Throughout history, Black people of African descent have been labeled with various terms. From the derogatory ‘negro’ and ‘colored’ to the more recent ‘African-American’ (it’s a trademark) and simply ‘black.’ But did you know that the term black is just a shade/color and does not fully define our unique and diverse ancestry? It’s time for Black Americans to start identifying as People of African descent, Moors, Indigenous Americans, and People of African nationalities. In this blog post, we’ll explore why it’s important to ditch the term ‘black’ and embrace our full African identity and cultural heritage.
The term ‘black’ carries negative connotations, which were enforced by British elitists aka white supremacy to create a racial caste system in the United States of America. The term was used to dehumanize black people and justify their enslavement, oppression, and marginalization. Hence, embracing this label is a form of internalized oppression. We don’t need to conform to oppressive systems, and we should not let them dictate our human identities.
Identifying as ‘black’ overshadows the specific cultural and ethnic identities of People of African descent. We come from various parts of Africa, and our histories, languages, religions, and traditions are diverse and rich. Therefore, we should celebrate and honor our unique backgrounds by claiming our specific cultural identities as Moors, Indigenous Americans, and African nationalities.
By using the term ‘black,’ we erase the fact that we are Moorish American, Indigenous People, or your African nationality + American as well. Many of us have Indigenous roots that have been overlooked throughout history because of British elitists aka white supremacy and systemic oppression. By abandoning the term ‘black,’ we start to recognize and honor the unique and diverse cultures that exist within our communities.
Identifying as ‘black’ places all of us under one umbrella term, and this homogenizes our experiences and struggles. Though we share a common history, we have different lived experiences that must be acknowledged and respected. Hence, we should use specific African national terms to acknowledge our diverse experiences and struggles.
Finally, reclaiming our true identity allows us to tell our stories correctly. No longer hiding behind a shade/color, but proudly standing behind a rich and unique cultural heritage, we can begin to see the full range of our history. We can finally reveal the hidden stories of our Moorish roots, Indigenous Americans, and the blend of African ethnic groups. By doing so, we create a foundation for greater pride and ownership in our identity than ever before.
In conclusion, labeling ourselves as ‘black’ doesn’t reflect our true identity as People of African descent. Instead, by recognizing and celebrating our specific cultural and African ethnic identities, we can honor our rich heritage. Moors, Indigenous Americans, and various African nationalities are a significant part of our identity that has been ignored for far too long.
It’s time to start using the appropriate terms and ditching the label of black. Let’s unite under our beautifully diverse heritage and reclaim the African narratives that reflect our truth.