Wednesday, June 17, 2009

African Americans versus Afro-Caribbean and African immigrants

A post about a flick called the 'The Neo African Americans' on the blog Shadow and Act, reminded me of an article about an African-American Harvard graduate who found out that a high percentage of 'blacks' on Harvard where from Africa and the Caribbean.

Since she was also the director of the American Association for Affirmative Action, she wanted to know how black immigrant students would fit in that goal of correcting American racial injustices.

In the story entitled 'Among Black Students, Many Immigrants' African-American students were quoted: " Last month, a Harvard Black Students Association message board asked, "When we use the term 'black community,' who is included in this description?" A lively debate ensued, with some posters complaining that African students were getting an admissions boost without having faced the historical suffering of U.S. blacks."

I think this will always be a problem. When the French NAACP, Le Cran, pushed for an investigation into the racial discrimination in France, immediately the French organisation of the French overseas departments (D’outre-mer) made the distinction that blacks from the French Caribbean Islands were different from blacks from Africa, because of their French status.

Maybe it’s time to look at what binds black people from the different countries. Is it race, skin colour, racism, being studied, music, sports, black experience, black men versus black women, slavery, colonialism, segregation, freedom, immigration, identity, selling out, bleaching, crime, ghetto, poverty, struggle, giving back, diaspora, rising, black history, Africa, Caribbean, US, Europe, dislocation, crises, war, Afro, protest, revolution, being the first … ? To be honest, I don’t know.

The documentary ' The Neo African Americans' shows the different shades of black. In a way, a cliché.

African American & Caribbean American​​​, a ​ conversation between African American vlogger Jouelzy​​​ and Hatian American Nathaly.


  1. I don't know how people can say Africans as a whole haven't suffered "the same way" that your traditional African-American has.. that sounds like a slap in the face. Both groups have suffered much and often, and still do. Culturally of course Africans and African-Americans are completely different. I think that many Af.-Am.'s do not want to accept African or Caribbean immigrants unless the immigrants take on an Americanized persona or adopt American "values" and ways of looking at the world. So Africans/Caribbean who now come to the US for work or education have had to lose their culture twice.. 1st in slavery times of long ago, and again if they want to truly assimilate to American life. It seems strange that the average Af.-American may not want to learn about the cultures of their immigrant counterparts, much less integrate those "foreign" cultures into their own lives.. even though no matter which country we live in now, those of us with natural year round tans, our ancestors came from Africa at some point in history and were removed at some point in history from Africa.

    I don't think I'm explaining this quite right, but that's what I can say right now...

    I love this post and your blog! Keep up the good work.

  2. Very interesting post.
    I would say that what we all have in common is the experience of being perceived as a certain type of human being. This throughout a history written and dominated by a white/European and male discourse.
    Black people, of all shades and of all cultures, have been described and analyzed in a certain way. The Western influence in African cultures has created ‘black culture’ and its self description.
    Black Americans often say they are not like the other Americans because they were forced to come to America while all others came voluntarily in search of a better life.
    Africans who migrated to America (such as Obama’s father) came under very different circumstances and therefore relate to the USA (and the chances it offers) in a different way.
    The same is true for Caribbean immigrants. We may say that Caribbeans and AfAm’s share a common history of slavery. But the African American situation is different as they have always constituted an oppressed minority, while black Caribbeans were a majority and today control their own predominantly black nations (not all of course).
    Still, it is not easy to make quick assumptions about black experience in the West. Whether it be in America or any other European nation, whether you have African, Caribbean or black American roots.
    What we share is 1) our relation to the white reference of the Western world, 2) a history of colonialism and slavery. We differ in the way this has influenced our communities and in the way we relate to the Western context in which we live.
    (However, it is surprising that e.g. in New York black people of all backgrounds can be found in the same neighborhoods (I think about Crescent Street, Fulton in Brooklyn) )
    That is what I would have to say on this subject although I know that further research on this subject is needed and that I couldn’t explain the phenomenon of ‘blackness’ in a few paragraphs.
    Thanks again for this great post!

