So if race has been such a critical factor in shaping the past, and still remains a critical way in which the world operates in all spheres of human interaction, it then becomes critical to add clarity from an African standpoint. 
|Social dominance has always been about the relationship between money and power. And while money might not care about color; i.e. anyone with money may attain power regardless of race. However, there is another relationship between wealth and race. So while the rich dominate the world, the other relationship maintains people of the White race as the principle capitalist and hence the dominant race-class. South Africa being a good example where the trickle wealth shift post-apartheid still doesn't change the black/white relationship of race dominance. The primary mechanism which operates here is opportunity and the race-privallages which create these opportunities: All are housed within the framework of race. |
WHO IS AN AFRICAN
A racial classification is given to a group of individuals who share a certain number of anthropological traits. There is also a social-cultural relationship and a historical relationship between members of the same race. In the case of the African Diaspora who are genetically quite diverse yet socially homogeneous (Asante). The principle historical event which created this social homogeneity was oppression via enslavement.
Being African or being of African origin are different paradigms, which often, but not always mean the same thing. You can be from African (many Arabs, etc) but that doesn't satisfy being African in terms of self-identity; and we must deal with the two realities. Having African heritage and identifying with that heritage is a sociological aspect of being African.
|Jennifer Beal has direct African ancestry (like Obama), but physically looks non-African. and also doesn't identify.||But if someone is of African heritage and denies being African how does it affect their racial classification, since what you are is what you are. The late Sadat was of African ancestry but dis-indentifies with being African. The first condition is factual based on his ancestry - that cannot change. However, Obama, in the same boat, satisfies both conditions; African ancestry as well as identifying with that ancestry. So historically we can say Anwar Sadat was an African person the same way Tibbu Tib was African regardless of their personal self-perception. For a long time people in the Americas denied being African, this doesn't not alter the fact that they are an African people. Now if someone identifies with being African but are not genetically attached to native Africans then they are not African. So the primary condition for classification of being an African is origin. |
In the rare cases of when a child has an African parent but looks non-African then that is where things get complicated, regardless of how they identify. Because legally they can claim Africa, like anyone else, you cannot deny a factual ancestral claim. On the other hand model Noemie Lenoir is classified as a "Black" person (as well as socially identifying with being Black) but has no African ancestry, but she looks as "African" as any Ethiopian.(see illustration). Some would suggest admixture in the case of Ethiopia but in "race" theory we need some kind of cut-off. African people left Africa so the mother source of these features must have been Africa. Why would kinky hair and broad noses be "authentic" features of "real" African people? Who created this rule of what an African should look like? Now clearly every physical feature on this planet came out of an African genetic Adam and Eve. So therefore somewhere in the African gene pool there must be the natural ability to produce a diverse human; with diverse hair texture and diverse skin color. So any African living in a cooler region would naturally have lighter skin (South Africa for example).
|Physically looking African is important because vision is the most primary sense which dictates most of our perceptions. It is a subjective sense, since looking African in the Congo is different, to looking African in Somalia. However, no where on planet Earth is Rashid Jones identified as African/Black. Despite her claims to being "Black." She fits into the rare exception box. And the 0.00001% exceptions do not bend the rule.|
With regard to Ethiopia, one cannot become an Arab just because you cross the 22km gap into Yemen from Ethiopia, and then be mixed just because those people in Yemen walk back into Africa. And Ancient gene pool mixing is common for most groups so that is virtually negligible as a admixture argument. The features in East Africa are just as African as the noses on the Wolof and the epicanthic fold "Chinese eyes" in Southern Africa.
Being African cannot be defined by Europeans or Arabs, in the same way Africans play no part in the definition of “Who is a Jew” or “who is a Caucasian.” To return to Israel (aliyah) you need to pass the "Who is a Jew" test, through controversial exist because it is so important to maintaining the Israel of White Jewish people. In others words fear of alienation or the complexities of identity did not stop the occupying state of Israel from defining "who is a Jew". This definition is not set by Germans or Arabs or even the British or South African Whites. 
Whiteness is actually defined via a process of exclusion rather than inclusion and again Africans are not the agents behind that definition. African people are the majority who wore the chains of mental and physical slavery, the yoke of apartheid and colonization and the consequences of the ongoing institutionalized racism. From China to Chile, African people are identified as African and treated in a particular way based solely on skin color, and geographic ethnic origin. Sociologically, it is necessary to discuss a group that have that experience in a box which serves a deeper understanding of that shared history. There is no service in adding Whites who happen to be born in Africa to that box when there are no historical or sociological similarities, except a relationship of one oppressing the other.
