Black or African American?


Barack ObamaThe question whether to identify as black, the old-fashioned label, or African American, a legacy of the 1980s, is being debated with new fervor since President Obama’s election.

Some blacks insist: ‘I’m not African-American’

The labels used to describe Americans of African descent mark the movement of a people from the slave house to the White House. Today, many are resisting this progression by holding on to a name from the past: “black.”

For this group — some descended from U.S. slaves, some immigrants with a separate history — “African-American” is not the sign of progress hailed when the term was popularized in the late 1980s. Instead, it’s a misleading connection to a distant culture.

The debate has waxed and waned since African-American went mainstream, and gained new significance after the son of a black Kenyan and a white American moved into the White House. Read article.

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