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How I Learned That Being West Indian Didn’t Make Me Better Than African Americans

Avatar • Jan 18, 2016

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Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s I learned very early on that being Haitian wasn’t exactly the thing to be.  When my family moved to a new town, my older brother and I simply hid it. Nobody asked, so we didn’t tell. Then it all began to unravel. My third grader teacher assigned a family tree diagram which forced me to reveal our heritage  I recall coming home from school that day feeling dread as I told my older brother (by two years) that the jig was up. The tears came quickly, from both us, as we understood all too well what it would mean to reveal that we were Haitian. The teasing would be brutal, but tolerable. Feeling ostracized was what we feared the most.

But then we grew up, and like most people, the very thing we were teased about as children became the thing we cherished with the upmost pride. We embraced our heritage, and slowly the larger West‐Indian community began to accept us. Gaining this acceptance, however, came at a price. While I had always heard family members speak with disdain about Black Americans, it wasn’t until I was a teenager when I learned that this us vs. them mentality spanned across West‐Indian cultures. When I’d hear West‐Indians attributing certain stereotypes to Black Americans,  I found myself nodding in agreement.  We were different, I insisted. We  were educated. Our children were better behaved. We were hard‐working. Our food tasted better. African Americans gave us all a bad name, and while we would befriend them in public, in private, we’d deride them for being stereotypical.

I carried this belief with me to college. I was even proud when white people would praise me for being different from what they’d imagined. My French last name was also a crowd‐pleaser. I ate it all up with a spoon. My false pride, however,  came to an abrupt halt towards the end of my freshman year when one of my white dorm‐mates told me to, “Go back to Africa.” I was stunned. Surely, she couldn’t mean me? I had the perfectly straight hair. I dressed well. I made the Dean’s list. I spoke properly. How could she, in a moment of anger, reduce me to being a black face just like any other? I was different. Wasn’t I? It was a hard lesson, but she woke me up good and proper. I’ve never been the same and I’m proud that I did not go into adulthood carrying that load of self‐hatred with me.

Recently, Huffington Post writer , who is of Cameroonian heritage, penned an open letter to African immigrants, urging them to not fall victim to the same belief system.  She writes:

White Americans will say you are better than American blacks, but please do not fall for this trap. You will be told you behave better, work harder, and are more educated than American blacks. You will be tempted to agree and will sometimes want to shout, “YES, I’M NOT LIKE THEM, WE AFRICANS ARE DIFFERENT!” Just don’t…don’t even think it.

The praise of your acquired characteristic and culture becomes a justification for white Americans to perpetuate discriminatory treatments towards American blacks. These statements of praise have an underlying message of, “If Africans can do so well then surely racism has nothing to do with anything, therefore, American Blacks are to be blamed for their condition in America”. This problematic line of reasoning sustains cultural racism. I beg of you, refrain from nodding in agreement when you receive such faulty praise.

Indeed, West Indians, like the African immigrants described in Seppou’s letter, are guilty of the same misdeeds. In wanting to carve out a place for ourselves in a society where being black places you on the bottom rung, we have perpetuated the belief that we are better than our African American counterparts.

Caribbean culture and African culture are different than African American culture. But when we celebrate our uniqueness, it should never be to shame African American culture.

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About Lisa Jean Francois

I'm a Lipstick-obsessed Journalist and Fashion Blogger. You can find me over on my blog or youtube channel swatching lippies and strutting around in 5-inch heels. I'm a also a brand coach, specializing in video marketing and digital brand development. Find me @lisaalamode.

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cryssi
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cryssi

Amen!!! I didn’t discover Africans and West Indians felt this way until my freshman year in college. One of my African friends was riding with me on the bus to the grocery store when a louder group of black college students got on. Then he stated to me, an African American young woman from Detroit, that this is why he would never a black American. They’re too lazy, irresponsible, disrespectful, loud, and wild. I stared at him blankly, confused by this foolishness coming from his mouth. I tutor you in Calc and get better grades. As I continued to stare… Read more »

ClarenceCM
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ClarenceCM

And if you went to his country, you probably wouldn’t have safe drinking water or dependable electricity. A whole country full of “his people” and the best thing they can do, is get the hell out of it, and come to “our” country, because of our sacrifice. . Your friend need to go back were he came from.