While Blackness is an all-inclusive term, a kind of non-white box, which as Fanon said, came into being at the colonial moment. And just like "blackness" the formulation of an African identity was paramount in Europe’s interest for targeting African people to serve as slaves and colonial subjects. However, the irony does not end there, because as soon as this very identity starts servicing a stronger global African block then it is challenged by the same people who for centuries profited from it. And while seeking to restrict African people from accessing identity, they continue to extend their privilege through race-based opportunism.
|Racism poisons our life conditions. It makes people hate us before they even know us! They redefined us out of humanity so that a person from Iceland got a concept of us and they never saw us or interacted with us. So what they've done is poisoned how people relate to each other"|
All non-African females are descendants of L3 line from Africa, and males have Y chromosome M-168The common retort to African identity is nested in the genetic revelation that we are all "out of Africa." However, modern race did not exist when we "all left Africa." Moreover, no ethnic European walked out of Africa and into Europe. It was pigmented people from Africa who were transformed and genetically altered to give rise to modern races. This process was over millennium in accordance with the environmental conditions in the specific geographies: White skin in Europe, stocky bodies in the mountains of Nepal. "Out of Africa" has nothing to do with race, it has to do with genetic migration patterns; race is a social reality not a scientific one.
Even if we look deeper into genetics; where did Europeans become European? In Africa or in Europe? Where did Chinese become Chinese? In Africa or in China? Living for 20,000 of years in Europe created the modern European with unique gene mutation, which occurred only in Europe, as a branch from the gene pool of the Central Asia stock. These mutations were in direct response to the climate and events of Europe not Africa. Because if we use this argument then we could also say that, we are all single cell organisms because that is our common origin. Haplogroups do not represent modern ethnicities, but prehistoric adaptations that predate any modern self identification. The African is the result of a parallel response to the climatic conditions of Africa. And while Africans were continuing to respond to the African environment, the modern day European was doing the same, but in Europe.
|Slaves and dogs are named by their masters. Free men name themselves.|
|Richard B. Moore|
|"white" depends for its stability on its negation, "black." Neither exists without the other, and both come into being at the moment of imperial conquest|
WHO CREATED AND DEFINES "RACE"
|Clearly who is an African is a subjective debate. Who represents such a broad group of people to be so bold as to make a definitive statement on behalf of 1 billion plus people? On the other end of that argument is the reality that someone somewhere, with the objectives of that group, must be proactive in seeking to anchor African identity based upon the scholarship of those who have best served the interest of that group. In this respect it is hardly a democratic process but a process of political persuasion "African" left undefined opens up the possibility of a definition which in itself acts contrary to the progressive self-determination of African people everywhere. Those in senior positions who are sensitive to this must therefore take the bold step to formulate some core values around Who is and Who is not.|
A racial classification is given to a group of individuals who share a certain number of anthropological traits, which is necessary so that they not be confused with others. Diop argued that every time these relationships are not favorable to the Western cultures, an effort is made to undermine the cultural consciousness of Africans by telling them, "We don't even know what a race is."...It is the phenotype which as given us so much difficulty throughout history, so it is this which must be considered in these relations."
Now Rashidi travels far and wide expanding the so-called Black race, and if Black means non-White then there is some merit in that. As all of these groups in Australia, Solomon Islands, Andaman Islands (Jarawa and Onge people) do share a disadvantage similar to all pigmented people. Despite physical similarities, the above groups are descendants of peoples who migrated out of Africa (as are all humans when traced back far enough), the populations migrated to more distant territories and changed after reaching such destinations longer than did those people who migrated and developed as the "races" or peoples of Europe and Asia. This means, despite "looking African"(which is usually a product of European imposed definitions of what an African should look like - Black skin and thick noses) they are more non-related linguistically and certainly genetically to African people. For example they are genetically and linguistically more distant than Palestinians and Africans. They are in terms of distant from Africa, even greater than Arabs, Indians and Europeans.
|African people not fitting the European imposed "Black" archetype|
Diop held that scholarship in his era isolated extreme stereotypes as regards African populations, while ignoring or down playing data on the ground showing the complex linkages between such populations. Now Diop's position is the opinion of most modern critics of the racial clustering. This research has examined the ancient Badarian group, finding not only cultural and material linkages with those further south but physical correlations as well, including a southern modal cranial metric phenotype indicative of the Tropical African in the well-known Badarian group. Such tropical elements were thus in place from the earliest beginnings of Egyptian civilization, not isolated somewhere South behind the Saharan barrier.
or selectively defining certain traits like aquiline features as Eurasian or Caucasoid, ignores the complexity of the DNA data on the ground.
|In a 2004 study, 58 native inhabitants from upper Egypt were sampled for mtDNA. The conclusion was that some of the oldest native populations in Egypt can trace part of their genetic ancestral heritage to East Africa. Selectively lumping such peoples into arbitrary Mediterranean, Middle Eastern or Caucasoid categories because they do not meet the narrow definition of a "true" type,|
With a broader study of African features we see the entire argument for skull science lost to the same wind that took "the Earth is flat." Ethiopians, Rwandans, Somali etc all display this so-called Caucasoid skull type which is seen in Ancient Egypt. In any event, why would so much weight be placed on skull measurements as a classification of race? Clearly Africans come in different shapes and sizes to suit there environment. Unfortunately and unadmittedly what really defines a "REAL AFRICAN" is the 15th century image created at the colonial discover moment in European brains. That is the image that survives as the definitive archetype of the "Negro."
