, estimated that 1 million to 1.25 million White people were enslaved by North African pirates between 1530 and 1780. North African pirates abducted and enslaved more Europeans from coastal villages and towns. Italy, Spain, Portugal and France were hardest hit but the raiders also seized people in Britain, Ireland and Iceland.”

      “Christian slaves were often so plentiful and so inexpensive, there was no point in caring for them; many owners worked them to death and bought replacements.”

      Strangely, I hear always lament about the slaves brought in America from Europeans (and bough from Africans and Arabs in Africa because Europeans would die like flies if they traveled inside Africa before the XIX century) and I never hear laments about the slaves brought in The Middle East, North Africa from Africa. I think this is because the Europeans ( being Christians) didn’t castrated their male slaves and didn’t worked to death their females. Muslims did (without remorse because they were heathens).

      So, you are not special. You are normal.
      What make Afro-Americans different is they are whiners compared to Black Caribbeans, compare to Africans, compared to every one else.
      Your identity is based on what others did, not on what you did.
      Take away this and there is nothing left.

      1. “”If an European white (in US they say Caucasian) wrote about “purity of the blood” in the terms used by you, he would be branded like a “racist” or “nazi scum”.””

        Who care what a European white guy does? This discussion is about Black Americans and Africans.
        In various African countries a person would be considered multi-racial–they are mixed, colored, but not 100% Black African–that is just a fact.

        “You talk of slavery like it was something only black people were subjected. Europeans were put in bondage by Arabs also, for centuries.”

        I’m trying to figure out where in this article did it say only Black people were subjugated to slavery? So we are discussing it in the context of our experiences and culture. Why does that make you feel so uncomfortable with yourself?

        “So, you are not special. You are normal. What make Afro-Americans different is they are whiners compared to Black Caribbeans, compare to Africans, compared to every one else. Your identity is based on what others did, not on what you did. Take away this and there is nothing left.”
        Who said we were special…YOU said that lol. White Americans are the first and last whiners and complainers. Case in point your entire post. You don’t get decide how people define themselves or what the topics they discuss in their free time. Get over it. Maybe your energies would best be used hanging around people that aren’t “whiners”–instead of being a narcissistic jackass. You are obviously very insecure.

  4. Blessings,

    I applaud your travels and concerns. I have never encountered any Africans from the Motherland who questioned my ‘african-ness’, but I’ve never been to Africa. Yet when I was in France in 2008, both foreigners and the French seemed to know me as an ‘American’. One day at the bus stop in Nice, a white guy approached me saying, excuse me do you speak English? He was from Canada and could have asked any of the other ‘dark skinned’ people at the stop, yet he asked me. I asked him why and he replied that I looked like I was an American. Not an African or Black, but an American. So my question is, is it a cultural thing?– Also I’d like to add that I have had the best experiences with Africans in America- mainly people from Ghana and Nigeria. When you come to Chicago, I would like to introduce you to the Dean of Graduate Studies at CSU and perhaps explore this further. And also note, somethings change very slowly, so its best to hold on to ‘changelessness’.

  5. Apparently, this is a very sensitive subject that stirs a lot of emotions with African-Americans as well as Africans.
    But we have to be careful with forming an opinion based on isolated unpleasant encounters: as a Senegalese (West African) I have had good experiences with African-American and bad experiences too, yet it is essential that we realize that with both communities you will have your “bad apples”, are we going to let these “bad apples” determine our perception of each other?
    Black people around the world, we need to learn to love each other…we can sit here and point out our differences and worry about the labels (I’m not African, I’m African-American….who cares? We’re all Black!).
    In the eyes of the world, we are all Black whether Africans, Americans, French citizens, Haitian, Jamaicans…it doesn’t matter if we’ve been mixed with other races, heck some Africans have been mixed with other races while in Africa! I know of some Africans who are as Americans (if not more) as African-Americans (AKON, the rapper/singer for example).

    In Africa, each country has several ethnic groups (sometimes hundred of different races with their own characteristics: some tall/ some short/ some slim/ some more muscular, some light-skin, some dark skin) so if we want to get really technical being black is not even a race…it is a very long list of races.

    The main idea is this: it is crucial to understand each other and have a better understanding of each other…there is definitely a lack of knowledge of Africa worldwide, not only in the US but everywhere.
    Yes the media does an excellent work at portraying Africa’s worst images (hunger, AIDS, civil war, blood diamonds, diseases, poverty), even though these problems exist in Europe, Asia and America (except civil war and blood diamonds). I wrote a blog on the role of the media in Africa’s ternished image, that image made a lot of African-Americans deny their identity and I can’t blame them if that’s all they see about Africa.
    Here is the link of the blog on Africa’s bad image: http://www.articlesbase.com/culture-articles/why-does-africa-have-such-a-bad-image-2362785.html.
    So as Africans, it is our job to fight this media campaign by various means…we must inform each other, have more dialogue about these subjects so that we can get closer.

    It is time that knowledge is shared, it is exciting to read that more African-Americans are going to Africa to see for themselves what it is REALLY like…and not relying solely on what someone says or what FOXnews shows.
    Realistically though, not every single African-American will make the trip so we (Africans) have to make an effort to show pictures, documentaries, reports to better inform our Black Diaspora in America about Africa.

    Yes it is true that African and African-Americans are not the same, so no one is trying to state that we are identical because we are not….but this is irrelevant, we have to work on our relationship with each other.
    The beautiful thing is that we can learn from our differences, I have an American wife and we learn so much from each other because her African-American culture teaches me a lot while I share my African heritage with her and our children.
    Africans must improve the nature of their interaction with African-Americans and vice-versa, there will always be ignorant folks in both groups but we shouldn’t let them dictate the outcome of our Black Diaspora.

    Africa is wonderful but one would think I’m just saying that because I’m African…I have travelled with several African-Americans to the motherland and all of them have seriously considered moving to Africa for good, it is a very unique experience and you have to live it to really understand.