Early on in my life I knew Black immigrant acted like this, and never trusted them, and always felt black america were foolish for accepting them.

Miss.
Guest
Miss.

Wow, a white racist would stand up and clap after reading your first paragraph. Great job!!! /s

Journey T.
Guest
Journey T.

As he should because you come here and want to be an oppressor… we got something for you though…

lis
Guest
lis

Smart girl

reina lockhart
Guest
reina lockhart

I agreed with your comment up until the part about having “better grades”. There’s no need for the comparison. By comparing grades your implying that your ethnicity had something to do with your accomplishments and so makes your entire comment appear to be hypocritical. Otherwise, the guy could benefit from putting aside his racist lens. Especially since he profits from the hard work and history of the “black Americans” he seems to know so little of.

rainbow
Guest
rainbow

You lack reading comprehension

reina lockhart
Guest
reina lockhart

I have no reason to believe why I do seeing as you provided zero explanation. Everything I wrote was the truth. She pointed out that her race (African american) did not hold up to his stereotype — hence, race was a factor. REASON: I don’t put myself above someone else just because I got a higher grade EVEN if I dislike the person and am trying to make a point about how race does not indicate how a person behaves/ performs in school. I would be proud of my own accomplishments. Period. Condescending always makes me feel awful no matter… Read more »

Anya W
Guest
Anya W

But the whole point of that statement was to emphasize the irony of the man negatively stereotyping people like her, when she — as a member of the group he’s stereotyping — is academically superior to him and actually tutors him. Nowhere did she say or imply that that fact made her better than him. It’s simply the irony of the situation.

Anon126554
Guest
Anon126554

How, ironic. Clearly you’re the one who lacks reading comprehension. Not reina. Try again, maybe this time you’ll get it.

StraightShooter
Guest
StraightShooter

Honestly, this division is something I don’t understand. When non‐American Blacks come to America they are able to enjoy certain things because of the struggle of Black Americans. The acceptance that many non‐American Black people receive from whites is quite conditional. The same way non‐American Black people deride Black Americans in private, white people do the same to you also.

Aal
Guest
Aal

Well, when the klu Klux Klan enters the room. We will all see who is left standing. Anything oher than white will be hunted and hung. Smh

Steven C Scott
Guest
Steven C Scott

Not sure why you would take offense, sounds like SS is saying the same as you. ‘quite conditional’ NOT unconditional.

Janet Holmes
Guest
Janet Holmes

So true. Those cave beast is fill with pure hate

maralondon
Guest
maralondon

Tell me about it. I remember visiting New Orleans back in 1996 and on one occasion I approached a WM on the street to ask him the time. Before I could even open my mouth he told me he didn’t have any spare change and hurriedly walked past me. Black people no matter where you’re from, we are all seen in the same light. Massa might give you a pass for your obedient behaviour but he knows exactly his motives for doing so. All he is doing is carrying on the works of his forefathers by pitting us against each… Read more »

Felina Femenina
Guest
Felina Femenina

Don’t forget that West Indians were in the U.S. and played a major role in the Civil Rights struggle in this country.

Cosita
Guest
Cosita

Marcus Garvey for one.

Janet Holmes
Guest
Janet Holmes

They do the same thing to us.

lis
Guest
lis

Hmmmm.……sick of this topic but I’ll bite anyway.…It’s obvious Caribbeans and Africans look at Black Americans through the racist white lenses.…and some seem to NEED to so call look down on Black Americans…they NEED to…but I don’t think Black Americans care because hate to tell them they’re fooling themselves because 75% of Black Americans are in the middle class and Black Americans are some of the wealthiest and most educated Blacks in the world.…blah blah blah.……Can they say the same.….and I do not dislike Caribbeans or Africans…that would be dumb to dislike people I don’t know who look like me… Read more »

Steven C Scott
Guest
Steven C Scott

How different? Very different and not so much. My parents are Jamaican so can only speak on that. But Afriacans for one come from different countries so by that nature there are many differences. From a Jamaican perspective, our language (british english and a dialect), our food, our dance, our religions much more diverse christianity and more importantly we are a mixed people. I am not sure how you cannot think there is a difference. I mean heck I see a difference in a black american that grew up in Denver, CO and one from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. To be… Read more »