RACE IN ANTIQUITY
A key example is the complexity of ascribing a race to Turkish people who are all Turkish, they are more than a nationality but too phenotypically spread to be a race. Ancient history cannot be transplanted onto our modern reality. Even today race is very complex, Sudan and Brazil, for example. Not to mention politically created racial groups such as so-called "colored" in South Africa.
|Race in antiquity suffers from anachronisms because we are putting modern labels on ancient people. If you got in a time machine and went to Ancient Arabia or Ancient Kemet they would probably look like people classified as African today, the further back in time you go the more that fact would be true. However, the placement of race and identity to ancient groups; beyond geographical origins, has more merit in politics than in an historical discourse. |
The term Black people has no function in any debate beyond European enslavement, it has only been a name imposed by "the other." Black pride is reactionary pride, necessary then, irrelevant now. As Africa blossoms into a greater historical and cultural awareness of a Motherland Africans are starting to detached themselves with slave names and slave definitions and embrace terminologies which better do justice to a historical and cultural reality.
AFRICAN IDENTITY IN HISTORICAL AFRICA
The viewpoint that “Africans” enslaved “Africans” is obfuscating if not troubling. The deployment of “African” in African history tends to coalesce into obscurantist constructions of identities that allow scholars, for instance, to subtly call into question the humanity of “all” Africans. Whenever Asante rulers sold non-Asantes into slavery, they did not construct it in terms of Africans selling fellow Africans. They saw the victims for what they were, for instance, as Akuapems, without categorizing them as fellow Africans. Equally, when Christian Scandinavians and Russians sold war captives to the Islamic people of the Abbasid Empire, they didn’t think that they were placing fellow Europeans into slavery. This lazy categorizing homogenizes Africans and has become a part of the methodology of African history; not surprisingly, the Western media’s cottage industry on Africa has tapped into it to frame Africans in inchoate generalities allowing the media to describe local crisis in one African state as “African” problem – Dr. Akurang-Parry, Ending the Slavery Blame, Ghana Web
When we study the dilemma which created a supply of slaves for the Western markets we see that the primary process was warring Africans. While some historians consider these merely "Slave Raids" it can be shown that casualties would have been experienced on both sides and thus making such activities more akin to warfare. Even if that warfare was against a "weaker" nation who served as a target group for procuring captives. The long standing temptation is to paint all these groups as African fighting Africans. However, in this historical period there was no African identity. People in 15th century Africa never heard of "Black people" as an identity. While they had knowledge of self from an internal perspective, that knowledge of self lacked a relationship to other African groups in the broader sense, especially when confronted with the arrival of Europeans. And that is key because being proud to be Zulu, for example, but seeing a Xhosa as different is a narrow understanding of self. And this failure made it easy for identities whether ethnic or national to be used as a tool to be exploited. And this is not unique to Africa, the same thing happened every where the European went in his expansion where he meet different ethnic groups.
BOUNDARIES OF AFRICANNESS
The debate of Africaness must shift; expand, refine itself, but all the while keeping itself anchored in a fundamental link to the historical Africaness. The 21st century definition of African identity is expanding to include new values, which embed the best African characteristics therefore servicing stronger Pan-African identities. Enriching the paradigm and sourcing from the diverse and complex forms of the global African cultural personality. None of this includes changing water into wine or White people into African people. Exceptions must not be used to defer the formations of solid definitions nested in self-interest. No definition can ever be 100% accurate in every instance in our complex societies. There is an increasing trend to use terms like the complexity of African identity as a way of thwarting the discussion from producing any conclusions. This trend stands as an opposition to the concept of African Union. Just because something is complex does not arrest the attempt at a resolution, nor should it interrupt the broader agendas of a single African identity which umbrellas the complexities surrounding global African identities.
POLITICS OF IDENTITY
|Only Tribes held together by a group feeling can survive in a desert |
|Ibn Khaldun |
By posing challenges to African identify they undermine the foundation of concepts such as African unity, African culture, African history and African empowerment to name a few. If 'African' as a concept is swallowed into the colonial linguistic definition of Europeans then ultimately the attachment to the word “African” floats around and thus serves no constructive process in liberation. Europeans have long realized that language is a tool of oppression and warfare, unfortunately most Africans are passive to this attack. Others have also realized that ownership and controlling the academic process is another good investment in the war against African growth. So it is no surprise that scholars and academics come out of the woodwork in defense of the most ridiculous Eurocentric assertions.
Africans must be intelligent and live in a world where they are politically astute to broader interest. Outside interest for a long time realized that the first and most sophisticated line of attack is to challenge the concepts which unify African people. i.e. African identity.
Some people have issues with putting boxes around people; however, the politics of agency demand that people with common interest respond to a world that does groups people into boxes for easy oppression. Moreover, human behavior fundamental, for ease and function, has a natural habit of defining and naming creation. Who is a Muslim, who is a male, who is a female, where is Africa; all of these have definitions, which are critical in language and human behavior. If the color red is blue to some people and green to another, then red as a color has no meaning.