    1. I am a Trinidadian American and my country is predominately Indian, not black. I think our cultures (Caribbean, African American) differ in various ways, though we both have endured slavery and oppression. The most important and most obvious way is the ideas and information passed down by our parents.
      I grew up with my Grandmother, I do not remember much of what she use to tell me but the things she said often to me and others. One of those things were "Get an education at any cost necessary." When I moved to America I immediately (well, after paying thousands of dollars just to have the same rights that AA's have and waiting 5 years) went to college and studied social work. I have also analyzed and studied many of the families (almost all of which I've worked with are AA) and their children often think they are owed something by the government, the system.
      Now in Trinidad...we don't have 'medicaid' 'food stamps' or 'disability'. I think this is the major problem and hindrance in the African American community. They know what they want to do, have the resources, but are lazy because "If I don't get in college I'll just get a check from rental assistance and live well" - an actual quote from the family I am working with. With this mentality African Americans will never reach full potential, they feel like they are OWED a good life. That's the poison.

    2. @ Sherry Scary:
      Do you realize how utterly ignorant, arrogant and totally unprofessional your statement in reference to African-Americans is? "They...are lazy....they feel they are OWED a good life"...And you REALLY have a masters in social work? Really?? You claim to steer and direct the life of ANYONE with that type of dangerous rhetoric?! You should be reported! What kind of mental health or social help worker makes such blanket, absurd statements----in public no less---about over 40 million people (African-Americans in the United States) and expects to be taken seriously??? Either you're suffering from SEVERE, PATHOLOGICAL full-of- your-own-self-delusion syndrome or you're a troll, one of several, who come to forums such as this, to destroy any type of coalition between Africans, African-Americans, and the African Diaspora in general. I'm surprised no one else has been disturbed by your gross uneducated "poisonous" spoutings and spewings; from someone who claims to be an educator, and challenged you on your stereotypical comments. That, by the way, make you look like you're the farthest from being an educator as someone with only an elementary school background. UNBELIEVABLE!

      Will the ignorance within and directed against the African Diaspora ever end? But then, you made it clear that "your country", Trinidad, was NOT a Black country. You stated from the beginning that it was predominantly "Indian" (East Indian). And the purpose of that statement? Again, if you are TRULY a social worker I advise all who see your face and are in search of mental or social advice read and pass this post along and RUN FROM ANY TYPE of "counseling services" you could offer! You are most definitely what your moniker suggests: "SCARY!" And THAT'S the poison!

    3. Trinidad and Tobago is not an Indian country. She left that poor country for a reason and she can always go back.

  3. Hi BekkaPoo,

    Thanks for the comment and the compliment. I understand exactly what you said. I can only say yes to your comment, "our ancestors came from Africa at some point in history and were removed at some point in history from Africa."
    Obama’s black history is different of course , but I think that African Americans will have to accept his African background as part of their own history.

    He Sibo,

    Thanks for comment. I agree with you that the way we relate to the western world is universal. I think that most black people in the world can relate to writers like Franz Fanon, who, as you know, wrote about how colonialism affected the black mind. And you are right, ‘blackness’ is though thing to explain.

  4. None of the posts even come close 'to getting it'. Heavy sigh, of an African American descendent of previously enslaved North Americans.(Nayo)

  5. Good One! Hard to understand for me as an Afrogerman!Leaves me kind of confused..anyway informative post!

  6. Nayo and Letat,

    Thanks for comments. But on what do you disagree?

    P.s. My connection with Africa is also just a DNA-connection

  7. A similar post and discussion was also on the American website theRoot

  8. I personally have issues with the way that Black immigrants and their children are treated in America. As soon as you come off the plane it seems that African Americans and White Americans want to strip you of your heritage. When these immigrants try to hold on to some aspects of their culture they are said to be anti-American. To not be anti-American they must completely adopted the Southern accent or pseudo-Southern accent of Black Americans and take on other characteristics of traditional Afro-Americans while not admitting that America has flaws. They have suffered from American Cultural imperialism both abroad and here in the US. As for Immigrant Blacks in Ivy League schools, Black Americans are all born with a gold spoon in their mouths but many of them don't know it. Black Americans live in a country, despite racial oppression, where socio-economic upward mobility can be achieved but many Black Americans are blind to this. Many are blinded by the need to live the fast life: money, sex, and a leisure life style. Others still have the belief, despite figures like Obama, that Blacks can't excel because of oppression so why try. Therefore, if foreign Blacks want to come here and take advantage of the opportunities to excel, why not let them. After all many of them came from countries that have experience socio-economic oppression due US foreign policy.

  9. I believe there are differences between African Americans and African/Caribbean immigrants. Much of that difference lies in the issue of being "mentally enslaved". That discussion is for another day.