Felina Femenina
Guest
Felina Femenina

Black people in the U.S. are more educated and more frequently found in the middle class, yes, but what you are forgetting is that Caribbeans, Africans and black Latin Americans in the U.S. are counted among those numbers of educated and middle class black people in the U.S. If you do a Google search on the percentage of foreign black students vs. native‐born black students attending American universities, you’ll see many established, respectable publications report that the number of foreign‐born blacks in American universities far outpaces the number of native‐born ones. 18% of U.S.-born blacks are college graduates. 40.9% of… Read more »

Journey T.
Guest
Journey T.

They are very selective in who gets to the US. Let’s compare all of your people in your country and here with all black Americans.

I can’t believe you are here trying to argue that you are superior and then wonder why you are hated.

If you go to both Jamaica and Bugerua right now you would be straight up embarrassed by what you see, but you already know this. Disgusting with deep feelings of inferiority that you could not make it in a Black Country. Period…

Esha Fowlin
Guest
Esha Fowlin

its really not that different and excellent point.

Ganadora Loteria
Guest
Ganadora Loteria

It really is very different.

Felina Femenina
Guest
Felina Femenina

Oops. Have to repost my comment because I accidentally edited, and BGLH doesn’t seem to ever approve twice. Shrugs. Black people in the U.S. are more educated and more frequently found in the middle class, yes, but what you forget is that Caribbeans, Africans and black Latin Americans in the U.S. are counted among the numbers of educated and middle class black people in the U.S. If you do a Google search on the percentage of foreign black students vs. native‐born black students attending American universities, you’ll see many established, respectable publications report that the number of foreign‐born blacks in… Read more »

Journey T.
Guest
Journey T.

What is your point about Ivy Leagues though. Black Smerucans don’t think you are nothing if you don’t go to one. There are thousands that go to HBCUs and none feel inferior to West Indians or Africans. I received all three degrees from HBCUs and a doctorate from Howard and is dint and will never feel inferior to you, if I had none. And if you are in these Uvey Leagues, please know that you obviously bypassed every University in the West Indies and Africa, correct? Why is that? Your people and culture are superior, right? Listen, we are never… Read more »

tracienatural
Guest
tracienatural

I know I should stop reading these comments, but I’m so curious about what my people’s thoughts are on these topics. I keep picking up on a theme of assimilation, though. Question: why are some of my African‐American sisters minimizing/ignoring/denying the differences of their African and Caribbean counterparts? Let’s use Africa as an example: 54 countries, tribes and languages in the 1000s. The diversity in one African country is vast, and none of it is like African‐American culture. Why would anyone think it was? They are 1000s of miles away, many without contact to African‐Americans or other diasporan Africans. Now,… Read more »

lis
Guest
lis

I know this and I know Africans and West Indians are diverse in culture, language and everything else that makes up a people…so are Black Americans. .…I have been to the Caribbean and Africa.…I’m not ignorant.…what I and others are arguing against, and maybe I am interpreting this incorrectly, is the disgusting assumption by you all that Black Americans are not educated, all in jail, do not have or come from people, all live in slums, listen to rap or whatever other shitty RACIST conclusions you have convinced yourselves of concerning Black Americans…Black Americans are educated/want higher education, want and… Read more »

Ganadora Loteria
Guest
Ganadora Loteria

And black Americans don’t look at non‐US black people through the racist white lens??? I would address everything else in your post but it is clear how uninformed and ignorant you are.

V.
Guest
V.

Well, as a Nigerian American, my take on it is this. Many Americans, because of the lack of exposure to African and Caribbean cultures, fail to see black people beyond anything but black american. Compared to, say London, where there are many black people from many different countries, l stereotypes applied to a black american will not be the same as those applied to a Jamaican, a ghanian, an Ethiopian, and a Haitian. But in America they are. Sure, someone walking down the street doesn’t know I am of nigerian heritage, but that doesn’t change my upbringing, values, and culture.… Read more »

Jovi
Guest
Jovi

The Point Is To Be Kumbaya. It Seems You’re Saying Thanks, But No Thanks. Thanks For Paying The Price, But Hold Up Dnt Pass Me The Bill. Smh. Dnt Be Like The Chinese, Hispanics, or Europeans. That Have Self Hate. Be Black ! Be African !