Terms such as African have a deep social and historical meaning in our modern history as well as the contemporary moment. Being African 200 years ago was the difference between being human or chattel. Thus vague open ended terms further serve in the muddy of this historical narrative of a specific group of people whose primary commonality in oppression was based on their place of origin; native Africa. Hence in the battle for linguistic real estate terms have always been controlled by the strongest, open-ended is no place for a people who have been the greatest victims of white supremacy. In defining an object and its properties, it is possible to call that thing into its correct historical location. And like a name specifically is used to separate and speak to certain individuals in a group so to race has this unction in a society deeply influenced by racial origin.
|And God taught Adam all the names (of everything), then He showed them to the angels and said, "Tell Me the names of these if you are truthful|
The crisis of identity sits hand in hand with all the other crises that African people are faced with. Cultural ownership and historical placement all contribute to the dilemma of the Global African. As a weak self-identifying group, compared to others, Africans are susceptible to being knocked off course by non-Africans, like leaves in the wind blowing to everything that has the power to blow. African cannot be a term to hug everything that comes its way for then it has no concrete meaning. It is an integrative term but not for Europeans, Indians, ethnic Arabs, and other non-Africans.
SPEAKING AROUND RACE
There is no accident of race when we look at the social-economic reality of the world. The single largest factor explaining the prison race imbalance and the general social welfare of Africans in America is race. Naturally greed and many other factors must be considered but we must not be blinded by the obvious just because human greed is also a factor in oppression (i.e. the argument the rich exploit the weak as a distraction to the question of race being relevant).
In South Africa Africans have been moved from African, to Blacks and now from Blacks to an ethnic group called "previously disadvantage." The inescapable question that needs to be posed to the genius that went so far to construct this awkward term is, what is "previous" about the disadvantage in South Africa? Seems pretty currently disadvantaged per every social-economic indicator. So why celebrate a victory for a war still to be won? All these elaborate terms to speak around race and to keep the minority elites not having to be reminded of the world they built at the expense of everyone else.
BLACK OR AFRICAN
"white" depends for its stability on its negation, "black." Neither exists without the other, and both come into being at the moment of imperial conquest. - Franz Fanon
Black is not a racial family, an ethnic group or a super-ethnic group. Political blackness is thus not an identity but moreover a social-political consequence of a world which after colonialism and slavery existed in those color terms.
|Black is a construction which articulates a recent social-political reality of people of color (pigmented people).|
African and black are not interchangeable just as Dark continent and Africa are not. Self-determination allows a people to re-examine definitions and sculpt them to their reality. Black, like Negro is facing linguistic extinction, especially in academic circles, due to its poor foundation in speaking about the oldest and most diverse people on the planet. Notice today only two races go by color labels; The race with the most oppression and the ones inflicting that oppression. "I am black and proud" is a song, nothing else. It is the rhetoric necessary at the time to lift us up. It has run its course and has expired. (See Language and Africa)
|Africans have gone from Negro (Spanish for Black) to Black (English for Negro) what has changed? Only the language. An identity is generally geographical and ties the people to their native environment or their core doctrine (Jews of Judaism, Muslims of Islam, Chinese of China). |
|Black tells you how you look without telling you who you are. A more proper word for our people, African, relates us to land, history and culture. |
|John Henrik Clarke|
BLACK AFRICA IS A RACIST TERM
This is made even more offensive when the etymological root of that label (black) is derived from the word Negro, and is used in place of the word African as a racial or cultural identity. In reality we must ask ourselves what is the difference between "Negro" and "Black" save historical association, the words mean the same thing, so we have moved from being Black in Spanish (negro) to Black in English (black). It is strange that despite all the genetic research and advance human anthropology we are still clinging to primitive 18th century post-Darwin model of race, which sole aim was/is to segregate and de-culturalize and enslave.
|Black Africa, Dark Continent, Heart of Darkness all articulate the colonial contempt for a continent and its people. But how does one arrive at the term “black Africans,” are there green Africans? Would you speak of “yellow Chinese,” or “brown Indians”? Globally the term " Red Indian" is rejected as deeply pejorative yet "black African" is still used even in South Africa which is used to define the majority of the population against the minority so-called white-Africans. Black African is as ridiculous as "rock stone", rocks are stones so why double up two realities which are often the same?|
There is only one reason the term Black African exists and that is to deny nobility from African people. To explain away how Egypt could be nested in Africa but at the same time divorced from the majority of the African people. Therefore the argument "yes it is in Africa, but it is not Black African." It is almost like saying Greece was a European civilization, but not a White European civilization.
If 95% of Africans are “Black” (capital B, if it must be used) then the minority should bear the adjective--not the majority. It is disrespectful to describe Africans with a label based solely on a color, especially when it does not accurately reflect the physical appearance of most Africans.
