“Descendants of Slaves” Instead of the Term “African American”

I would never, in any way, regurgitate thoroughly researched and data-rich analysis of another exceedingly hard-working individual, and I certainly won’t start doing so today.  But, I have to gloat over the concept Yvette Carnell formulated.  And, I totally agree with those classified as African American or black stepping away from referring to themselves as “African American” or “black.”

After she so eloquently explained her reasoning behind wanting to do away that particular terminology and why it’s important to focus on lineage rather than race, I’m in total agreement with her.  As a matter of fact, I, myself, am going to stop using those terms when discussing and writing about systematic white supremacy.

Ms. Carnell broke down why “Race is an ideology that was constructed based on advantages and disadvantages.”  Basically, “race” doesn’t really exist, and I’ve said this before to many of the people I talk to when the topic of racism arises.  We are all the human race.  The only reason we have “ethnicity” is because human beings evolved to adapt to their environment throughout time, nothing less, nothing more.

Her stance, as is mine after gaining some additional insight while watching her presentation, is, how can the group identified as “African American” rally around certain concepts and slogans, such as “black power,” “black love,” “black empowerment,” “black business” etc., when the term “black” itself was assigned to us by the very group that strives to conquer and subjugate us–the very forefathers of this country?

The ideology of white supremacy functions both as a system and as a belief, and this “-isms” have crystallized into culture and have been passed down from one generation to the next.  Culture is powerful in that, not only does it pathology conditions us as Americans to act habitually in the absence of critical thinking and empathy, but it also the becomes the day-to-day norms we never think to question regardless if they’re right or wrong.

The problem about referring to ourselves as “black” is, rather than the focus being on what specific remedies are needed and that MUST BE provided to those who are in the direct bloodline of African slaves native to America, who were brought here forcefully, and of those who’ve been deliberately and brutally oppressed, psychologically, socioeconomically, and physically, for the sole purpose of another group benefiting from that subjugation, it makes it easy for those working to maintain white supremacy to lump the various needs of every other demographic, not classified as “white,” with ours.

Affirmative Action is my case-in-point.  This action was supposed to be and should have been a remedial measure taken by and enforced by the government to address and correct the historical mistreatment of THE DESCENDANTS OF SLAVES, SPECIFICALLY.  Now, everyone who doesn’t classify as “white male” gets to benefit from it.  The fact that white women are the primary beneficiaries now over every other demographic is a prime example.

But, with the way white supremacy is set up, any group can be categorized by those who classify as white, whenever it conveniently suits them, as was the case during the African, English, and European slave rebellions during the 1600s, when the elitist sought to thwart the rebellions by promising more economic inclusion and civil freedoms to certain groups if they would comply with the concept of “black inferiority.”

Furthermore, rather than the conversation and strategizing of solutions being about what type of corrective government actions are needed to reward the lineage of the D.O.S., being that African labor made it possible for America to become a financial superpower through cheap and free labor, and what kind of compensation those who’ve historically and collectively been subjugated by the bloody hands of white supremacy need, the narrative gets diverted to topics like, immigration reform, homophobia, gun rights, feminism, Islamaphobia, misogyny, etc.

That’s not to say those aren’t important issues to talk about and come up with solutions for.  However, until white supremacy is fully dismantled, its degeneracy will continue to spill over into other areas of society, and the social issues many groups are fighting against will never be fully remedied.

Until the D.O.S. are made whole in America, no other demographic will fully be either.  If one group living a democratic society has been historically mistreated and continues to have to endure injustice and brutality–and being that those who’ve been identified as black has been EXCEEDINGLY DISENFRANCHISED MORE THAN ANY OTHER GROUP–it’s a direct violation of the constitution, is every demographic’s obligation to help correct, and democracy will continue to be diminished for everyone.

As far as the term “African American” goes, Africa is a continent, not a country.  I could not tell you what country nor city my ancestors came from in Africa.  I don’t know the culture of that country or what tribes my ancestors are from, and there’s really no way to find out, even with an Ancestry.com test.

I don’t really identify with anything from “the motherland” or with some romanticized “black king, Egyptian Royalty” image of “blackness,” not because I don’t want to but because the complete identity of my ancestors was completely destroyed by white supremacy, and the closest thing I can connect to was the history of my forefathers and foremothers  that came here…as slaves.