    I hope my contribution will be well understood, the last thing I would like to add is that Africans and African-Americans should do more business together…there are many opportunities for both entrepreneurial groups.

    Thanks

    1. Thank you for posting your wonderful, true and very informative comments. I am from the Caribbean, I am an African who also has other bloodlines, however my soul and my very being speaks to my African heritage, I cannot get away from it, it makes me who I am today.
      You are correct, Black people the world over MUST STOP this tearing down of one another and realize that we are all in this thing together. Start trying to learn about the positives of the Motherland, read about the history of slavery and how it affected the new world (the Caribbean and Latin America) and not just America. Black Americans need to stop seeing themselves as the only people who matter and go back to their history books.
      Stop letting the White man divide and define us, we are the sons and daughters of Africa and a mother never discriminates against her children, no matter what they have done or where they have been. We are all the prodigal sons and daughters of that great continent !
      I felt to proud reading this piece coming from an African and it should inspire Black people in America to disregard the words of the racists and learn for yourself the white man continues to divide and rule but now he does it through the media.

  6. wow, its funny I was just talking to my husband the other day about this topic. I was saying how interesting it is to me that my grandmom, a black African American woman has strange perceptions of Africans. She often jokes about them and refers to Nigerians as con artists or foreigners who just want a green card. I am also an African American woman who has felt distraught at times because I dont know where exactly my ancestors come from. I know that they’re African but I dont know what country or tribe…
    Its also interesting to me how at school, my classmates often associate me with all things as “African”, because I wear my hair natural and tend to dress more “afrocentricly*(whatever that means), yet I personally, do not feel like I am African. I’ve always felt American, not because Im ashamed of my heritage, because Im definitely not, but because America is where I’ve been born and raised, its the culture I know best. Its understandable that the Nigerian woman said you werent African. I would’ve been hurt a little because she did disregard your heritage, but still, I agree because I feel more like an American than African. Many can debate that and say that Im very lost and displaced from my ancestors culture, but maybe instead of grieving over something we’ve never had (a connection to the motherland) why dont we embrace and uplift our own Black American culture and work more on uniting every black person from every country.

  7. I think “African American” is no longer appropriate. I would argue that the vast majority of black people know very little or nothing about Africa and has very few ties to the continent or the African community, esp for the 35 and under group. The cultures, language and values can be very, very different. The commonality between both groups is skin color and we’re always lumped together as a homogenous group because of it. Like it or not, America is our homeland. It is where we’re born, where we’ll die, the culture we’ve created, contributed to, immersed in and project (proudly) to the rest of the world. I seriously, seriously doubt anyone that an American born black person would put in the time, money and energy it takes to obtain dual citizenship with the African country that their family history can be linked to. How many people, especially those that are my age (I was born in 1981) can tell you anything about Africa or even really care about it’s history, current state and its future? Do we even care about our familial and historical ties to Africa? Do you make an effort to be a part of the African community in your city or connect with Africans other than to get your hair braided or people that you go to class with? When you see an African, what initially goes through your mind? Kinship or a shared history/connection-I doubt it. If I made an extra effort to connection with an African it would be to learn more about them and their culture than to find a commonality. Just because a black person whould choose to be considered and own the label of being American first and African second doesn’t mean that they hate themselves, are denying their history or is “selling out”. I think it means that they are understanding and adapting to reality in a progressive way that is shocking and turns the status quo and group think on its head. I’ve been overseas a few times and I am considered American, first and foremost even if I’m not treated with the same deference as white Americans. What is so taboo about being viewed and treated as an American not African American? I wouldn’t change it, give it up or diminish it for anything. For better or worse, this is my “motherland” and I’m perfectly okay with it.

  8. I agree with Gwentte and Danielle. I served in the Army and deployed to other countries and i was an American in doiont that i have travel to Asia in China i’m a “Meiguoren” American in Manderin chinese. No where on my passport does it say African on it. I am American that is a decendent of a African slave. I have met folks from Kenya,Somila, and Nigeria here in the US. They call themselve Kenyan,Somilan, or Nigerians and when they get US citizenship there Kenyan American and so forth WHY?? Kenya is the country they are from Africa is a continent. When you say African American you are acknowleging ignorance. Yes ths is due to slavery but that was over 250 years ago. I was born here so i’m American i cannot relate to the continent of Africa.

    1. I don’t think anybody is trying to make you relate to it. I say my ancestors came from the place now known as Africa. If you want to get technical Africans are conforming too when they refer to themselves as so because the word Africa is of Greek origin – used to describe the area of south of modern day tunisia. It’s all relative. I am Blackfoot too. But that depends on me. You choose to be an American. The ignorance comes into play when you choose for somebody else. And slavery ended in 1865. It is 2010. That’s not even close. Especially if you count sharecropping… because that lasted until after my grandmother was born.

    2. I agree with you Eio Africans Americans are Africans,but they are black and American by nationality.I’m South African and we have a lot of people who are a mixture of Africans, Asians and European but they see themselves as Africans because of their nationality.And we have white people and they call themselves Africans.So one can only be African by nationality.

    3. Its not that you cannot relate, its that you do not want to. You rather live and die in ignorance. You rather die for a country that just over a 100 years ago, did not even think that you were a human being. There is no helping some people ! its just to leave them alone in their ignorance. You can learn, you can read, you can immerse yourself in things from the continent that should be easy for you to do.

  9. Hello, as I posted my comment on this issue…it seems as if the questions asked : Where is the beef between Africans and African-Americans? Why can we get along? were not even answered in most of the responses.
    Before even answering the questions, some of the comments started fighting the “African-American” label then again in an attempt to remove that link to Africa (Not that there’s anything wrong with that)…while the initial statement in the blog clearly questioned how the mass is so controlled by the media (shaping the public views against Africa).
    Many Black people are tearing each other apart, by their words or by their actions: some bleach their skins, some always have something negative to say about themselves or their communities, some just flat out completely dissociate themselves. We do have a long way to go, but things can and will get better.

