Who is black? What is an African? This is a question I have been thinking about the last few years. Mainly because I have seen many debates on YouTube,Twitter and Facebook on who is a black person. It’s a hot topic that just wont seem to go away. I think the fact that people are debating it must mean many of us are still very confused. Why is that? Why is the black collective so confused about our own identity? The video(above) is really good. I know for some it might seem offensive. But you can tell that the speaker has really analyzed this issue. It’s a very touchy subject that most black people want to run away from.
This picture(above) shows different African women around the world. And of course there are people of African descent in America,Canada and the United Kingdom. Some people say many of us are mixed raced people. Some say we come in different shades because of years of race mixing. I will address race mixing in part two of this series. I personally don’t think race mixing is good for the black collective. It seems to cause more confusion more than anything else. But I guess the real question is how is a black person defined? What do Africans look like? How are Africans classified?
Fellow blogger C.C. Saunders stated this about blackness:
“Blackness is not limited to a skin color, but it is a state of being, an incomparable experience prompted by skin color, facial features, body type and hair texture. Omitting any identifying attribute allots a significant privilege absent from the lifetime of any black person possessing these attributes in entirety. However, melanin, while a chief component of blackness, does not encompass the totality of blackness. To distinguish between black and melanated is essential to understanding blackness as a collective identity.”
Blogger Amos Magazine said this about African people:
“Prior to the enslavement of West and Central Africans, Africans had certain traits and certain biological markers that made them a separate distinct group. Africans prior to 1500 and prior to the infamous fictitious Willie Lynch Letter had traits. Africans prior to the invasion of Arabs, Berbers and other West Asian people had skin color from brown to dark brown. This is an African trait. Africans had one common hair texture. Yes, Europeans upon arriving in what today is called Rwanda did notice that many Africans were a lighter shade of Brown from other Africans. But they were not yellow or near white. They were simply a pecan brown color as compared to the dark chocolate color of the other group. They used these slight differences in order to pit one group against on another. Today, DNA* test (* because there are holes in this science) show that the Hutu and Tutsi were actually the same people and that Hutu and Tutsi were actually social status. Now Negros will use to in order to say mulattoes are Africans. ***(3star concepts mean this is something to pay special attention to) ***The Tutsi who were divided into people of a lighter hue of brown were not products of mixed raced sexual relationships. My opponents will purposely leave this out in order to compare a mulatto vs. an authentic African or an authentic disasporic Africans.”
Blogger Bhekizitha breaks it down from a biological standpoint:
“An African / Black person is clearly visually a “close” descendant of people from East Africa, a region comprised of countries now known as Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. Their color variation ranges from bronze, dark reddish-brown, dark or nut brown, dark-chocolate color plus “peppercorn” hair.”
This video(above) is very interesting. I first saw this video about four years ago. It’s the author Supreme Understanding. He has authored books such as How to Hustle and Win,Knowledge of Self and Black God. I’ve read a few of his books. I must admit that he knows quite a bit about black history and African culture. But he’s not African…he’s an Indian man. Years ago I remember seeing him in a picture with his black wife. In this video he says that being black is color,culture and consciousness. So he’s saying it’s not just physical traits that make you black. So if a Mexican,Indian or Asian man listens to rap music,studies African culture and has a black wife…..that makes him black? So it’s just about having a black consciousness? This can create a problem in the long run.
This picture(above) is from Supreme Understanding’s website. It’s titled What is Black? Looking at the pictures you can see all these dark skinned people from India,China,Pacific Islands,Malaysia and Australia. But are these people really Africans? Or do they have racial admixture? Were the original inhabitants of Australia or India really Africans? And if so,what does it mean for black people today? I think black people really like to be all inclusive. We like hearing that our ancestors were all over the world and created civilizations. That’s very true to a large extent. And to many of us we have a dream of creating some type of racial utopia. A world in which all people who have some melanin are brothers and sisters. But this is not reality. There will always be racial and cultural divisions. Just because you have dark skinned people in India and Malaysia doesn’t mean they can relate to a black person in America. The culture of a dark skinned Aborigine in Australia is totally different than a black person living in Jamaica. I always promote black unity,black love and black power on this blog. But you can’t have any type of unity if you can’t even decide who is black and who is not black. How can you have any type of cohesiveness when there are no clear cut definitions on your identity? And this is why the video by Supreme is problematic. He believes that all “people of color” are fighting against a white power structure. Therefore we are all in this fight together. But my thinking is that why can’t we fight a racist society and still maintain our own unique racial identity. Why does everyone with a little bit of color have to be considered black? By making everyone black…no one is really black. Our unique blackness gets lost in the process. Chinese people don’t have this problem. They don’t accept just anyone who might have their physical traits. I’ve seen Hispanics with a yellowish skin tone but they are not seen as Chinese. I’ve seen people that were biracial(Black/Chinese) with slanted eyes. But just because they had slanted eyes,Chinese people still don’t see them as one of them. By doing this it helps them stay homogeneous. They are able to maintain their racial identity. And this is something black/African people must keep in mind when want to distinguish ourselves from other groups. By letting anyone claim “blackness” it devalues those that are black in the process.