The concept of a “black Africa ” is a Eurocentric term based upon their ignorant primitive regressive deductions. It is true Arabs and Greeks referred to Africans as "black" but this was not a racial label, and moreover Africans themselves did not self-apply these external labels. Like the Phoenician who were called the "red people," but no Phoenician would have referred to themselves in this way. See Language and Africa)
DIVERSITY OF AFRICAN PEOPLE
Within Africa’s indigenous people, we find all textures of hair, colors of skin, types of eyes and noses. So beyond the European defined boxes of what a “real African” looks like we find a continent representing most of the features found throughout the world. The straight nose is a feature of Africa; light skin is a feature of Africa; even Chinese eyes are found among African people. The old theory of the darker, you were the more African you were is now buried as a plantation tale to create the self-hating slave. We now know that the oldest people on the planet in terms of genes are the “yellow skin” San of Southern Africa. And one of the blessings witnessed in the Americas is how quickly African-Diasporian people have moved beyond “what massa wants us to think.” And why would it be a surprise to find the aquiline features of the Tutsis, Amhara, the Fulani and Somali in Africa.
|Africans are the most genetically diverse group of people on the planet. There is more genetic diversity among African people than between all the other races of the world|
|National Geographic Genome project |
When we venture back into history, or what is known as pre-history, it is a fact that people left Africa in numerous waves over thousands of years to populate the world. Thus, African people have the greatest genetic diversity. Which is inclusive of every single race on the planet, but the reverse is not true. As people left Africa, some unique features came about due to mutation and adaptation via Darwin’s favorite word, Natural Selection. However, the physical features seen in India and the Middle East originally came from an African genetic pool. Thus within the African is the ability to produce every race on the planet. Within the skin hues, texture of hair found on the continent it is possible to make Europeans, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, etc.
AFRICANS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
The African in a pure sense is a biological human adaptation to the environmental parameters of Africa. The African is a product of a specific range of biospheres. The pigment and the general texture of hair are all necessary adaptations to living on the continent in a natural way. In the absence of artificial mechanisms, the European cannot survive on the continent comfortably. Europeans have a physiological adaptation which makes them ideal for Europe, hence one reason they are called Europeans; people of Europe. Technology, and technology alone, allows the European to escape the African environment.
ETHNICITY AND RACE
|O Mankind, We created you from a single (pair) of a male and female and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other |
In the West, the question of ethnicity takes on a different tone to that on the African continent. All the ethnic groups in the west are Super-Ethnicities; conglomerations of broad groups of people into single groups, e.g. African-American. In America, there is no other way as through the African Holocaust true ethnicities were completely erased. Now in Africa, people actually belong to pure ethnic groups such as Amhara, Wolof, Zulu, Fulani, San, etc. These ethnic groups have specific cultural characteristic, the most obvious of these being their first language. A race is a collection of ethnic groups who share (subjectively at times) identifiable characteristics i.e. being dark skinned with curly hair. In the western melting pot race takes on new forms to cope with the centuries of cross-cultural interaction. Outside of the cities of places like Africa and China, the slower pace of inter-ethnic mixing preserves the “purity” of ethnic groups.
|It is become critical to clarify African identity because commercialization and integration is forcing African Diasporian into the cultural orphanages of White-America. Hence the African-Diasporian culture is nothing more than a veneer and mirror of mainstream America – but painted Black. The challenge must be placed because if the only difference is skin complexion and being at the bottom of every social-economic indicator, then what kind of identity is that? The cultural fabric of African lives must speak to something unique and distinctive that has merit and meaning in how African-Diasporian live and dream; that uniqueness only enriches humanity. But a close look at BET, Ebony and Jet shows only a blacken White culture in every materialistic way. At this rate the future of a distinctive African-Diasporian is under threat of extinction. |
To be culturally African is to possess a distinctive culture, which has its values and orientation in the indigenous cultures of Africa. To therefore speak a native African language, have an African worldview, wear African dress, as distinctive from the dress code of other groups, can be seen as cultural identifiers. It is however more than a shopping list of items to tick “yes” or “no” to. The following question is posed: what about Europeans who embrace African culture and are even capable of speaking African languages? It is undeniable that they are practitioners of African culture but it does not make them African but merely Europeans who have embraced African culture.
Just like the millions of Africans across the globe who speak European languages, eat European food, behave like Europeans, engage in Eurocentric understandings of religion are no closer to actually being European. They still are physically Africans who are European in mentality and attitudes. The placement of these people in the African world is debatable. The current and most progressive theory is to re-educate these people to give them an understanding of themselves. For it is unnatural to act in the image of those who oppressed you.
Just as climate played a role in physical traits such as dark skin, it can be argued that culture evolved to a specific reality. However, the cultures of African people extend beyond their physical geography and are informed not only by geography but also by physical ethnic traits.
RACE IS A REALITY
|In 1867( two years after Africans were free from Slavery in America) 98% of African-American worked for Whites. In 2011 (with an African-American President) 98% of African-Americans people still work for white people, with another thirty three percent of Males being unemployed or incarcerated.|
|USA Race Relationship|
The race dynamic of this world always seems to cast Africans as the servant when White is around. The so-called coincidence of race is that it always seems to be White first. In Israel, In America, in Africa (Kenya, South Africa, etc). Now it may be called Jewish or Western but the reality is the same, it is majority White. It may mask itself within capitalism and produce some exceptions to the White only club, but these are minorities. And while wealth does dictate a lot of human politics, make no mistake, race has had a equally important legacy in how humans interact in an unequitable way. Most of the world is racially inaccessible or uncomfortable to African people, just try walking around China with Black skin or some far flung town in Russia.