    In this blog, there is no right or wrong answer…the whole topic is very subjective and it depends vastly on the personal experiences of the writers. Just talking about this issue is therapeutic I think.
    The comments on this post are a direct image of the post title, the growing divisions between Africans and African-Americans in the world due to differences in nationalities, cultures, languages, lifestyles or whereas it is political, social or a direct result of propaganda.

    After reading some of the comments, I would like to add that it is clear that an American with African roots can choose to be just American and not African-American because an identity can be blended with a citizenship, true enough, so a Black person can say that he/she’s just an American, or French or German…just like a Gambian can say that they’re just Gambian and let that be the end of it, but an identity always goes beyond a citizenship…it is so much more than that.
    My opinion is that restricting your identity to just a citizenship is missing out on your heritage, we are much more than that. Don’t you know that we are a beautiful people with a beautiful history? with Great civilizations? and Great cultures? That we All share together whether it is obvious or not. Some things cannot be diluted, it stays there…that African DNA is no joke, ask somebody!

    And by no means is anyone asking Black Americans to research, or get closer or inquire about their African heritage…that is a very personal choice that some have chosen to do, out of their own accord.
    And sometimes, it may not even be feasible to investigate your roots properly so then again these comments are very much circumstancial…let’s be realistic.
    Also some choose to not do anything about it (their roots) when the means are readily available and that is absolutely ok, it may not fulfill their sense of wholeness or it may just not be their interests.

    I can just say that I have noticed a big change in African-Americans who took that journey of self-discovery. There is a Wolof saying that says: “If you do not like (do not care) who you are, it means that you are not beautiful in who you are”.
    Forget the label, a story or event on one of my ancestors gets my blood pumping…I don’t about how others feel about this but can anyone understand what I’m saying? My ancestors, their activities and lifestyles are important to me because it gives me an insight on who I am, where I come from and where I’m going.

    I’m very happy about this blog because it gets us to talk about a very important issue, the question of ancestry and how we relate to it, or not.
    This is my opinion and it is what I believe in but I do respect all the other positions because we can always agree to disagree as different individuals.

    As a last statement, I will reiterate the importance of opening the lines of communication between the various Black communities so that there is more unity in the Diaspora.

    Thanks

  10. Being American is not just citizenship; it’s a culture and a way of life. It may not always be positive or constructive and the image we send to the rest of the world may hinder more than help us, but it goes far beyond the borders. Being American is what so many people around the world want to be as well live here, for a variety of reasons. Our freedom, politics and just to be able to start over and reinvent yourself and how you view and react towards life is a unique experience in this country that cannot be understated. And the rest of the world views and responds to us as a culture not just a mass of people living within the confounds of a border.

    And I would also venture to say that there is a gulf between generations regarding the relationships between Africans and African-Americans, how we view and process our history (collective and personally) and what being American means.

  11. Both african americans and west indians were separated from the motherland (africa) yet people rarely mention the plight of the west indians. I myself am half african and half west indian but I just see myself as black. After all african americans and west indians are the direct descendants of africans.
    I am from the UK and the same rift exists between african and west indians. It is not all about America!

  12. In reading most of the comments, I was taken aback by the responses. I am a African-American male, black male, born in the U.S. I had the opportunity about two years ago to visit South Africa,Zambia and Bostswanna. During my stay, all of the black south africans I encountered treated by wife and I like one of their own. I had long conversations about disspelling myths and sterotypes about African Americans and having the opportunity to be told about the myths and sterotypes that black americans have about the motherland. My trip was enjoyable, eye opening and something I am going to do again and again. If fact I fell so in love with Capetown and bought a condo there, . As black folk, it is imperative to teach ourselves about our origins, we may complain about the disconnect that being enslaved as put upon us. Remember our ancestors did not have a choice in being enslaved, but we their protegies do have a choice going forward in teaching our children our tribe about the “continent.”

    Peace and Joy to all, we are one people, always and forever!

    Ron Jordan

  13. This is a very interesting article. Let me start by saying that I am an African American and my experiences with Africans has been mostly positive. I have had some negative experiences but just as mentioned before there will be ignorance in some group no matter where you come from. I am very interested in getting to know my heritage. It is like a hunger inside of me that cannot be fulfilled until I make the trip to Africa. Sometimes when I am out running errands I am stopped by an African or descendant from another country and they will ask me where I’m from. Every time this happens they look at my face very closely and I find myself wishing that I could see whatever “traveled experience” they see. All I have ever heard is that I look Ethiopian or Somalian. It confuses me a bit because I know that slaves were taken primarily from West Africa. But anyway I’m getting off subject…

    I am grateful that this discussion was initiated here. I hope that there can be an ongoing dialogue between us. There are so many forums on line that fuel hatred between Africans and African Americans and I know that there is so much more between us than hatred and indifference. I would like to pose a question and maybe someone can answer. What should we do to open ongoing positive communication between us? It is way passed due!

    Thanks all

    1. Hi Toni!, I think that in order to open positive communication we have to be patient with each other and understanding. Whether we call ourselves Black or African or of African descent, there has to be an understanding that the force that put us in slavery or colonialism is the same. We come from all over the world, yet we originate from one place. Africa. Thats it. We have to let our fight against oppression and our familial history unite us. Even if someone says something ignorant to you, we have to know that this ignorance comes from a source of untruth. So before getting mad at each other, we need to speak from a place of understanding. I am an African American woman.

      I have traveled through 4 African countries and I have never had a bad experience. I was treated kindly and greeted with open arms eveywhere I went. I met wonderful people who were all curious about what us “black americans” were doing in the U.S. Most people didn’t know I was from the U.S. Many tried to speak to me in their mother tongue. When they found out I was a “black american” they were happy to meet me and wanted to learn more about me. Women gave me traditional clothing to wear and tried to teach me how to cook their foods. I was also taught a little Wolof and Swahili.

