Monday, March 25, 2013

My Black Reality

This is a post that has sat in my draft box for over a year. I don't have time to complete the post but I do believe the conversation needs to be had. 

Last year, as students began walking into my second class of the day, I began to notice something about the ethnic make-up of my fellow graduate students. During my first year, I never paid attention to this dynamic of my program but at that moment it jumped out at me during class introductions. I originally assumed that the four other darker complected individuals in my class were African American. That was, until they began speaking. Caribbean, African and European accents filled the room when they spoke. It was then I realized...

There were 5 Blacks and 0.5 African Americans in my class of 20.

Myself being the 0.5.

For the purpose of this post, Black will refer to an individual who is a part of the African Diaspora and African American will refer specifically to an individual who was apart of the US slave trade who cannot trace their roots directly to any African country. 

Later I thought about the other black faces I'd met in the prior semester. At least half of those were also non African American. Because I also attended a PWI (Predominately White Institution) for my undergraduate studies, I was already accustomed to the fact that a large percentage of students who at first glance may look African American, actually were not.

So many times we (anyone of African descent) are clumped into one category. Black people have a rich history and even those who cannot trace their roots have one.

It's always good to remember that many times our black reality is more than meets the eye. 

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