Guest
Guest
Guest

This article just went straight over your head.

Esha Fowlin
Guest
Esha Fowlin

it really did lol wow

Yemi
Guest
Yemi

THIS!!! I was born in Nigeria and lived there for most of my formative years. I am also a naturalized American and have now lived in the U.S. for longer than I ever did in my country. I identify as Nigerian American because no matter how American I have become, much of who I am today was shaped by my experiences as a Nigerian, first and foremost, and I still maintain strong ties to my culture. Yes, that heritage DOES make me very different from Black Americans. But it doesn’t make me some kind of special, magical African snowflake. At… Read more »

Angela Booker
Guest
Angela Booker

Yemi well said!

V.
Guest
V.

I never said being of direct African descent made me special, I said it doesn’t make me have the same culture and history as a black american whose history in America can be traced back to the 1500–1600s when mine can only be traced to the late 90s. Obviously I know I’m black and that society will place my blackness above my being Nigerian. What I’m saying is that doesn’t mean I should disregard my entire culture and ancestry simply because small minded people have only 1 idea of what it means to be black. I was raised in predominantly… Read more »

Guest
Guest
Guest

I understood your post, but my point was just that, all of the other stuff you brought up–identifying with being Nigerian instead of just black and etc, had ZERO to do with what the article was about.

Pepie
Guest
Pepie

I once liked a Nigerian girl and she said, bare in mind I am Nigerian. I have no knowledge what that was but I left here alone. LOLOL. You see, I am West Indian and when people talk like that the first thing comes to mind is Obeah. LMAO.

Journey T.
Guest
Journey T.

But we already know you don’t have the same history so what is your point here? You want to be considered the same when it comes to black American resources, though, which makes you an exploiter and user, no?

Journey T.
Guest
Journey T.

But where in this article did it say that? This article was about feeling superior to black Americans. Which is your problem, not ours…,

lordblazer
Guest
lordblazer

but many americans literally lack exposure to black american culture and even interactions with black americans are fucking limited.

V.
Guest
V.

I agree. I just wish in Americans as a whole had a better understanding of REAL African American culture (not this rap and hip hop culture that everyone believes is the extent of it) as well as african and carribean and even black hispanic cultures (heck, we can even through in australian aborigines) so that people would not be so small minded as to what it means to be black.

Windy Cat
Guest
Windy Cat

Are you new to the U.S.? Many Americans ‘do not’ lack exposure to Black America, no not in 2015. Black people are everywhere in the U.S. Other races/ethnicities choose to not acknowledge Black people/Black culture because of racist views and history dating back hundreds of years. People were told ignorant bad things about Black people and ignorant stupid people believed it (still do).

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

I think.it.makes.more.sense to include your history with anybody of the same ethnicity as you. Black history is any history in the world where your race had a hand in. This is not a nationality thing. Its an ethnicity thing. I celebrate black history around the globe as my own. I could.never limit it to a nation
A nation didnt birth me

smartytrousers
Guest
smartytrousers

So you’re comparing London, a place where a person’s parents or grandparents are from an exact country and still possess their African name and culture to America where most of us have the last name what can be assumed to be of a slave master and first and middle names that are English, Greek, French and more and unless the slave masters kept excellent records, we wouldn’t have a chance in he’ll to trace our ancestors to a specific country. Yep! Definitely the same. *sarcasm* Black American people hold onto the idea of being black so badly because what else… Read more »

Milly
Guest
Milly

I’m glad you said this, because it’s so true. As much as it saddens me, that’s simply how human nature is. I don’t live in America, but I am an East African living in South Africa and you can see the exact same behaviour here. Elders in the EA community will say that South African blacks are wilder, more promiscuous, lazy, uneducated, basically echoing what white people say. People in this country will hire foreigners, most commonly Zimbabweans for jobs, because they are “more reliable”, “less likely to steal” or whatever else reason people will someone would come up with.… Read more »

kb
Guest
kb

Your comparison to London, is inaccurate tho, NYC has many more blacks and from different countries. People assume you’re Black American because we have long history in the US ( 400) yrs unlike Blacks in London who arrived only after WWII Finally, you don’t like us, but you do have to respect us bc w/out US you couldn’t be here.

