Opinion: Black Americans Must Embrace True Colors

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” 🙂

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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