Africans are becoming vocal that African Americans are not African

In Uncategorized on July 10, 2006 at 4:28 am

In the last couple of days I have heard some awful comments from native Africans concerning African Americans claiming to be of mainly African descent, despite the fact that DNA tests support the fact that the majority of African Americans are of African descent, DNA even nails it down to the country; the comments persist that Africans don’t want any part of African Americans. As an African American I suppose I should not be too upset considering the long string of human rights abuses including how deeply my ancestors were scarred by the actions of Western Africans two centuries ago, and the almost daily human rights abuses of Africans that are flashed across the screen every day, I really should not be bothered, and Oprah Winfrey has even detailed the most unimaginable abuses by Africans occurring in Southern Africa, and of course the RWANDA massacre. All of these events should not bother me and should make me proud to be just an American. When an African calls “us” African Americans mongrels without a homeland , I suppose I should not be bothered.

However, based on the above and the distancing of Africans from African Americans, something happened that really disturbed me. As I was looking through the MP3 collection of a friend I ran across several recordings from the Buddha bar in Paris, a trendy bar that puts out recordings of music performed and played in the bar. In this collection I started listening to a recording of Porgy and Bess Summertime sung by an African which though the singing was not bad the context by which it was sung was almost tragic and comical. It made me very sad to think that a native African was singing a song so connected to American slavery, that had been made because of slavery, because of the ancestors of African Americans had been sold into slavery and had found liberation in music. Personally to me it was the equivalent of a Nazi singing a German Hymn. As I continued to look through this collection I saw that Shaft had been sung by an African, again Shaft was a product of an African American culture of pain brought on African Americans because they were sold and stolen into slavery by Africans. Finally the honest truth is that if I had not heard that Africans were trying to distance themselves from African Americans I would have never thought about the fact that Africans were singing the songs of African Americans. I suppose the prime irony is that African Americans have fought for a lot of things most especially civil rights that Africans are benefiting from. Not only have we fought our own battles but African Americans have put enormous pressure on foreign entities to liberate Africans in their own countries. The one thing that African Americans have established Hegemony and Dominance in is the cultural arts and we don’t mind if you follow in our footsteps but don’t put us down as you reap the benefits from the cultural capital that we “African Americans” have created.

  1. Sadly, I think African Americans are in a weird situation in regards to ancestry. The average African American not only has African heritage but also 20 to 30% European and/or 8 to 11% Native American ancestry. People make the mistake that only light-skinned African Americans are mixed. However, looks are deceiving. Skin color doesn’t say that much about your full DNA legacy.

    Now the weird part is that as much as African Americans would like to claim our ancestral connection to Africa and some Africans have denied it to us, our European brothers and sisters have denied us claim to that heritage via the One Drop Rule.

    I think the legacy of this is that we still have a lot of issues in the black community about who African Americans are and who can be one and who can’t, not to mention issues of colorism.

    MTV has a show called “Yo Momma” where kids insult each other and their mothers. One young African-American woman remarked about a darker African American young man that he was darker than Michael Jackson’s childhood. I was shocked that anyone would still think that way and even more shocked that MTV would tolerate racist jokes like that.

  2. I don’t want to sound biased, but I feel that the woman who wrote this articles had taken things out of context. Why would Africans want to be connected to the African Americans WHO ONCE SHUNNED US once upon a time? Has she forgotten that? Has she forgotten about the BLACK MOVEMENT? No… the movement to be black not African American. Did she forget about the time when it was ‘African booooty scratcher’ this and ‘go back to Africa’ that…. I remember a time when it was not so glorious to be African. My mother talks about the time when she was threatened by not only the white but the blacks also! I am sorry but it just seems like a FAD to me. Okay, so you were hurt… dragged from your country… and assimilated poorly; but when you turned your back you turned your back never to understand us again. In our heads images of dark sneers and hisses your threw at us in ignorance, better because your names where easier to pronounce and you hair easier to comb. Don’t come running to me now that you think you have knowlege. Make a home for yourself here… because you will NEVER understand what it is to be african!

    I didn’t even want to finish reading the rest of the articles because I was angry! We as African don’t need to RELY on African American culture because OUR culture is RICH! Shaft has nothing on my NOLLYWOOD! But for closing, we were all hurt. No pains greater than other. In Africa most countries fought for Independence until the 1960’s!!! Where were our fellow African Americans then? Where were they when in South Africa we were slaves in our own country under the laws of Apartheid??? Where are they when wars continue to rip the country apart and child soldiers cry out for help??? PLEASE DON’T LET MY HEAR THEIR CROCODILE CRIES BECAUSE THE CRIES OF MY OWN PEOPLE CARRY PAIN!!! The first article was foolish. Black people trying to find another clique… and I as an African will not be your next fad… your next pair of Jordans/Timbs. African Americans are still deathly scared to be darker than a paper sack… and yet your say your sorry and you want to come back home? No I don’t understand.

    *hit me up if you disagree. Forgive the grammar errors*

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