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Am I African American?? Everyone has different opinion.


Replies to: Am I African American?? Everyone has different opinion.

  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Registered User Posts: 11,788 Senior Member
    Most "Africans" I know are proud to be from a specific country. Perhaps you are proud to be South African? What with your family going WAY back and all. Wonder what affirmative action looks like there these days.
  • McPucks1357McPucks1357 Registered User Posts: 388 Member
    Genealogically you are probably western european of some sort, whereas the term african american as it applies to race refers to people who genealogically are African.

    It is in the same way that I am American, although genealogically I'm western european.
  • SProctor01SProctor01 Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    mcPucks, that was the best answer i have heard, I can understand if people mean it like that. But I still truly feel that the term fits me precisly.
  • sorghumsorghum Registered User Posts: 3,460 Senior Member
    The test is, would your ancestors have had potential value to be sold as slaves?
  • HuntHunt Registered User Posts: 26,917 Senior Member
    The problem you're having--and it's the same one others have had--is that it's difficult to accept that "African-American" is a defined term that does not include everything that it could potentially include.
    By the way, in what way are you an American? Are you a naturalized citizen?
  • VeryHappyVeryHappy Registered User Posts: 18,066 Senior Member
    I agree with McPucks1357, in Post #18. I'm going to hazard a guess here and assume that your great-grandparents were from a European country who immigrated to South Africa. So rather than "African" being your ethnic heritage, as it is for people whose ancestors have lived in Africa forever, your heritage is European. The African connection is a minor detour, for purposes of identifying your heritage.
  • foolishpleasurefoolishpleasure Registered User Posts: 919 Member
    "African American," for purposes of college admission is a term of art that refers primarily to racial identify. Certainly, "African American" could mean othet thing in other contexts and in those other contexts, OP could perhaps correctly identify himself as African American. It is equally clear that for college admissions he is not African American.

    If OP is proud of being both African and American, he is free to so advise the admissions committee, but he should do so in a manner that does not deliberately or unintentionally misrepresent his backgroung - - check the box AND add, parenthetically, that you are of White South African descent. To do otherwise is to permit (if not affirmatively encourage) the committee to believe OP is something or someone he is not.
  • pgtoripgtori Registered User Posts: 362 Member
    that's a good idea, or other it.
  • PlainsmanPlainsman Registered User Posts: 1,503 Senior Member
    This whole debate is silly. The term African American was not created by the U.S. government. It is a creation of U.S. citizens, led by Civil Rights worker (I refuse to call him a "leader") Jesse Jackson. It was intended to be a more descriptive term for "black Americans." Because most black Americans are descendents of slaves, tracing the exact country of origin on the African continent is difficult if not impossible. White Americans could accurately describe themselves - if they so choose - as Irish Americans, Italian Americans, Polish Americans, etc., but blacks could not. So Jackson et al adopted the term "African" Americans, with the emphasis on the continent, for the aforementioned reasons. The term was quickly adopted by government entities and the media in an effort to be politically correct, i.e., not **** off Jesse. The term was never intended to stand for a white person who comes from a country on the African continent.

    Personally, I hate the term African American. It's phony. Black is sufficiently descriptive, if you must describe. Thank you very much.
  • sorghumsorghum Registered User Posts: 3,460 Senior Member
    But do you agree that the OP is African and American?
  • collegebound_91collegebound_91 Registered User Posts: 451 Member
    he should check white, bc that is his race. since coming from south africa is such a big part of life, the colleges will know it if he mentions it in his essays, which he should. his background will be interesting to them. A white person who lived in Africa will have about the same appeal as being a black person in america. But they might consider it dishonest if he checks black bc those boxes are designed to identify race, not nationality.
  • EmekChrisEmekChris Registered User Posts: 502 Member
    A white person in Africa is not the same thing as a black person in America. White people dominated South Africa when they arrived. Being white in South Africa is the same as being white in the U.S.
  • applicannotapplicannot Registered User Posts: 4,366 Senior Member
    The South Africans are white because of the European ancestry there. You're from Africa, but your "bloodline" is not from Africa. If you're white from South Africa, given South African politics over the last hundred years or so, there's probably not any "black blood" in your body, you're almost certainly 90-100% European. Given that, YOU decide when the decision is not made for you (i.e., when the box is for African American, not black/African American).
  • SProctor01SProctor01 Registered User Posts: 33 Junior Member
    I would like to give a special thanks to applicannot, collegebound, Plainsman, and follishpleasue. I definitely intend to write about my heritage on the essay, but I will not check the African American/Black box. I will either select the other (possible write in) or white. Thanks again.
  • rachael525rachael525 - Posts: 1,499 Senior Member
    LOL...so did you ever end up calling Harvard, Yale, and Stanford?
This discussion has been closed.