    Here is the salient point. We should not let others divide us by our differences. As Black folk, no matter what our immediate origin, we are very susceptible to the "divide and conquer" strategy. As long as we all lend a hand up to one another and promote unity among ourselves, are we not the winners of this debate?

  10. I agree with the other guy. I am also from the Caribbean. I am all for black unity but please don't tell me I must act like and speak like you and not acknowledge my heritage. That’s like you wanting to rob me of my heritage, my strong connection to Africa, something that’s not falsely fabricated. Something that is actually traditions handed down. I don't have nothing against Black Americans but they got to wake up and see that race and ethnicity are not the same. This is what the white man wants us to believe that we are all black empty shells. That true African culture is trash and needs to be disregarded. Why don't we tell the Dominicans and the Puerto Ricans to get rid of their cultural identity once they come here. Why don't they just call themselves Latino not PRs and DRs. All Latinos are the same right. People from the Caribbean are not better than Black Americans but they should not be forced to trash their culture just because it does not fit the white man's and Black Americans idea of the Black American culture as the only Afro centric culture.

  11. Wow! I came to this site because I'm doing research for a paper I'm writing on Intercultural Communication in the Workplace. These are some very interesting views. While these posts seem pretty old, I will go ahead and add my two cents: I was born in the Caribbean and brought to the US by my Parents when I was four years old. I'm in my 40's now, so I've been here pretty much all of my life. The funny thing is, I am still viewed by Black Americans as someone from the islands. I never learned the 'Black American' speak and I am very well aware of my Caribbean culture. But I believe America is the only country in the world where ANYONE can become whatever they want. This is truly the land of opportunity. I think anyone who comes here or is born here who does not take advantage of that fact, shame on you! There is no one to blame but yourself. 'The Man' can only do so much whether to help or hurt you, then the rest is up to you!

  12. Dear Anonymous, I totally agree with you. There is a difference in cultural and educational achievement between Black Americans and Black Caribbeans. Education and achievement is highly stressed in the Black Caribbean home environment whereas in the Black American home environment, education and achievement is not stressed as much as being popular and socialization. Good point.

  13. Sorry gmwilliams, but I completely disagree with you. Cultural and educational achievement IS stressed among Black American households. My parents grew up during Jim Crow. They were activists and educated...despite growing up in a dirt floor home with an outhouse in the back woods of North Carolina(my mother) and being one of ten whose parents had everything confiscated by the US government due to eminent domain (my father). There is a indeed a culture of educational achievement among Black Americans. Society just does not recognize it and apparently you have bought into that understanding. Many, and I do mean many of my Black American friends are doctors, lawyers, accountants, engineers, and educators. WE understand and cherish the legacy of our parents and those who came before us without disaparaging our African heritage, nor belittling our Caribbean cousins.

    I have very good friends from Africa and the Caribbean and do you know what happened very early on in our relationship? They told me how surprised they were by how smart I am. At first I was upset, but now it doesn't bother me in the least bit because I was able to show them something different. I was able to open their eyes to Black Americans who share many of the same stories that they do.

    And praytell, what is Black American speak? That term is disparaging and suprising for someone who is so proud and aware of their culture.

  14. gmwilliams, that was a really uninformed comment. AAs have worked hard to reach educational and cutral heights. They have historically struggled to reach new heights in this area. You do know that the Civil Rights Movement was carried out by AAs? I also dislike when Caribbean folk turn around and act like they faced the exact same thing AAs faced (and this coming from and Caribbean-American. This isnt the same to say that caribbean folk haven't faced stuggles (they were under imperialism)but its not the same.

  15. I would say we Black folks need a serious debriefing in regard to our history. the generalizations we hold about each other (whether we be Africans from the Motherland, Caribbean or the Americas) in regard to who maintains a higher degree of educational values, most certainly has our ancestors rolling in their graves. Have we forgotten that we were scattered from piller to post from the same slave ship? bondage to the same white slavemaster?...The American civil rights movement wasn't carried out for the sake of American Blacks only!Do you not know that many of our greatest freedom fighters had caribbean or latin roots?...that many black folk on the motherland paid close attention and took inspirtation from our struggles?...and that the same white overseer has not stopped in his attempt to sow discord among us by spreading lies and stereotypes about each other that are expressing themselves in this very blog!..Chauvinism among Black folk...not a good look!

