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Dutchess_III's avatar

In other countries do they describe black people as "African (insert home country)" like they do in America?

Asked by Dutchess_III (46617points) September 21st, 2017

In Ireland do they say African Irish or African English in Great Britain?

I meant to post this in Social, but I did it on my phone and it got away from me. Apparently I can’t change it on my desktop either. I contacted the mods asking to have it changed. So have at it folks!

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10 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

In my country all black people are called “black”. “Black Westerners” for African Americans.

longgone's avatar

[Mod says] Moved to Social on request.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“Westerners?” What west are they referring to @Mimishu1995?

Lightlyseared's avatar

In the UK we tend to go with Black African or Black Caribbean or sometimes maybe black British. The idea that all African people are black and that all black people identify as African seems to be a purely American concept.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That is why I asked the question @Lightlyseared.
I wonder why we have to put the extra label on them at all, especially when their ancestors have been here longer than most of ours.

janbb's avatar

@Dutchess_III It’s not “we” who put the label on. I tend to call people what they prefer to be called at any given point in time.

@Lightlyseared Again, it is what most black Americans – not all – want to be called and it points to the fact that most of their ancestors – not all – were brought to the Americas as enslaved people. This is not necessarily true in the UK where many came more recently from the Caribbean (although very likely there originally as enslaved.)

Mimishu1995's avatar

@Dutchess_III We call all people from America and Europe “Westerners”.

JLeslie's avatar

Part of the culture in America is to identify the national origin of someone. I assume it’s rooted in our history of being a melting pot from our beginnings. There are references from 200 years ago of black men identifying as African American, I don’t know how commonly the term was used then. In more recent history, as we know, black Africans in America were referred to as negroes and colored people and some names not necessary to say here. I think negro was probably heavily influenced by terms used by slave traders if I had to guess.

In the 70’s black people were hearing more and more messages from prominent black people In the public’s eye that white American stole their heritage, that black is beautiful, and other messages to help the black community have more confidence, more pride, and feel empowered.

In the 80’s in America there were several black leaders and scholars who were politically active and who had influence who pushed the term African American. They cited that other groups in America are referred to by their national origin. Some stated all other groups are only referred to by national origin, I beg to differ with that, but I won’t go down that tangent now. So, it’s basically in the 80’s and 90’s that the term becomes popular in modern day America, and then the government adopts it and it’s on official forms, and so it becomes officially the proper term of the day.

The government and marketers like to group segments of the population together for “useful data.” I do think using the term African American to identify a race makes no sense, but I understand the argument for it. African American should be in with national origin or ethnicity and race is a separate topic. Similar to my husband is Hispanic white. I know plenty of “African Americans” who are white.

Wouldn’t it be great to not identify race at all on any form?

My experience is most black people I know personally prefer the term black.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Well, that’s really ironic! You refer to black people as Westerners, and we in the West refer to them as African!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Yeah. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a black person refer to themselves or others as “African Americans.” Supposedly someone thought that would be a better term than “black,” but I don’t think that was a majority consensus among blacks by far.

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