      I visited the slave dungeons in Senegal and from that moment on, I know what I was.I am an African in America. I sat in the same four walls that my ancestors were chained together in before boarded the slave ships to America. I cried for my mothers before me, I felt their spirit. And I thanked God for the opportunity for me to return to the place of my ancestors and see it for myself. My ancestors and I are one. I may live in a different place, speak a different language, but I am my great great grandmother’s child and I won’t apologize for it or deny it. That being said, I believe that if more of us connected the dots of our heritage and history we would learn that we are family no matter where we live on the planet. This goes for all black people including Latinos. If we realize this simple fact despite our geographical/ small cultural differences, we can get beyond minor issues and form open lines of communication. If we did this more often, Black people all over the world would be in better shape. We can stop calling ourselves minorities and realize that we are the Majority in the world. And if we come together for a cause, we can only succeed and live in prosperity.

      Love,

      Jam-the-lbg

      1. Beautiful, thats what I am talking about ! We are Africans no matter where we are domiciled now. No matter what water separates us, we have a common home. Thank you sister.

      2. A very good and intellectual response Jamthelbg. I wish all black people realised the same. god bless u.

  14. Wow Jam-the-lbg your experiences and travels sound really exciting! For the most part Africans I have encountered have been very friendly. Just recently I was invited to attend a coffee ceremony by an Eritrean lady. We exchanged numbers and she was very friendly and talkative. I hope to establish a real friendship because I truly believe that although we have cultural differences, there are still innate similarities. We have to go beyond the stereotypes and listen to each other with an open mind. So what i’m trying to figure out is what would be the proper meeting place for such an occurrence? Does anyone know of any sites that encourage positive dialogue? @ Jam I really agree with what you said concerning us coming together for a cause and succeeding as a result.

    1. @ Toni, Thats a good question. I don’t know but it sounds like a good idea! We need a meeting place. I started looking for sites but couldn’t find any with that specific purpose. If you find any, let me know.

      1. Your writing was very up lifting. You have every thing within you to start a positive communication site. I hope you will take advantage of the opportunity that God has laid at your feet. I hope too hear more from you in the future.

  15. Hello Toni and Jamtheblg,

    it is a very interesting point you both brought up about the creation of a platform of positive communication between Africans and African-Americans (or Black Americans…and West Indians along with the Black Diaspora all together). Just recently, during a Minority business event I brought up the topic of this blog and I got several amazing responses to the idea of the creation of a platform for better communication…whether it is a website or a yearly event.
    It is not a small project and maybe we can come up with something viable if nothing is out there responding to this need, let’s exchange thoughts on the idea and maybe something big can come out of this.

    Thank you

  16. Black Americans came from West Africa – Present day Nigeria, SL, etc… So it’s not too difficult because they came from an isolated area of Africa.

    Some were taken from inland but that was from other Blacks who sold them into slavery.

    Interesting enough Black countries abolished slavery long after White countries even though it is still widespread in Africa.

  17. hello all my brothers and sisiters,don’t know how long back you all wrote this,n’way i felt i needed to write something too.My name is Benjamin Opi Apamaku i come from Uganda a small landlocked country in East Africa.Sounds odd but true thats because probably ive never set foot out of africa.i know it sounds odd but its true.The only way I know bout my dear brothers is through media and entertainment and probably a few history books here and there.Ill tell you no matter how different culture we might be we still relate to each other.60% of the youth btn age 12-21 in uganda prefer black american music and movies to anything else.I believe thats some relation to culture.Ill tell you a short encounter with a black american online.I logged into a rap room on yahoo chat,we coz of my sense of belonging there no african chat rooms,so rap was the closest thing to black”forgive me i justed wanted to relate easier with ppl i thought i knew”.Anyway i hear these 2 guys talking on the mic about the best mc’s or something so i get onto the mic.One guy was called “rican” the other dude was called”nets 99″.Anyway i got onto the mic my first sentence was “hello people how you all doin”Then the “nets” dude replys somethin bout kunta kinte get ur A** off the mic”i bet ur covered in flies”Then the Rican dude says he must be prolly dieng off AIDS.I think he was hispanic.Anyways i asked “NETS” why he had a problem with me.He said coz we africans make blk americans look bad.i ask him how?but he jus keeps mimicing my accent.Till one dude came on the mic he’s name was Jamal from the bronx he realy gave this brother a piece of of his mind he talked about the divisions we africans and blk american have for no good reason.And the lack of solidarity we have for one another,a hispanic and a black american insulting an african.”Maybe it was a way of him makin a joke”? realy didnt make sence to me though.Nets continued arguing with Jamal how Africans sold the Black Americans FOR spices and so on.Anyway all in all i was shocked about,how this black american was acting up,well partly because it was my 1st verbal encounter with one.I couldnt judge all of them by jus one a good explanation is the bother Jamal.this was back in 2008 i added Jamal up on yahoo messengerwe’ve shared alot since then,like 2 brothers separated at birth.Bottom line is no matter what ill always forever love my black european,american,south american carribean brothers no matter what.We might talk alot of hatred amongest ourselves but deep deep down we know we are blood.And we are “one” and forever will be no matter how different our accents maybe,different our culture.We will always be son’s and daughters of mother africa.”United we stand divided we fall”I hope oneday to truly meet one of my distant relatives.thnks for the wonderfull heartfelt writings,Let use what we know to help unite our lost brothers and sisters because i believe how some of us treat each other is very sad…GOD BLESS YOU ALL ABUNDANTLY.thnks for the topic Miss Lisa.bless

  18. Any American who looks like an African and refuses to acknowledge this is just lying to her/himself.
    Yeah yeah, you weren’t born there and thus “have no ties” to the place, but guess what, dummy? You’ll still be called African-American because someone in your family clearly came from there! Deny it all you want but if it wasn’t written on your face you wouldn’t even need to try and deny/explain, would you? The sooner you come to terms with it, the better a person you’ll be.
    It’s like a kid born and raised in America with Chinese immigrant parents swearing up and down she’s got nothing to do with Asia. Come on. You may not identify with Chinese culture, but you sure as hell can’t deny the place your family came from. It’s obvious.