    1. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X wanted to internationalize the Black struggle. They knew. Somewhere along the line, Black Americans forgot about us.

  16. Black carribeans and black Latinos are African Americans (and African Canadians) true brothers and sisters. NOT Africans. I can talk to black Brazilians and black Jamaicans about some of the same issues.

    We are all descendants of slaves and slave owners. Our history is what bonds us.

    However, unlike Sanza - an African in Europe, I don't group black carribeans, black Latinos and black Americans/Canadians into one group. We all have our own history. Reggae, patois, and jerk chicken are definitely Jamaican in origin. I won't claim their culture. Some ignorant Americans think that's black culture. Maybe black Jamaican culture but not black American culture and DEFINITELY not African culture.

    I'm not surprised that immigrants are OVERREPRESENTED at Harvard. The US government selects the best immigrants to come here. They're picked to do well.

    And for the Caribbean commentator above, well since you don't like people in America stripping you of your culture, you can go back to wherever you've come from. This type of mentality from immigrants isn't needed. Mexicans aren't the only ones who come here clinging to their home country's flag.

  17. Chill out Truth2011, there is no needed to be so cranky.

    And, euh, first you say that all blacks from the Americas (black Carribeans, black Latinos and African Canadians) are African Americans, you call them 'true brothers and sisters', sharing the same history of slavery. But a few lines below you write that unlike Sanza you don't group them into one group ... I may think there is some inconsistency here. But whatever, I think I know what you mean: A first generation African immigrant living in America has quite a different experience than a autochtonous black American who has a century old ancestry on American soil.
    But how many generations do you have to be 'here' to be considered from 'here', when does it stop and start? Your comment makes me think about the senseless conversations French Antillians and third generation black French of African descent have. Who's the real French? Ask the white man? Well, whites lump us all together as blacks you know ... But anyway, I don't even want to discuss this too much, we'll end up discussing in circles anyway.

  18. Anonymous, it's very consistent. I have a twin brother. Even though we're twins, we're still different. I consider blacks in the Americas as brothers and sisters, even though we have our own individual cultures. Sanza is ridiculously claiming reggae, Jazz, soul and other western black culture as AFRICAN. That's bull.

    Prejudiced whites think that there's just one black culture and that it comes from Africa. Sanza said slaves made Jazz. Jazz was created in the 1920's. There were NO slaves in the 1920's. That's bull.

    Sanza, an African, thinks ALL people of African bloodlines are the same (I'm not sure if she's adding the 26% of white Americans with black American ancestry). Black Americans (I am one) have far less in common with Africans than prejudiced whites and Sanza assume.

    It's not about being cranky. A lot of whites like to group all minorities into one group. I'm just noticing Africans doing this too and I can't help but shake my head.

  19. LOL so called Truth why you talk about me when i didnt even taken part to this debate? thats ridiculous. you must have a huge identy issue. you will absolutely not being considered as part of african people. so why are you here on a blog thats called AFRO europe since you claim to be black american (not even African American)????
    you're probably the kind of person who think she's better than those "wilde Africans" because she has white blood or maybe who is convinced that Africans are the real responsible for slave trade so you have a rage against all that's african.
    thanks God many African American are proud of their heritage and are not as ignorant as you.
    you should read more about the biggest jazz, reggae,soul musicians and what they have said about Africa in their music instead of disrespecting them like you did with James Brown. also I repeat, the you have probably never listended to a whole CD of all the neo artists i told you because you wwouldnt have told me they never referred to africa (d'angelo has a song called "Africa" LOL, Jill scott called herself daughter of the diaspora in "do you remember me" etc.)
    just because the world jazz was used to depict a kind of music doesnt mean that music didn't start a long time before with other musical instruments...what a stupid statement you made! you have never heard some traditional african music either...
    you should heal yourself and stop virtually yelling your hate for your african ancestry. anyway africa and its diaspora don't need negative people like you.
    i'm sure that more and more people realise that we must unite in spite of our difference because we've got more than we think in common!

  20. I didn't disrespect James Brown. He had a drug problem just like Amy Winehouse, who you made fun of by calling her Amy "Crackhouse." How original. It's funny to make fun of Winehouse's drug problem and totally ignore Brown issues with drugs?

    I know who I am. I've never called myself white or biracial or mixed race or anything but what I am.