Shouts out to Yvette Carnell.  I will begin using this terminology more often, not only because it more accurately represents the experience of the demographic I belong to in America but because it can more effectively  can be made into a centralized organization, which could more intensely concentrate attention on what specific types of advocacy, resources, mobilization, and actions are needed to obliterate white supremacy and to make the D.O.S. whole.

Because, I don’t really know what “the black community” means anymore.   It’s too vague of a term.  Because, again, what constitutes as “black” here in America.  Are we including, Jamaicans, Cubans, Dominicans, and Nigerians, too?

With Love,

_____________________________________________


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8 thoughts on ““Descendants of Slaves” Instead of the Term “African American”

  1. This was a very good post my brother. I’ve been working on some poetry specifically catered around our people. I agree with you about being called Black or African American because we as a people are neither. What you stated about race was nothing more than a catalyst with the sole mission was to separate each culture into specific groups. This just gave white supremacy more power to do whatever they wanted. Slaves in our land because not all of us came from Africa to began with. We came from slaves and aboriginals and they know this, we simply don’t. Our identity is one of the most devastating things that we lost. And it time to be who really are and get acknowledged as such.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. ​WCM,

      I hope this day bids you well, sir. Thank you for taking the time to provide you commentary on this post.

      Firstly, I’m very much looking forward to checking out that project. Please keep me up-to-date on that. I would love to check it out.

      Second, that is exactly the point I was trying to get across. You hit the nail on the head. Even I have to admit, I identified myself as “black” for the longest, and I really didn’t think much of it until Yvette introduced that perspective.

      You made some very important points, and the only other thing I will add to what you said is, another way white supremacy benefits off the concept of “blackness” is that there really is no direct definition of it. And, if there is, theoretically speaking, who was the authority that made it into law?

      What the concept of “blackness” has done is that it has lead to a lot of needless infighting from those of African descent here in America. It’s created tribal bullshit in the so-called “black community.”

      For instance, I see people of African descent attacking other people of African descent because they’re Christian or of any faith, saying that they only follow the religion because the white man told them to.

      I see people constantly fighting about whether or not those classified as “black” should date or marry outside their “race.” People fight on and on and on and on about that topic, and all the attention gets taken of systematic white supremacy itself.

      People constantly fight about what constitutes as black or not. There are some “black” people who say, if you’re biracial, you’re not really black.

      There is no constant. There is no concrete definition. It is pretty much left up to interpretation, which means we can’t ever get on code with one another.

      When you say, “Descendants of Slaves” and identify with that, there is no mistake about it lol. Nothing is left up for interpretation at that point. Nothing is left to argue about or decipher.

      Anyways brotha, thank you for chopping it up with me, and thank you for continuing to dedicate yourself to the craft of literature. Other future writers will be looking up to you as an example of a brotha who commits himself to the literary arts. ​

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am going to start using the term, as well. Often, I use it when I am writing about the fact that descendants of slaves would not be here for the whites to abuse, hate and kill if it were not for the fact that their ancestors were some of the most lazy, good for nothings to ever exist who did not want to lift a finger to do anything. And yet, so-called ‘white supremacist’ groups want to shout about how full of ‘supremacy’ they are. They’re filled with something all right, but it’s got nothing to do with ‘supremacy’.

    Not one white person in AmeriKKKa ever wants to focus on why descendants of slaves are in this hole and that is why they have labeled us any and everything other than what we are; descendants of slaves. They have labeled us colored, negro, Black and African-American according to each generation’s birth certificate. Also, it makes no sense for us to even be labeled, ‘African-American’ because that is an African who came here willingly, took a naturalization test and became an American citizen. How is that us? It’s not.

    My original birth certificate defines me as ‘colored’. What the hell is that? Six years later, when my cousin was born, the whites put on his birth certificate that he was a ‘negro’. How many times do you think the birth certificates of those who identify as ‘white’ has changed? When I recently applied for a new birth certificate because I had lost my original one, the birth certificate was so generic, anyone looking at it without me standing there would not know what my ‘ethnicity’ is. There is just my name, place of birth, date of birth, mother’s maiden name, father’s name and the number my birth was assigned. That’s it.