  19. In africa, we celebrate african americans more than their white counterparts. We have your pictures in our phones and computers. Many of us want to act like you guys, even dress. When we go to movies, yours is preferd. But how can somebody say most africans hate black americans. Am a young pastor and my role models are 85% black americans. We don’t care if your blood are mixed with the indian, europeans or chinese, we don’t so much care. If you identify with us, we wil give you the lead. Am igbo from nigeria, you need to see excitment in us when bishop Td Jakes, Forest whitetaker and mr blair underwood identified with us. Whitetaker even went home with chieftancy title, (nwanne di na mba) meaning ‘brother in a foreign land’. Am curious to know to identify with africans. Don’t be ashamed of us. We do have great life, we are great! So if you guys thinks your good, then africa has not faild. Which mother would be happy having her daughter doing than her. We can build on our strenghts. We love you no doubt.

  20. Correction!! In africa, we celebrate african americans more than their white counterparts. We have your pictures in our phones and computers. Many of us want to act like you guys, even dress like. When we go to movies, yours is preferd. But how can somebody say most africans hate black americans. Am a young pastor and my role models are 85% black americans. We don’t care if your blood are mixed with the indian, europeans or chinese, we don’t so much care. If you identify with us, we wil give you the lead. Am igbo from nigeria, you need to see the excitment in us when bishop Td Jakes, Forest whitetaker and mr blair underwood identified with us. Whitetaker even went home with chieftancy title, (nwanne di na mba) meaning ‘brother in a foreign land’. Am curious to know how much our brothers has identified with their africans brothers. Don’t be ashamed of us. We do have great life, we are great! So if you guys thinks your good, then africa has not faild. Which mother would not be happy having her daughter doing better than her. We can build on our strenghts. We love you no doubt.

  21. Thanks for your post; I read it and like it. My experience as an African working in USA was very sad. I just don’t wanna recollect much or talk much about it.Anywhere i speak, it’s either ‘huh’ that comes out from whoever i talked to and ‘u speak with an accent’ or ‘where u from’ I was working as a customer service person after 1month in USA. I lived in england and speak with my Ghanaian/African accent and i enjoy it much. I think much of the people in USA especially the state i was should travel outside USA once in a life time and have an experience of the world. But i love black americans at my work very much. The culture difference wasn’t much for me.

  22. Well well well, what can i say. All said and done i think that we here in Africa have a lot to learn from ourselves and from the united states as well. I’m Ghanaian and I happen to live on the Uni of Ghana campus. I have come into contact with quite a number of African Americans. One guy who lived in my house for about two weeks said he heard that Africans were “serious people” that is to say, we were mean, hard, brutal and in fact, that some still lived in trees. When I picked him up from the airport, he kept telling me how he had packed just a few clothes for a week when he was going to be here for 3months because his paddies (buddies) said there was no need to dress too much for those Africans, they don’t wear many clothes. I think we all need education, we have to learn about who we are and where we have come from. Africa is really a great place, anyone who can make it should take a trip, trust me, you will come back for more.

  23. I’ve read a lot of ur responses n I believe any american who doesn’t believe he or she is african is plainly denying dier origin n heritage. If both of my parents wer americans n I was born in asia. Wouldn’t I c a difference as to how I’m labelld n y I’m calld black asian so as to make me wana know wer I really belong? N y I’m labelled black asian? The white brought africans to american n dey obviously know more of d history dan d african americans. Dey hide a lot of information since dey scared african americans wil make alliance wif africa and build and build a stable n rich africa. Everybody knows american was built by slaves n foreigners. American is wat it is bcus d slaves wer forced to wk 4 free inorder to make americans rich. I used to tink wen I come to america, d african americans wud treat me lyk I’m 1 of dem. I was seriously hurt n disappointed to realise dey don’t even wana consida me as 1 of dem. I embraced dem as a family but dey rejected me jus bcus I av an accent. Der is poverty in every continent,disease,robbery name it. Africa has all d qualities and luxuries americans hav,but we don’t c it on american telvsion.frankly speakn n I beg to disrespect but I tink d white americans c blak americans as fuls. I came to america wif noting to bost of. I’ve been able to get my degree,built a mansion in africa at d age of 24. I didn’t steal or workd on minor jobs. I strivd,I saw d opportunities here n tuk advantage of it. I send all d money I make here bak home. I’m helpn build my country. Do u tink d white is happi abut wat I’m doing? No. He sees me as a opportunist n I lyk dat. Dat means I’m smart. I don’t even watch d news anymore cus all I c is blaks doing dis rong n dat rong. Does it make me hapi no. It made me loose d respect I had 4 blak americans wen I was home. How can u b born n raisd here nd end up on d street whilse I came from a place calld “bush” to b drivin my jeep n givin u coin. Tink abut it american. We don’t ker if ya all don’t want us or don’t ker abut us or don’t wana be known as africans. As long as u r blak, ur ancestors must av been slaves n u wil foreva be knows as africans. Mayb dey shud change it from african american, to slave american. I guess ya all wil b happi wif dat.

