Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Africans in America.

CNN ran a story about Africans in America (http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/07/14/africans.in.america/index.html) that was interesting to me for a few reasons (thanks to Greg for the link).

First of all, I am a second (or first, depending on how you define it) generation American with Nigerian roots. I can definitely relate to some of the experiences that the subjects discuss in the story (e.g., relating more to values of white Americans, and being teased because of this).

Another hilariously interesting point the article makes is how (in addition to stereotypes black Americans have about Africans) Africans have stereotypes of black Americans - Africans portray them as a bunch of gangsters and criminals.

Lastly, as a kid I lived in the same neighborhood in Nigeria as one of the guys mentioned in the story: Chinedu Ezeamuzie.

This brings me to the my dislike of the misnomer "African-American". Not only is it too many syllables when a simple word like "black" would do, it does not accurately describe the group it is used to represent. Not all Africans are black (see this related story). In addition, black Americans in general have pretty much no connection to the continent of Africa these days. I don't object to being called an African-American - because I indeed am one. However, if all you mean to say is that I am black, just call me that instead.

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