Things must run their course. And before we get to paradise we must walk through earth. We cannot jump to a raceless world when everything is still painted white. Race is not a science; it is a social construct rooted in how humans chose to group themselves for protection and common interest; appearance, religion, location, ideology, genealogy, etc.
|My decision to destroy the authority of the blacks in Saint Dominque (Haiti) is not so much based on considerations of commerce and money, as on the need to block for ever the march of the blacks in the world|
|Napoleon Bonaparte |
As much as race is biological nonsensical, it is also the reason why you didn't get that job, it is the reason immigration took 10 minutes with your passport, it is the reason why your film didn't make it into Sundance. And it is the reason why our children keep picking up the white doll. - Facebook comment
People throughout history have grouped themselves in terms of common interest, common culture common religion and common appearance (in-group and out group). It is an innate trait that ultimately protects us. However difference does not mean animosity. It is neo-Darwinists to believe in this constant battle of different groups for resources. Painting humanity in those terms, justifies the unnecessary and continuous state of war. Ignoring those differences does not resolve the nature of man. Saying, “stop using race and see people as they are” is simplistic and only the most ill informed people will reason in this manner. For instance, if every single one of us was European from Milan, we would start to automatically group ourselves by region, or class or accent. The solution is to recognize the differences and use them as an exchange to celebrate this beauty. The Olympic Games has an atmosphere of healthy competition, people are grouped by nations and it celebrates the best aspects of humanity; if it is true for nations, then it is so true for race.
Discussing race does not make you racist. But ignoring it when it exists is ignorant. The “black doll, white doll test” is testimony to this. If unchecked, racial privileges will always be unbalance in a society. Race existed during both the Arab and European trade in Africans. Race existed in the 60’s, as it exists today. Race will always be present. Race is there when you walk into a restaurant, when you go for a job, when you cross borders, when you go to Japan, or even Africa. So race is the first thing people see, and humans rely heavily on their eyes as a point of understanding. Now when Africans organize as a race, speak as one against the global oppression experienced, unify as an economic and cultural unit then the world will be forced to interact differently. The recent election of Obama proved how that single act could overnight change how people perceive African people.
In the post 9-11 attacks on America, looking Arab (whatever that means in America) had real social consequences. Thus, it is not possible to erase race just because it sometimes seems untidy. Although race from a scientific persuasion is a fallacy, it does not discount it as a social and historical reality. Engaging race is healthy as to ignore it is to ignore the horrid nature within men. In Post-Apartheid South Africa, many of the elite ethnic minorities debate the relevance of race in the new “Rainbow Nation.” Seeing beyond color does not change the 'strange' fact that all those at the top are European, those in the middle are Indian and those at the absolute bottom serving as the labor pool are the African.
AFRICAN AMERICAN CULTURE IS AFRICAN
At what stage did the distinctive elements of African-Americans stop being African? At what time did they ever forget the drum and the notion of a Motherland? Africanity in the Americas is a continuum of an African culture experience, responding to the environment of enslavement and oppression. When Africans got to the New World the culture of Africa came with them and stayed with them, adapted evolved and produced another African culture; African-American culture. The expression continued to expand in a Eurocentric environment of extreme oppression which shaped, influenced the African culture. It forced improvisation and new ways of expression. Naturally, fusion occurred, but this was not peculiar to the Americas, the same thing happen in Africa where civilizations made contact, in Ethiopia during its occupation of Arabia, In North Africa and West Africa with Islam. The Swahili coast with the Arab and Indian traders. And even in Kemet with the invasion of the Hyksos. The debate of fusion is far more common than uncommon. Let's start with the understanding that African-Americans are fundamentally an African people living in America.
|African Americans, constitute the most heterogeneous group in the United States biologically, but perhaps one of the most homogeneous socially|
The AU sees the Diaspora as part of the Africa. America is the new world and in that process, Africans via the most brutal practice lost some elements of their African identity. However in Jazz, in the Blues, in Soca, In Hip Hop all the core African traditions are there. In Dance, in body language, in expression, in inflection and linguistic articulation. The US flag seduces some African-Americans into an illusion of a new homeland, which continues to fail to place them in any positive space. Preferring to be as Kimani Nehusi puts it cultural orphans and step-children of their slave masters. Now all over America Africans are changing their dress, changing their Holidays (kwanzaa), celebrating God just like continental Africans, seeking things which are far removed from White America. This is the natural yearning of a people who are spiritually out of tune with an environment of Whiteness that speaks neither to their physical condition or their spiritual determination. Why Should an African-American look to Europe for names for their children? Why should an African-American look to the version of Christianity practiced by Rome for God? The spirit of the African-American is in Africa and this is even truer today than it was before. The urban reality does not alter the natural spiritual behavior of a people or their cultural uniqueness.
In a pure just world, a person of multi-racial lineage would have the right to claim both origins; however, the primary reality is dictated by physical appearance and social perceptions. There is no merit in posing hypothetical questions at a world that does not exist—save in dreams.
South Africa is unique in the world for creating super-identities for pure political reasons. It thus allows a unique window on a great social experiment in identity. Only in South Africa is there an “ethnic” group known as “colored”; one of the most confusing groups who compose of anyone who is not “blatantly” European, Indian or African by virtue of the ease at which a pencil passes through someone’s hair.