Pepie
Guest
Pepie

or there in the UK. The period after the WWII that saw the heavy migration to the UK is call the Wind Rush period. UK needed labour to rebuild her country and she looked to her colonies.

kb
Guest
kb

You really can’t compare American Black History to the Black history in the UK tho. American Blacks have been in the US for longer time and in greater numbers

maralondon
Guest
maralondon

For your information England has always been multi cultural. Yes there was mass migration after WW2 from the Caribbean and later Africa but Blacks along with other ethnic groups have always been present not just in England but Europe as a whole. Unfortunately the British schools do not teach us this.

kb
Guest
kb

I did know that actually, Liverpool was a slave port but You really can’t compare American Black History to the Black history in the UK tho. American Blacks have been in the US for longer time and in greater numbers

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

I like London! Awesome London Fog coats and clocks! 🙂

tracienatural
Guest
tracienatural

kb, it’s interesting you state that non‐African‐Americans couldn’t be in America if it wasn’t for the sacrifice of African‐Americans. Interesting. First of all, the statement negates the West Indians who were part of the struggle for black freedom in this country. Many of your historical leaders actually had West Indian heritage. For example, Malcolm X (Grenadian mother), Stokley Carmichael (Trinidadian), Marcus Garvey (Jamaican), Louis Farakhan (Barbadian or “Bajan”/Jamaican parents), Colin Powell (Jamaican parentage), Shirley Chisolm (Bajan parents), and many, many more. As an aside, even the Haitian revolution had a Pan‐African element: one of the three “Haitian” freedom fighters was… Read more »

kb
Guest
kb

Thanks for responding, African Americans don’t influence immigration policy, by the attitudes behind them. Our civil rights’ struggles, and our subsequent social, economic gains, have made the US palatable for Africans, Latinos, Asians, etc. Our fight for improved treatment produced an environment that has improved social and economic access for everyone.

Tracienatural
Guest
Tracienatural

Hi kb. Glad you responded. You’d be surprised that immigration laws have not been greatly impacted by the civil rights struggle. This is why Haitian refugees are turned around at sea by the Coast Guard (to even die on the high seas) while mostly white Cubans are allowed to stay under the “wet foot dry foot” policy. White Europeans are recruited to come here, while blacks join an immigration lottery system that can take over 20 years to complete. White immigrant families migrate together while black families are broken up with parents leaving their children behind for sometimes a decade… Read more »

lis
Guest
lis

Actually.……Black Americans did fight for more Black immigrants to come here…that was a key point.…..and the immigration reform act of 196? came about because of the civil rights movement…before that the whites in power were very systematic in only allowing, for the most part, white European immigration.…The civil rights movement changed that and it benefited all groups.

Journey T.
Guest
Journey T.

And we deeply regret having done so.…

Anya W
Guest
Anya W

Please see the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made it illegal to discriminate against someone not only based on their race, but also their national origin. This is a law that would not exist without African Americans. Granted, immigration was not the focus of the Civil Rights Movement, but our fight did, in fact, hugely benefit immigrants to the United States.

Journey T.
Guest
Journey T.

But if you can even admit that you benefit from black Americans when you get here while carrying thoughts of superiority how would you expect black Americans would treat or feel about you?

Black Americans are fully aware that you think you are superior. But since we know you are not, it doesn’t phase us we just don’t want you hanging out in our cultural space or benefitting from us. That is all.…

Guest
Guest
Guest

What about The Pan‐African Congresses, 1900–1945?

While the Pan‐African congresses lacked financial and political power, they helped to increase international awareness of racism and colonialism and laid the foundation for the political independence of African nations. African leaders such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana, Nnamdi Azikiwe of Nigeria, and Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya were among several attendees of congresses who subsequently led their countries to political independence. In May 1963, the influence of these men helped galvanize the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), an association of independent African states and nationalist groups. ”

http://www.blackpast.org/perspectives/pan-african-congresses-1900–1945

maralondon
Guest
maralondon

Funny how they(Europeans) more or less got along when they decided the fate of our African Ancestors. The real reason they don’t get along is greed, they have a history of fighting for dominance over land, minerals, you name it, all of which doesn’t belong to them. So on he surface it would seem that they hate the very sight of one another but trust me they know when it’s necessary to come together.