  24. Hello,

    It is a shame, but this misunderstanding is usually due to ignorance and immaturity. And both those traits apply to all age groups, sadly. I used to judge African Americans (I am a nomad, born and raised partly in Africa and around the world) because I thought they were all loud, stupid and judgmental. But my attitude was fueled by ignorant stereotypes and by hanging around people who did not care to elevate their mindsets nor be open minded. There are many rude, loud, ignorant and very judgmental Africans out there as well, in fact many more than many would expect (as you yourself witnessed on your trips). In fact in many African cultures many segments who “over value” education tend to pick up snobbish traits, and are an absolute pain to be around, especially some, not all, but some of those privileged to study in established institutions abroad. I’m sure the same can be found in all cultures/races. Likewise, there are many cool, calm and collected African Americans and Islanders who I’ve come to know and respect. The problem is a human one, not one of race or culture. Its a shame that the ignorant are the most visible in both societies because they make the most noise. And the media loves noise makers, because they start drama which brings in viewers and ratings. At the end of the day we are all black and all our native homelands, whether it be any country in Africa, the Islands and even the African American population in the US have all suffered oppression and are all considered minorities, and their economic states reflect that.

    People who accuse other people of anything negative without substantial facts or label others more than likely are hiding behind masks themselves. There are good people out there, you just have to recognize and appreciate them when they pass by.

    -B

  25. Hadji, I appreciate what you said. I am intrigued that your wife is African American. I get the impression you have a happy marriage, but I have read that marriages between African men and African American women tend to be difficult because of cultural differences. Do you believe those “cultural clashes” between African men and African American women may be exaggerated? Thanks.

  26. Its very disturbing we don’t get along.when i first came to America i have no idea that Africans and African Americans don’t get along.i knew about it when my sister in-law explained some of her experiences she went through with African Americans during her college days.At first i was not convinced until i saw it first hand.my first semester in community college i always wanted to make friends with African Americans but only a few wanted to talk to me.It was worst at the school cafeteria where African girls and African American girls always get into and its still going on.Its true the media have divided us but its high time we start getting along.like i always tell my friends blaming each other wont take us nowhere.
    i have my own experiences i can remember those days when we are playing indoor soccer in the school basketball hall African American boys will come in with air fresheners trying to spray the place because they say we smell bad and others will hold there nose as long as they see us in the hall.At work it was very different we see our selves as brothers.they ask us questions about Africa because they feel the media is misleading people.
    It is worst between the sisters.very few African girls want to be friends with African American girls.They barely talk.I have always been attracted to African American women but its unfortunate very few wanted to date Africans.if you are an African you have to try very hard.I dated a few who doesn’t mind me being an African but many i gave up.Vice-versa very few African women want to date African Americans and that number is very very low.
    It is really disturbing and it doesn’t look like it will ever get better.the media have really succeeded in dividing us.Some Africans wont rather check OTHER when asked there race than check black/African American because they feel if they check the later they classify themselves African Americans.Its that time we start challenging the media to stop dividing us.

  27. Hello everyone, I am happy to come back to this post and find that (after several months!) the dialogue is still going.

    John:

    To answer your question about clashes between African men and African-American women, yes I believe that the clashes between the two groups are exaggerated…cultural clashes will happen yes, but how they are managed is the most important ingredient.

    I do have a happy marriage with my wife and my African culture and her American culture are rich heritage we share and teach to our children.

    We just take the best of both our worlds and implement it in our lives.

    Regardless of culture or race, if two people disagree about something, discussing the topic at hand calmly can yield a peaceful resolution but if instead the two parties yell and argue/fight about it then it is unlikely that the end result would be positive.

    It is all a matter of how the couple handles its relationship, my wife is very understanding and willing to learn about my culture…and of course, I do the same: as a result we both make efforts to discover each other culturally, mentally and emotionally. It is not easy but it can be done.

    So at first, one might think that the cultural differences are too vast for an African man to have a successful marriage with an African-American woman…but actually it is a very beautiful union because there is so much more to share for the couple.

    But of course, not everyone will make a good match…as by reading some of the examples brought up in some posts. In both our communities you have good people and you have bad people. You just have to find a good match for yourself.

    The cultural clashes will happen and you just have to approach them with diplomacy and not get carried away or overly sensitive about it.

    I read one post about guys spraying air freshner in the gym once the Africans leave: some Africans have strong body odor because of their traditional diets (some folks from India have similar traits…because of spices) and that is a popular cultural clash…My opinion is that we have to wear stronger deodorant to solve that problem.

    As an African, I have to be honest and not deny the truth… will admit that many of my friends houses keep the smell of African food. The food is good, but it just leaves a strong smell because of the spices used.

    We can’t take that personally but just make sure that our body odor is kept contained. You don’t want to let your feelings get hurt without listening to the other side of the story.

    People will make fun or act a certain way, but not everyone is like that and ultimately it is our responsibility to adapt to the American context. It is not easy but we have to do it to make it work.

    Thanks

  28. WHETHER AFRICAN OR AFRICAN AMERICAN OR BLACK AMERICAN..UR ASS IS BLACK AND EVERY BLACK MAN IS FROM AFRICA SO HERE’S THE ANSWER.CALL YOURSELF WATEVER U WANT COS IT DOESNT MATTER. A WHITE SEES AFRICAN/AFRICAN AMERICAN/BLACK AMERICAN AS BLACK.

    AND WHEN ARE WE GONNA STOP ARGUING ON THIS AND UNITE.

    #SMH. DIS IS REAL IGNORANCE.

    1. Well I’m trying to stop calling myself black b/c of something on of my elementry teacher(who was African-American)told me. She said Crystal what color are you and I said black and she said no you’re not and I said yes I was and she said no you’re not and I said yes I was. Then she told me Crystal look at the crate over there in the conner. So I looked at it and she said now what color is that and I said black. Then she said now look at you skin color what color is it and I said brown. What I took from that is no one is really black. African/African Americans are just diffrent shades of browns or light skinned and that some browns are really darker that other that makes it almost seem like the person is black. So for me I say Ebony or African-American for that reason.