    Again, you said soul was created by slaves. Soul started in the 1920's. THERE WERE NO SLAVES IN THE 1920's.

    Who cares if D'Angelo has a song called "Africa." He also has a song called "Devil's Pie." Does that mean he's a devil worshipper? You're getting more and more silly.

    I guess Ray Charles is a redneck (a term for a poor white) because he made country music. That's how pathetic your arguments are.

    Are you going to claim Reggae now? Calypso? Salsa?

    What African country are you from? Don't they have culture you can be proud of? Why are you always claiming other people's countries and then using racist statements and personal attacks to do it?

  21. This is an interesting post if i must say. The term "African American" is a complicated one. The immigrants are Africans and the African Americans were taken from Africa a long time ago. At the end of the day, they are all Africans and Americans.

  22. I don't have an issue with black immigrants, this is my country and there isn't much a foreigner can do to make me uncomfortable, even the stereotypes are based on they're limited experience with humanity. Keep your culture too, its only useful when convenient and takes a backseat to your wallets (that why you're here right?). We did have a few African businesses take root around 2000 but they had a hard time keeping the complaints down, gone with in the year. That is the only time I've come in contact with Africans. Caribbeans, I've seen only seen them on tv and I don't think I'm missing anything.

  23. I'm of Caribbean decent and feel a world apart from Afro Americans. When they speak and refer to us as WE it rubs me the wrong way as I see my self very different from them. I care not what the white man thinks or if he lumps all blacks into one pot. That's his business, not mine. I know who I am and where I came from and that's all that matters.

  24. The fact of the matter is African Americans like their white Americans all have entitlement issue, and play the blame games. Being a woman from the Caribbean I don't go about blaming slavery as an excuse to keep me back. America is a land of opportunities. I really think that welfare should stop, then people wouldn't be so lazy.

    1. You come in 150 years after slavery and won't to act as if nothing happened beforehand? You can go back to the Caribbean.

  25. I agree with truth2011; and disagree with Anonymous. To arrive after slavery from the Caribbean misses the point. I am a Black British born person whose parents are Caribbean and when I 'got work' as a 'maid' in White, Iranian, and Mixed Race American homes; I was able to compare their treatment of me.
    I was treated as part of their family, considered proficient in English, reliable and without tendencies to steal as they thought an African American or Mexican would do, nor was I perceived by them, as being 'backwards' to the American culture, like someone who came from a 'Caribbean or West Indian background - like their previous maid' It was then I realized; that I was setting the Black American culture/movement back a good 150 year and I took notice of the black people who regarded my role with the children with disdain ... for my own personal experience I should have brushed up on the country's black history first ... As for the Blacks/ African and Caribbean’s who come into the UK viewing us Black British as’ thick and stupid’ for not taking advantage of 'all the good opportunities open to us...' They are probably illegals and not party to this systems positive discrimination... So they will never experience our frustrations of trying to get ahead and if they did, they could just go back to wherever they originally came from...after using up all this islands 'free resources...'

  26. I really don't understand all this hate? Why is it one side attacking the other? Do African Americans feel insulted when Caribbean immigrants want to keep their culture? Why are we bringing history into this? Everybody's ancestors suffered at some point, that's why slavery was abolished, it doesn't matter where it was abolished first or who did it or who suffered more because the slaves didn't fight so that we could argue about who had it worse and who has a right to their own damn culture. African Americans should feel proud of their culture and themselves, why shouldn't they? Culture makes you who you are! But Caribbean immigrants have no reason to disregard their culture either! Hispanics take pride in their particular places of origin, why shouldn't Caribbean people? Trinbagonians are different from Jamaicans are different from the Guyanese are different from people from Barbados. We speak different, we act differently, we think differently. Is an American person living in England any less American? Is a Nigerian person living in New Zealand any less Nigerian? I mean what if you moved from California to Georgia? Are you going to act like you're from Georgia or are you going to act like you're from California(which you are)...?
    Why can't we all just be who we are and accept that living somewhere is just that: LIVING SOMEWHERE.

  27. Anonymous February 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM, I agree with you when you wrote that "African Americans should feel proud of their culture and themselves, why shouldn't they? Culture makes you who you are! But Caribbean immigrants have no reason to disregard their culture either! Hispanics take pride in their particular places of origin, why shouldn't Caribbean people?"

    But because culture makes you who you are, when you ask "Is an American person living in England any less American? Is a Nigerian person living in New Zealand any less Nigerian?", my answer would be "Yes".