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

If culture seems to be a dividing factor, there MUST be something else that binds us together. To be honest, I had people from other colors, creeds, and religions help me more in my life than my own culture. We need to look past culture and color and see the heart of a person.

Colleen
Guest
Colleen

It is all about colonialism and slavery. When I was in college, I worked for the summer one year, in London. There, some of the White English people at my job talked against the Black immigrants from their former colonies who had immigrated there to find jobs. They told me that I talked better worked harder, etc., etc., etc. They said they just generally liked African Americans better and that African Americans were smarter, and were not “heathens”. But I saw it as the same old routine. — pitting one group against another, due to the differences in the historical… Read more »

Guest
Guest
Guest

When I visited Spain I was told bad things about the gypsies, or Roma. I was offended that the person who was defaming the gypsies wanted me to feel superior to the gypsies in their own country. I could not do it; I did not want to do it. I just could not go to Spain and disrespect the gypsies who lived there, no matter how impoverished they were.

Journey T.
Guest
Journey T.

I don’t think Africans and West Indians know how much Black Americans are aware of their perceived superiority and how much it has hurt them. We are not at all interested in collaborating with either at all, but both are constantly in our cultural space trying to benefit or enrich themselves. I noticed this first at Howard University, whereby many rudely couldn’t wait to tell you how much better than were than American blacks, but were all attending on scholarships meant for black Americans while denigrating black Americans at every chance. Both groups benefit heavily from our history, culture and… Read more »

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

…we have a lot more in common than .not. If our features and skin color is one shade darker than theirs, rest assure they ALREADY made a choice to ensure they know we are black no matter what part of Africa a person is from. Skin color should NOT be an issue these days but sadly it STILL is.

OXxo
Guest
OXxo

The civil war and genocide in Rwanda was on perceived differences between two tribes. Yet if you looked at pictures of them they would look the same simply because there was a lot of intermarriage between them.

People who believe they are better than another group who have the same skin colour as them obviously have never heard of the WM’s trick of divide and conquer. It was used to keep slaves of different main ethnicities and religions from joining together in their colonies to over throw them.

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

True and I am well aware of what you are saying.…i.know it steams from slavery. I am prior military, read books, and have too many overseas friends.not to understand colorism and racism…plus I have experienced this at some level.

64TayeFosterBradshaw82
Guest
64TayeFosterBradshaw82

This is a good message. I identify as Black, first, because it connects me with my melaninated brothers and sisters in the Americans, Central & South America, the Caribbean, and the motherland continent, Africa. We were all enslaved or ruled through colonialism. Those of us outside Africa, one of our ancestors was kidnapped and put on a slave ship and just dropped off at different ports. My heritage is Creole (New Orleans, free people of color) with known beginnings in Haiti & The Dominican Republic and Lyon, France. I am a fortunate “American black” in that our family was able… Read more »

maralondon
Guest
maralondon

A more in depth knowledge of our origins is what is needed. I live in England parents are from the Caribbean. I also have a ton of family living in America as well as Canada. I’m always drawn to my people no matter which corner of the earth they happen to reside. I understand that there are cultural differences among us but I also know there are many things we have in common. Let’s not forget that this disdain for one another started with the WM. It was his mission to disconnect us from each other and needless to say… Read more »

Khalid Henriques
Guest
Khalid Henriques

Great post. *applause* you wonderfully articulated my exact sentiments.

Linda Beamon
Guest
Linda Beamon

Awesome statement of truth.…Thank you!