    From now on, I am a descendant of slaves and that is what I am going to write in when I check the ‘other’ box.

    Great post, btw.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Shelby,

      I wanted to take the time to thank you for writing this well-thought-out comment. This comment, in and of itself, could have been its own blog.

      A couple of my friends who have read your comment are really digging what you said, and it couldn’t be any truer.

      I like how you mentioned the different kind of classifications they’ve assigned us to over there years. That just goes to show, the dominant society can go and change the rules (the classifications) whenever it’s beneficial to them–“negro, colored, black, African American, minority”

      I’m glad to see that you and I on-code with each other on this one. Using that particular terminology, as you’ve so eloquently stated, changes the whole dynamic of the conversation, and it forces it to be a more honest and historically accurate one. They can’t continue to lump us in with every other group that’s “not white.”

      I really appreciate you taking the time to compose your perspective for the people to see. We definitely have to keep this dialogue going, and we definitely have to continue getting each other on-code with one another when it comes to address the ideology of white supremacy if we want to deal with it effectively.

      May this weekend bid you well, Shelby. Word.

      One Love,
      The Stormy Poet

      Liked by 1 person

      1. One love to you as well! And believe me, on my blog, I tell it like it is and the ‘whites’ seriously don’t want to read what I write because I am all up in their face with the truth and that is one huge problem with the ‘whites’; they can’t stand the truth and that is why they will re-write history, run from the truth and paint it with a ‘liar’s brush’ so as to mitigate the vile and foul shit they do.

        I am sure that you have heard about how McGraw-Hill Publishers tried to re-write the history of slavery in this hole by writing in the history books that slaves were merely ‘immigrants’, who, alongside the Irish and others, came here willingly, looking for good paying jobs. Now, if that don’t beat all. Not to mention that there was also a book published by yet another ‘white’ person who claims that a slave by the name of Hercules was just so happy to have the ability to bake birthday cakes for George Washington, that he just could not contain himself. Seriously? So, in other words, the ‘whites’ who don’t out and out deny slavery existed in AmeriKKKa are attempting to tone it down to make it look like slaves were happy to be slaves. The book is titled, “A Birthday Cake For George Washington.”

        And as many labels as they have given to us, none have ever been even close to the truth; “descendants of slaves.” And you will never see that on any census form. But yet, every other group that comes to America is placed above the descendants of slaves. Go figure! And somehow, we are always perceived as ‘The Problem’ when nothing could be further from the truth. We are told that we don’t accomplish anything when the fact of the matter is the ‘whites’ want us dependent on them for why else did they burn down the “Black Wall Street” and the city, “Rosewood thanks in part to the ‘Rosewood Massacre’?” Decades ago, when descendants of slaves were doing better than we are now, the ‘whites’ saw this and introduced crack into our communities. Then HUD came along and put us into ‘ghettos’ and ‘hoods’. Read up on the racist history of HUD and find out just how much damage that agency did to communities of descendants of slaves. I could continue on in this vein, but I think my message is clear. We did better when we were left to our own devices, but the ‘whites’ want us dead or in prison; that is extremely obvious.

        Thank you for letting me have my say here.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Shelby,

        Damn, you brought that fire with this one. lol

        I wholeheartedly appreciate you sharing your perspective with everyone. You add extremely valuable, additional insight to the topic at hand. Your comment was brilliant.

        You schooled me on the “Hercules” character. I didn’t know that existed. I will definitely have to check that out.

        And, the way the Federal Government denied us housing and segregated us was and is straight up demonic.

        I’m almost done reading ‘The Color of Law,’ and I’m beginning to get a clear sense of just how much our ancestors were deliberately held back and why (to use my family for example) my grandparents weren’t able to pass anything down to me and why they’re still having to work to make ends meet, in their late 60s.

        Please feel free to have your say on any of my work, anytime. It is welcomed and greatly appreciated. The people need to hear it.

        One Love,
        The Stormy Poet

        Liked by 1 person

    1. C.S. Hammond,

      I appreciate you taking time out of your day to read my work.

      It is my privilege to disseminate this information to The People. I look forward to bring you additional insight that is in-depth and applicable.

      One Love,
      The Stormy Poet

      Liked by 1 person

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