    An American living in England for some period of time is likely to be influenced by the English (British) culture & thus, in some ways would eventually be "less American" in the way she or he thought, talked, and acted. Same for a Nigerian living in New Zealand. I also believe that a person of some American (I think you may have meant USAian) descent that is born in or moves permanently to Great Britain is a Briton of American descent. And a person of some Nigerian descent who is born in or moves permanently to New Zealand is a New Zealander of Nigerian descent.

    As to your question "I mean what if you moved from California to Georgia? Are you going to act like you're from Georgia or are you going to act like you're from California(which you are)...?", assuming that there are key differences between how people in California & Georgia act (and as an African American I can't come up with any such key differences), a person is likely to adapt in some ways although not in all ways over time or maybe even in a short time to the dominant culture that surounds her or him.
    As to which are you- you are BOTH a person from California and a person from Georgia. You can have a greater or lesser allegiance to either or to both.

    To give a small example about how living in different states can change a person, I'm from the state of New Jersey in the USA, but I've lived in Western Pennsylvania for 44 years. There are many cultural similarities between In New Jersey & Pennsylvania. However, people in New Jersey use the word "soda" for carbonated drinks like "Coke" and "Pepsi" while "pop" is the generic term that people in Western Pennsylvania use for those drinks. When I first learned that "soda" was called "pop" I thought that it sounded weird. But now when I go home to Atlantic City, New Jersey, what seems weird to me is calling "pop" soda and I have to consciously remind myself to call those drinks "soda".

    I know that this example is far from this post's "can't we all get along?" and respecting everyone's right to their culture" discussion. However, it seems to me that respecting one's roots also means acknowledging that roots can be transplanted and that transplantation results in real-and often-positive changes.

    1. Not that it matters very much, but just for the record, people in Eastern Pennsylvania (for instance Philadelphia) also use the word "soda" for carbonated soft drinks. I'm not sure what word people in Central Pennsylvania or Northern Pennsylvania use. Pennslyvania is a very large state and colloquial terms differ a lot or a little within and between different states...

  28. I am a British black woman who grew up in New York. I went to school and became a nurse. I keep my Jamaican roots. I married an African American. I studied nursing alongside African Americans. We can appreciate each others' cultures without putting one another down. I grew up appreciating American culture, British culture and Caribbean culture.

    1. Thank you, Michelle, for bringing some reason to this thread! As we of the African Diaspora sling insults to each other across oceans, in cities, on continents that aren't even our homeland, I ask myself: "Who benefits from this back-and-forth horrible behavior toward each other?" Certainly not ANY Black person. The Black race is probably the most maligned, disrespected and even hated group of people on planet Earth, so again, who does this tearing each other down benefit?

    2. Thank you for your post. I'm an AA, and I've been treated disrespectfully by Africans and those of Carribean descent.Althoug most of my experiences have been negative with Blacks from other countries, I don't believe that all Black immigrants behave in such a nasty manner. The stereotypes that some Black immigrants have towards AAS is just as bad as any White racist. It's as if we're not individuals, but a monolitihic group who look and act alike.

      I'm starting to think that many Black immigrants believe that AAS aren't capable of being successful, yet many of my family members are educated and are married to equally educared AAS.

      If it weren't for an AA gentleman who risked his life for equality, many Black immigrants wouldn't have the opportunities or a Black Presidnt...

    3. you've been treated disrespectfully by Africans and those of Carribean descent? How?

    4. I've been called an Akata by more than one African, they didn't know I knew the meaning of the word. I've been told by people from the Carribean(so-called friends) that AAS are lazy, and dumb. I'm an AA, so therefore, we're all lazy and dumb...That's the disrespect I was talking about. However, I don't think that the way these people behaved is indicative of the behavior of most African and Carribean immigrants.