So, years of this social set-up have created a new community of people identified as “colored”. As being identified as “colored” created a peculiar situation as it granted privileges greater than that of the African populations. Thus, people were desperate to not be identified as African. The complex surrounding being African lingers despite the dismantlement of apartheid. In some cases, members of the same family would be split apart due to being classified in different race groups despite being 100% related. The UK tinkered to different degrees of success with the “half-caste”, “mix-race” classification which in the new era of serious inter-racial activity between predominately African-Caribbean males and White-British women has created a new “race.” With this new generation is a further distancing themselves from identifying with being African. The politics of divide and rule are clearly at play, as it worked for Europeans during the centuries of enslavement on the plantations.
Some believe the one-drop rule was a European instituted principle for lumping all non-Europeans into one basket. Now, outside of Europe it is clear that in Africa being of mix-heritage does not remove your claim to African soil. In all known African societies, having one African parent makes you African. In every African society, African blood means African claim. This is outside of European influence and is part of the tradition of African inclusiveness. Thus African identity as a generality absorbs identities; this can be witnessed from Ethiopia to Ghana, Chad to Zululand. It is not different from Jewishness which can be passed on via any parent in authentic Jewish theology. And it makes political sense because it enhances the number of members in your community.
On a genetic phenotypical level African “features” or characteristic are genetically dominate. This is the reason why it is sometimes unclear if someone is of mix heritage or not. The mere fact that it is not always clear or at least carries a shadow of doubt testifies to the argument that Africans are genetically dominant. Miscegenation in Arab culture favors the Arab father regardless of the mother’s race.. So in stark contrast to European enslavement those children born to enslaved African women became Arab and not African. Despite their physical appearance, they were generally culturally Arab. (e.g. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Anwar Sadat , and Tibbu Tip)
The question regarding people of mix-race heritage is difficult because although they are accepted by other Africans as being African, it is possible that they do not view themselves as African, as in parts of Brazil and South Africa. It is sometimes hard to believe Bob Marley had a European father, as he is so deeply associated with being African. Thus, the final though is that being African must have a dual condition: Being of African heritage and identifying with that heritage.
THE POLITICS OF ‘WHITE AFRICANS’
African is a jacket worn to suit an economic or political opportunity
Despite claiming "African" in name they are very conscious of Whiteness when propagating the White dominant image on the broadcast mediums they control. Being White is clearly obvious when it comes to the dilemma of ownership which is still tipped in their favor. When all of these White South Africans rush home to Europe (when Africa gets a little sticky) do they encounter job discrimination experienced by fellow African South Africans or even 3rd and 4th generation African-British? They integrate smoothly into the social environment created by White privilege. Seems like with the Indian "Africans", African is a jacket worn to suit an economic or political opportunity. Lets ask a question. An African man takes an Indian woman back to his village for marriage- how will she be treated? An Indian woman takes an African man back to her community for marriage how will he be treated. This highlights a fundamental difference between Africans and everyone else. A Characteristic exploited by every visitor to Africa.
However, the definition of racism does not accommodate in-group exclusion as a characteristic of being racist. And the power of definition like “who is a Jew”, “who is Chinese” belongs with the majority, not the minority. Africans cannot over night just say they are Chinese and then call Chinese racist if they do not accept them. Now in the case of the Native American indigenous claim we saw how many White people came out of the wood works to claim Native American heritage. When claim chases profit, then claiming identities will not be uncommon.
|.The new trend emerging by some Whites and corrupt African politicians is to classify Europeans living/settling in Africa as “White Africans.” All those that deny their claim to African identity are now labeled as racist.|
So this argument or false focus serves to disrupt the greater Pan-African solidarity necessary for African people. And anyone trying to put a taboo on such debates is probably an oppressor. Now the classic straw man argument is to associate this stance with expelling Whites from Africa. The human rights of the African cannot be secured while violating the human rights of another people. We do not need a new Israel in Africa. However, gross inequalities must be destroyed. What business does someone have with 1000 of acres of land while the native people starve all around them? Especially when that land was acquired by displacing the ancestors of that land. All of these issues need to be collapsed into the broader debate of identity and native claim.
In the scramble for linguistic real estate, why would these descendants of European colonialist who devastated and exploited the continent want to be called African? And in terms of self-determination who introduced these concepts? It would be very strange if a European, after 200 years in China or India, could be so powerful to alter the definition of Chinese just to be accommodated. Linguistic accommodation is only possible in Africa because of the prevailing injustice of a post-colonial dominance of European settlers.
Race was not only defined in the 18th century, in Axum and Kemet African peoples have always identified with degrees of racial inclusion and exclusion. The arrogance of Whiteness is to assume they are responsible for every single point of view that has ever existed on this planet. All the while South Africa remains White dominant and unchallenged by people who are the most vocal White Africans. Interestingly if you examine their lifestyle, you will find them to be the most racial conservative personalities. They date and marry women of their specific race, they socialize in White circles, they engage a distinctive non-African culture. And if they do have a few token "Black" friends they are often culturally compromised aberrations the continent can produce. The injustices of White dominance and the legacy of that dominance are smooth over by fictional fantasies of non-returning colonial tourist who still impose their reality as the norm for everyone else. Moreover, in dealing with these issues they always select broad base arguments and never deal with the core issue of African self-determination and agency.
