Opinion: Black Americans Must Embrace True Colors

Coco Rivers:

Professor Tiya Miles, University of MichiganExcellent piece on colorism and African American culture and identity. Good enough to earn my favorite accolade, “It speaks volumes” :)

Originally posted on In America:

Editor’s note: Historian and author Tiya Miles is a professor at the University of Michigan’s Afroamerican and African Studies department and a 2011 MacArthur genius award recipient.

By Tiya Miles, Special to CNN

(CNN) – In the documentary film “Black Indians,” a man who appears to be African-American recounts his delight at eliciting shocked looks from strangers when he launches into a conversation with his wife in the Cherokee language.

The man who tells this story is Cherokee as well as black and a member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. His is just one among thousands of examples that show diversity has always been a core aspect of African-American identity.

That diversity has been rich — from the moment when Africans from different tribes, cultures and language groups were captured as slaves and transported to North America to the present day, when African-Americans live in various regions and intermarry with…

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One thought on “Opinion: Black Americans Must Embrace True Colors”

  1. An important article. I can hardly believe the racist comments still made today, in the year 2012 that when I was growing up was all futuristic and ideal (that’s why it was science fiction, I suppose).

    At my grad school we were having some kind of diversity meeting, and I mentioned something about an African American community.

    A black man, who overheard, turned to me and said “I’m not ‘African American’. I am black”. It was an important moment for me, I had always wondered how this new blanket term that painted so many people with the same brush would go over.

    My ancestors were Slovakian and Romanian. I told SE already, I am saddened when I hear people discuss a “post-racial” world; I realize it’s a response to racism yet I love hearing about people’s ancestry and pride in it.

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