      1. im light in complection first of al most,but by default im black.

        your black my friend,theres no such thing as im from the brown race….OMG

  29. WHETHER AFRICAN OR AFRICAN AMERICAN OR BLACK AMERICAN..UR ASS IS BLACK AND EVERY BLACK MAN IS FROM AFRICA SO HERE’S THE ANSWER.CALL YOURSELF WATEVER U WANT COS IT DOESNT MATTER. A WHITE MAN SEES AFRICAN/AFRICAN AMERICAN/BLACK AMERICAN AS BLACK.

    AND WHEN ARE WE GONNA STOP ARGUING ON THIS AND UNITE.

    #SMH. DIS IS REAL IGNORANCE.

  30. I think the problem is twofold: africans in america and african americans in africa…

    For the africans in america, its the inability to relate to the african american experience of slavery, jim crow, and civil rights… For african americans in africa, i think its just the fact that we can’t speak african languages and even if we could, some africans still won’t accept us as african no matter how hard we try… There are some fascinating studies on the early attitudes toward partially native american people back when they were first trying to assimilate them into Anglo-American culture–and how neither the natives nor the whites would accept the mixed half white, half native americans… I think that’s how a lot of african-americans feel when pulled between being an american and being of african ancestry (and it really is ancestry we’re talking about)…. But I know that a lot of african americans tease and disrespect Africans… it’s all wrong and some sort of Willy Lynch mess-ter-piece.

    Overall I have to say I’m biased toward the african american struggle. I just think there’s more there… A lot more there in terms of struggle and well, frankly, trauma. For me what’s really screwed up is how a lot of middle-class/upper-class Africans seem to look down on African Americans as a whole, but cherry pick people they think are cool like Jordan and Oprah. I’m biased though–I’m African-American. 😛

  31. I know what you mean sis. we are truly in a bind when it come sto our identity. the sad thing is, each of us on both camps seem to think that the other doesn’t think too highly of them. Do i need to say this is perpetrated by Western White media that doesn’t want to see Black people in the Diaspora connect on any meaningful level.

    We have not stopped being AFrican! as you said, but for the African, if you do not have your clan name, your language and knowledge of your specific African culture, you are just as foreign as anybody. I have only met a few Africans indeed ( mostly Ghanians) who said that yes we are their AFrican sisters and brothers. While it is obvious that looking at many of us that we are indeed Africans for the most part, it seems we are castigated for a history we had/ have no control over. I think the fact that we have slave heritage is also an issue with many AFrican people. Perhaps it is classism?

    In africa today, many tribes such as the Fulbe ( fulani) Songhai and Mandinka,Wolof, etc. have castes within their ethnicity that were formed by slaves, prisoners of war, etc. and they cannot marry with other castes. So for us to be issued from slavery and then be Americans on top of that. I think alot of Africans don’t see us the same way.

    I am personally proud of being an African in the diaspora, and you can claim that and you don’t have to ask for permission from other AFricans for that. Perhaps in your travels in Zambia you came across people that didn’t really know about the slave trade? or that there were AFricans in the WEst? Some of them really don’t know much about us.

    I am also proud of our unique heritage as African Americans, we are strong people as my Ghanian boyfriend put it. we have survived slavery and centuries of opression and hatred on a soil we have help build, we fought the struggles that made it possible for many Blacks in the Diaspora to even be over here. We have unique contributions to our society and the world at large, admitted or not. Some of us unfortunately don’t relate to Africa because of ignorance or misinformation, but alot of us, like you obviously do. You are a beautiful African woman, anyone can see that!

  32. I also wanted to add that i don’t expect an African person to relate to me just because i am of AFrican decent because my culture is basically an American one, although not the same as the rest of Mainstream America.

    I respect that Africa is a huge continent with many many cultures ( which i love) and that’s one thing we have to understand as AA. They have their own cultures and languages. we should not expect them to act like us because they are not us and they have a different history. They cannot expect us to be them either! We also have to respect each other, I have seen African Americans talk about Africa as it were a jungle and in the 21st century that is sad, educate yourself if you don’t know. I know alot of us aren’t like that but there are too many that are. Africans also get their spin on us as drug dealing, lazy thugs who are ignorant of everything. We are both getting alot of generalizations misinformation through the media!

    Its interesting because when i read a blog about Africa etc. someone who has travelled it is usually from a European or White person. t hey are more used to seeing them there in NGOS, Peace Corps or working, living investing than us! Sure we are starting to travel there , as you have and even move there but I wish there were more African Americans or Native Africans documenting their culture/ languages than Europeans.

    I enjoy many aspects of African cu lture such as djeli, kora music, high life, i like my leaf sauce and maafe and i enjoy nollywood/ ghanian movies, I also can speak smatterings of Fula Twi and Wolof. I am not saying that makes me so knowledgeable but really, for those of you AA who are more tuned into Africa you know how interesting and diverse the cultures can be!

  33. I was having a discussion with someone tonight about the beauty of being “Black-American” with a “black american” woman. She doesn’t identify with africans because well, that’s just her preference and I respect that. What hurt my feelings is that she said black europeans, or africans didn’t suffer as much as “black americans” did, and that yes they have such a cool culture because they fought for it, and that black europeans didn’t fight anything! That’s where my feelings got hurt and I started to get hot. I dare you to tell me that we did not struggle as much! I was hurt! I was born in France, and my parents were born in the Democratic Republic of Congo (central africa) but I’ve never been there. So all I know about Congo is what my parents told me and what I learned from personal reading and research. Even though I am not American, I feel like your black history, is my black history too, 26.1% of slaves were imported from central Africa to the US, so I believe that some of my ancestors were american slaves too (unfortunately), so when I learn about what my people went through and what they overcome, here in the US and wherever else I am proud. In Europe, black americans are not even considered black, they’re associated to white culture. Even a black american who will come to France will be considered better than a black person who was born in France. I just want to say that we are black, and black people come from Africa. All this african american not liking africans and vice versa is just irrelevant! People need to get educated, love each other, open a book, and stop watching “the real housewives of Atlanta”. We’re fighting the wrong enemy, we are to fight ignorance. Victory for blacks in the US, Europe or Asia is a victory for all of us! Because we are together in everything that black people try to overcome. I kind of deviated from the subject but I had to ease my mind… Thanks for posting this!!