The fact that Europeans are sensitive to the politics of things suggests that they do not do anything for romantic reasons. It is very disappointing when senior African academics, so desperate to embrace the rainbow theory and share the “African burden”, rush with open arms to embrace these pseudo concepts without any political or economic consideration. What is the objective of these claims? It is interesting to note Europeans (including Caucasoid Arabs) constitute around 10 million people verses the 800 million Africans. Now, this negligible minority, by way of social influence, has caused the majority to need to refer to themselves with the adjective of “black” to separate themselves from a serious minority group who want to be “Indian Africans” or “white Africans.” Minorities of Europeans live in China, in India and in Arabia yet only in Africa has linguistic accommodation been given to these European minorities. Africans now must make room for those settlers who want to identify with the continent for capitalist reasons. Because once you identify with a continent then you have a legitimate claim to its resources. Thus, the saying and the philosophy of Garvey “Africa for the Africans” becomes usurped. In South Africa, the new trend of “Black Economic Empowerment” has seen the broadening, opening up of the borders of blackness so to speak. Indians are economically classified as ‘black’, and recently Chinese have been included in this definition. So again, we see the relationship between linguistics and economic profit.
What about people who are European who speak African languages, wear African clothing, eat African food, etc? With all due respect, the mistake made by Dr. Ali Mazrui in his accommodation was to confuse the empirical reality of being African with the cultural phenomenon of being Africanized. Just as most Africans in the west are to a large degree Europeanized Africans, it does not make them in anyway shape or form European.
Identity should be a foremost consideration, for if it is not then subsequent work would not be grounded. Now we can see how the question of reparations, land ownership, citizenship, free-movement, African Continental union, African People unity, all hinge on a clear definition of African identity. History is our clarifier; it is our memory. And every struggle which forgets history repeats it. The dilemma of race was unresolved Post-Civil Rights and still today we fight for basic rights. Unfortunately, what Africans first have in common with each other is a monolithic response to the same oppression. That oppression always identifies us by our race; From South Africa to Barbados. Every African generation is procrastinating and re-visiting how or if to self-define. And while we fiddle with our thumbs we are being defined in a way which enhances our oppression; Defined out of history.
We see all other groups, such as Jews in Israel, clarifying a definition of who is a Jew and denying “right of return” to those who do not fall into that definition. Open definitions allow those who have traditionally exploited Africans to continue to do so. It must be realized that our cultural immunity and cultural defence systems have been the most destroyed. As a group interested in self-preservation and self-determination, the question of who belongs to our group, who has that group’s interest, will be paramount.
The racial cut-off has to be no earlier than 10,000 years ago when the modern races of the world would have been established. We cannot take race from the 40,000 year period which is for one historically unknown as well as when Arab people and other groups would have left Africa.
African Americans, constitute the most heterogeneous group in the United States biologically, but perhaps one of the most homogeneous socially - Molefi Asante
In 1867( two years after Africans were free from Slavery in America) 98% of African-American worked for Whites. In 2011 (with an African-American President) 98% of African-Americans people still work for white people, with another thirty three percent of Males being unemployed or incarcerated.
Epicanthic fold, epicanthal fold, or epicanthus is a skin fold of the upper eyelid, covering the inner corner (medial canthus) of the eye. This lower fold of the upper eyelid gives the eyes of certain East Asians an appearance which seems relatively narrower and almond-like compared to those without such folds. People of Southern Africa have similar epicanthal folds but have no direct genetic relationship with East Asian communities. The DNA to create these folds must be within the African gene pool sense the Khoisan etc are far older groups than East Asian communities.
Following the creation of the modern State of Israel in 1948 by the super-colonial powers. the Law of Return was enacted to give any Jew the right to immigrate to Israel and become a citizen.Law of Return 5710-1950.Law of Return, the racist building block of Israeli Apartheid
The name is usually connected with Phoenician afar, "dust", but a 1981 theory has asserted that it stems from a Berber word ifri or Ifran meaning "cave", in reference to cave dwellers. Africa or Ifri or Afer is name of Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania Berber Tribe of Yafran. Itineraria Phoenicia, Edward Lipinski, Peeters Publishers, p200, 2004
A phenotype is any observable characteristic or trait of an organism: such as its morphology, development, biochemical or physiological properties, or behavior.
Ali Mazrui said they were two types of Africans: Africans by blood and Africans of the soil: Thus including Europeans in a version of being African.
Dame Jane Goodall, DBE (born Valerie Jane Morris Goodall on 3 April 1934) is an English UN Messenger of Peace, primatologist, ethologist, and anthropologist. She is well-known for her 45-year study of chimpanzee social and family interactions in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, and for founding the Jane Goodall Institute.
|You can not measure an African success with a European ruler |
|Owen ' Alik Shahadah|