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Black or African American?

There’s been a lot of back and forth on this. I don’t think it’s a one size fits all type of thing, which is what the race categorization wants, and because of that it’s difficult to come to agreement. I’ll tell you why I use Black.

I'm Black
I'm Black

  • I have African Ancestry but my immediate family has never participated in the culture associated with our ancestry.

  • I feel like African American would do best to refer to people who chose to move to America from Africa vice being enslaved and forced.

  • Black American culture is a home for many who have lost their connection to their ancestry to war, enslavement, genocide, ridiculous policy and all by-products of these harms.

A capture of K’s ancestry report.
A capture of K’s ancestry report.

So many of these modes of categorization are outdated and center Whiteness as the default and standard. No one ever questions or asks for clarification around the term White because they know it fuels many systems with promises of safety and respect. Black is questioned because while attempts to use it maliciously can be seen throughout history, we find power, solidarity and community in it. The same cannot be said of White.

People should be allowed to identify as the like, as long as it doesn’t cause harm to others, and their identification should be respected. Ultimately, we need better modes of categorization and honestly, a really long discussion as to why these categorizations still play such a huge role in everything.

P.S. Don’t forget to capitalize the “B” in Black. 😘

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