Thursday, August 16, 2012

Black or African American?

I have never been comfortable being called an African American. Yes, I said it! It may not be popular to say so but, I just don't believe that my experience in this country is either African or American in the classic since of the word. I know that Africa is romanticized in Black culture and is greatly revered as the land of my lineage but I don't know much African culture. I don't know what food I am supposed to eat, what language I'm supposed to speak or what tribe I come from. My journey through this life as a man is filled with subtle and sometimes not so subtle racism. My life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness has always been under suspicion. My experience here in America is that of a young man raised in a unique subculture. A subculture in which I have to play a role to survive. The experiences of a Caucasian man who considers himself American is in no way a reflection of my experiences. My freedom has never been free, and is still the subject of a decades old battle for a level playing field.
I am a generation Xer who has never marched, never did a sit in, and has never had to drink water from a colored only water fountain but, I still deal with the legacy of Jim Crow, and the since of entitlement from his descendants who all consider themselves Americans. I love being Black. The only things that I love more are Jesus, my wife and my kids. I am also proud to be Black because I belong to a group of people who have built this country and still continue to shape the world. The fact of the matter is, who I am, and who we are does not continuously need to be redefined. We define ourselves by being ourselves and I am Black.


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