I Am Black, I Am Not African-American
I had a debate with my significant other a few days ago. He said that I was African-American.
“No, I’m not. You’re African-American, I’m Black.”
He was shocked because apparently he was unaware that we are not the same. So I had to explain it to him.
He is from Nigeria. From what I hear, it’s a beautiful country full of culture, pride, and history. He came to this country almost 20 years ago and became an American citizen along the way. He is very proud to be African-American. And I am proud for him. But our story is not the same. He arrived in this country by choice and on a plane.
My people arrived in an involuntary manner via boat ride.
I’m Black, not African-American.
Black people are considered a stain on the American flag while also being one of the main reasons for this country’s growth and wealth.
We are the most hated and loved people in this country. The most desired and feared. The most envied and loathed. Our presence in this country has created an interesting oxymoron.
America is full of “nigger lovers.”
Like Paul Mooney said,
“Everybody wants to be Black, but don’t nobody want to be Black.”
I don’t want to give the wrong idea. I’m quite proud to be Black. I know that the mere fact that I am alive means that the strength of my stock is beyond my comprehension. I know that my ancestors survived the middle passage, generations of slave labor, whippings, rape, degradation of our spirit, lynchings, and a number of other atrocities that Roots, Amistad, Beloved, and 12 Years A Slave would never be able to fully capture.
And I would like to speak on behalf of Black people when I say we are not coming after you good White folks for what your ancestors did, but we will also not let it go. We don’t have to because it’s our history.
While you wait for the Black revolution, we wait to be acknowledged for having the God-like spirit that wants the truth to be okay. The same spirit that continues to forgive all of the slave-like treatment long after the Emancipation Proclamation. We were integral in the building of this country. It’s our blood on the American flag, too, and we want to know that you can acknowledge what happened, how we got here, and that we matter.
Black Lives Matter, right?