  29. @SherryScary.....just what I would expect an ungrateful, brainwashed, non-american black to say about African Americans. AA's do NOT think they are owed something....that is what your white (french/British) oppressors have taught you to believe about AA's (divide and conquer). First of all, let us set a few things straight: In the U.S., the majority of people who are taking those "handouts" from the Government (food stamps, housing assistance, etc.) are HISPANICS, NOT AA's, as you have originally stated. Since you are an educated black person, please check your statistics because reading is fundamental. Secondly, I am an AA, and my mother came from a very dysfunctional family. One of the things she always would preach to me (just as your grandmother has to you) is the importance of education. So I worked hard in High School and went to college (graduating with a B.A. in Business). There are more and more AA's enrolling into college, most of them being black women. Non-american blacks tend to feed into the stereotype that all black people are lazy, uneducated and ignorant. Where I am originally from (Detroit...which is 70% African-American), most of the families there are very hard-working. This was even true during the Civil Rights movement in the 60's and 70's (there were not a lot of educated AA's during this time). My grandfather worked so hard at the auto factory that he gave himself a heart attack. My mother put herself through college (paid out of pocket), eventually earning a Master's degree in Nursing. So your assumptions are not necessarily, wanted or needed. They hold no merit. Also, from my understanding, the amount of non-american blacks, such as yourself, that come to our country often come with little to no education with absolutely nothing. Statistics show that you come to our homeland, profit from our education system, then take whatever money you earn on our turf and send it back to your families in whatever country you originally came from. By the way, those "government assistant" programs you speak so poorly of, is what helped you get in our country in the first place, and possible assisted you in earning an education in America (i.e., Affirmative Action, FAFSA, etc.). You profit from our country (which was mostly built off the backs of AA's), and then turn around and spit in the faces of the people who paved the way for YOU. Please rethink your comments, and save your stereotypes. *pointing finger in the location of your original homeland* If you cannot give respect where it is due, stay quiet or go back to your original birthplace.

  30. Interesting article,do visit its interesting too

  31. I find the comments from the ignorant Caribbean and Americans to be stupid. At the end of the day for those of you that live in the Caribbean you are American, before the white man called the islands "Caribbean" it was once called British America. I find it so fascinating that both Black Caribbean's and Black American's fight amongst each other when both of you are American look how near the islands is to America, I can't really say anything because my family are both Carib and Ameriqque and I love them both the problem is nobody bothers to read each others culture's to understand one another. The many contributions that Black Americans have contributed throughout history is amazing, just as the contributions that Black Caribbean's have as well, I really wish this animosity ended I live in Europe (the UK to be precise) and I learn about my cultures simply because I have family from both sides. What I see on the TV about BA's isn't a reflection of the whole entire population, please guys stop fighting we share a rich indigenous history together. Yes slavery wasn't as brutal in the Caribbean as it was and still is in America but we have a lot more in common then people think I only wish both groups could unite and get on with each other.

  32. The first thing I think we should do, is agree not to tell each other what the other group of African Americans think or is "trying" to do. I wouldn't dream of trying to tell a person who is from Great Britain what they think. Just as blacks from outside American cannot with any real knowledge tell an African American what we think. If you are an immigrant from wherever who is descended from Africans, there is a commonality there. But there are many ingrained things that unless you live in the U.S., you have no real insight as to why or sometimes what is being done or referred to because you don't really have any context of African American life. Understand that there are those who benefit from African Americans knowing less of their(our) history. That isn't an attack on what some have already posted, that's just how it is.

    So many things were out of our reach on pain of death. From an education to just using a water fountain. You don't have to abandon your culture, as African Americans, you better believe we would never do that. The differences are internationally cultural and then there is American culture itself. And then there is also New York City culture which is also different. This is such a huge topic that I don't even know where to begin. -- K. from Michigan

  33. Africans, African-Americans and Afro-Caribbeans all need to understand our COMMONALITY, as well as our differences. All of us have not learned what we need to
    know about our respective histories, cultures and achievements of our respective civilizations. In addition, our experiences vary greatly with dominant cultures that are not Afro-descendant. All Africans in the Diaspora have struggled with the forces of colonialism and the subsequent patterns of SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION and sustained RACISM/CLASSISM against Black and Indigenous peoples. Africans have also struggled--and continue to struggle--with the problems left over from European colonial expansion and any historical/cultural traditions that may exacerbate problems and hold back the progress of modern nation-states. But the healthy dialogue found on this blog is the beginning of cross-cultural understanding of our various expressions and expressions of ethnicity, nationality and identity. I would fist advise everyone to DISCARD OUTRIGHT THE RIDICULOUS, RACIST STEREOTYPES of each other as seen in the "media." The "media" exist strictly to profit for their respective companies--and the media IS NOT INTERESTED IN ACCURATELY PORTRAYING ANYTHING OR ANYONE OF AFRICAN DESCENT.


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