  34. Thanks, Tony for a wonderful comment you have posted. Cooperation is the WAY FORWARD.It is the only way we can compete effectively with the whites. We need a meeting place for dialogue.We make up the black race and MUST collectively be proud of our heritage.

    As an African, I have always relish meeting African Americans on a one-to-one basis. I pray for them everyday, President Obama’s family and also for all African Diaspora.

    And Tony why do you think marriages between African Men and African American Women do not last? Were there issues of divorce between this kind of pairing you have heard or witnessed? My Uncle resides in NY and is happily married to an African American Women for more than 30 years now. They have two children together.

    Thank you.

    ONE LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. Thank you a lot for sharing this with all of us you really know what you’re speaking about! Bookmarked. Kindly also consult with my website =). We can have a hyperlink exchange agreement between us

  36. Nikki,
    I love this piece you wrote. I myself do consider myself as an African-American female period. Other people don’t have to agree with me but at the end of the day I always manage to tell myself that my ancestors didn’t just appear in the U.S. like the leprechaun from the lucky charms commerical. They had a life in African that was taken from them against their will and by me calling myself African-America is my way of telling them that you guys are not forgotten and without you their would be no me. And one day I hope to go to Africa like you have done.

  37. Look for one We might consider ourselves black, but I and plenty others consider ourselves brown.
    There is no black race.
    Africa was Originally just the name of Carthage after it was conquered by Romans it was never meant to label the whole continent.
    but i guess since the whole continent has been conquered, under colonialism,enslaved or tampered with in some kind of way, the whole continent has been labeled Africa.
    That means If my ancestors are from any were besides Carthage and a few surrounding areas then I am not an African.
    Which leads me to my next point even blacks in europe know what part of africa they are from
    Not us american brown people We have no clue and searching leaads to more pain and confusions. if your ancestors been here for over 300 years then more then likely you can not connect the dots. Thats something most Africans can never relate to….When you say your Egyptian or south African or whatever we get jealous its like your bragging because you know you lineage and history we dont on the other hand.
    We cant just generalize and say we Nigerians just because its on the west of africa.. Morocco is bascialy west africa too and plenty other countries in africa
    We learned long ago to not believe the white man
    So just because he said we came from west africa dont mean we believe it.
    My mother is dark brown almost black, but insist on claiming that our family is BLACK Hawk indian. My father is from the west indies (with alot of native american tribes in his lineage) but dark.
    they both insist that we black americans Originate from America
    See Africans love what the white man has to offer they came here and crave the western education (as miss-educated as it is)
    Just because your black (brown) doesn’t mean you Originate from Africa (Carthage) Australians are black too
    so are the Dravidians in india
    At one point all of america was connected to africa so some of us been here for thousands of years before a slave ship landed on these shores

    1. I get you,but the white Americans dont see you as brown american.Instead African american.Its true the dots dont link.

      But your race is black period

  38. Just find it bizarre that someone would go to Africa and immediately think men were going to come into her room and rape her. Risk is everywhere. Very strange thought process. Honestly, if African’s don’t accept me I am not at all bothered. My head will always remain high and be proud of my heritage.

  39. Its all as a results of media stereotyping, ignorance and pride that is setting these beautiful race backward. Unless and until we unite to educate one another from all these misconceptions we will never trust each other. United we stand divided we fall.

  40. If Africa join hands and represent for the same front we will fall no more,theres too much beef between us africans alone.If we come together just like what we did for Ghana during the 2010 world cup,since it was the last African team left…..we’re done.

    I cant blame African Americans for hating on us,caz we dont even have love for each other( us africans).

    At the other joint if u’re an African American who gat issues wit Africans..swallow it dude and get educated,maybe listen to a lot of Nas and Marley.

    Africa is the birth place of the black race,Some say African Americans have got no culture, roots n them.THEY DO

    Welcome to the motherland Africa loves all of ya

  41. That is so not true yes I say African American meaning african is my ancestor american is my ethnic where I leave as african americans started of african slaved here forced to have babys by diffrent african by european mean some europeans rapped african wemon giving them babbys and native indians rapped african wemon to that’s why we look mix comming from interatal two diffrent race of african great and great great pareants also byraicial great and great great we where forced by tourture not to say we where african are use are african nameswe where called negers srry for these horrable words negros colored we couldn’t say who we are and fighting for freedom we stop thoose words empowerd the word black african american to keep are african ancestor a lot of us don’t no wich race of african we are because europeans forced are great great african pareants to not no there tribe race language beating killing and raping us to say where not we love being african decent my great great grandmas are nigerian they where raped by and irish man having his babby other cherokee native having his babby they got older and had children that where multicultured nigerians where not tryna say where african where tryna keep are african race cause many don’t know which tribe are race they come from so to say african american it means ancestor from africa but american citizen all americans that are african dicent love there african ancestory yes we are dark brown light some look european hair long short wavey curly straight thick cuorled but we all stick to are african roots we no where american raised but we refer to african as ancestor a lot was tourtured in us we all try to keep a history of who we are the african slaved in america an forced to be want they us to be all african americans teach there children to say there ancestory african and there ethnicity american they all don’t no there race of african but there are blood test to take for it there not tryna take who your are african born an raised we are who you are same ancestory african we all are world wide african desent and proud of it

  42. As Africans understand that your raceses of african where slaved all over the world and we all as african decent with are african features where slaved and tourtured into not telling are kids are race language I’m a multicultred Nigerian we who don’t no the answer arnt saying African raised where saying African decent American raise but we do keep are african decent no matter what is in are blood line I’m proud to be who you are and who I am African desent

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