Blue Bell
Guest
Blue Bell

you do know creoles from Haiti and Dominican Republic who came to America were slave owners escaping the revolution…yes Creoles in the Caribbean owned blacks as slaves…

Pepie
Guest
Pepie

What is Creole(s)? Is it a person, a language or a culture? If I may, let me explain. The whole of the Caribbean has a Creole culture and can be regarded as creoles. The culture is simply a mixture of different cultures using a common European language in a broken form, which includes words and terms from other African, Indigenous and Asian languages. So we have Haitian Creole language, which to a large extent is a broken form of French with a heavy influence of African languages. St. Lucians also speak a broken form of french mixed with other languages,… Read more »

Colleen Birchett
Guest
Colleen Birchett

Have you read the “Willy Lynch Letter” lately? The basic principles in it may be able to be applied here. Are we not being divided from one another while interests of globalization and neocolonialism are distracting us from any investment in what happens to our mother countries and the continent of Africa? Once we start playing the “better than thou” and “exceptionalism” games, we pass this down to future generations. Then we run the risk of losing everything we have. Isn’t it interesting that the same corporate interests that divide Black people are unsuccessful in dividing people of Jewish descent… Read more »

Emjay Mangual
Guest
Emjay Mangual

I am a Black American and I wittnessed blatant racism by two West Indian women. I was at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital in NYC, with my mother, waiting to have my cast removed. There were many people waiting to be seen. (White, Black, Hispanic, etc..) A middle aged black man was upset, because he was waiting for a long time, while others who supposedly came after him, went in before him. So he voiced his aggressions towards the women. (Both nurses at the orthopedic Dept.) Well when he walked away after more than a few choice words, the racial slurs… Read more »

Rishona Campbell
Guest

Great piece! My father is Jamaican and my mother is African‐American. Their relationship didn’t last past my toddler years, so I grew up with both dynamics. I heard the superiority talk from my Jamaican family; although being that we didn’t live in an area with a large West Indian population, when it came down to it, they were solidly a part of the local African‐American community. Being born and raised in the US though, I found no distinction between myself and African‐Americans; except that I listened to more reggae, could understand (but didn’t talk) patois, and we ate different food… Read more »

Cassie
Guest
Cassie

Its not just coming from black West Indians but black Americans also. They do the same exact thing. There have been numerous times when I have overheard black Americans saying negative stereotypical things about West Indians. They assumed I was American.And many told me I didnt look like I could be from the country. Really? What are West Indians supposed to look like?

Shye
Guest
Shye

As an American black woman I never like West Indians and I still dont. I was born and raised in New York. And unfortunately I had to be surrounded by a bunch of coconuts. They come from slums in the Caribbean and they have enough to look down on black Americans! I think they’re just jealous because of our complexion and or mixture a lot of West Indians look straight up African in most parts of the Caribbean. I don’t understand how they think they’re better than us win the slums if they come from are riddled with violence take… Read more »

Sugabelly
Guest

LMAO. You are incredibly ignorant if you think people can “look African”. There is no “African look”. Every single type of black person from light skinned, dark skinned, thin featured to thick featured is represented on the continent. Only an idiot would think that the “African look” is dark skinned, big , bulbous nose, thick, overblown lips, and super 4c hair.
Please nobody is jealous of you. Why would anybody be jealous of someone who clearly does not know basic information about other parts of the world?

Sugabelly
Guest

LMAO, dear God. She really said “they are jealous of our complexion and mixture”.

America, please increase the Department of Education’s budget already.

Esha Fowlin
Guest
Esha Fowlin

this article is everything and exactly what i have been saying to all blacks I encounter forever!!! lol like don’t you see this is a divisive strategy or are you so happy to be fake accepted that you would scorn your own? Kudos to this article.…

yoda
Guest
yoda

Seems you didn’t change your way of thinking until you got that negro wake up call.

A. S. Baruti
Guest
A. S. Baruti

That is one helluva call.

yoda
Guest
yoda

I see my comment has been m0derated

L
Guest
L

You are very ignorant. Looking African is a negative thing? You must also hate being black. I’m sure the white people still look down on you. It’s ok to call a culture coconuts but you would be offended to be called the N word. Go get an education. Not just book smarts…life smarts.

BB87
Guest
BB87

I’ve been in many situations where an older West Indian woman has taken a liking to me and asked me where I was from, meaning what Carribean country am I from. I hate when they say I’m “well‐behaved” when they find out I’m not West Indian. You can keep your backhanded compliment. I am not flattered.
I also had a Haitian girl who had to attend court‐ordered anger management that they were better behaved.

Angela Booker
Guest
Angela Booker

I am a African American woman married to an African man therefore a lot of Africans think they are safe telling me how “different” I am from other African Americans. I find it to be very insulting. Hear me and hear me clear at the end of the day we are all black in their eyes. My husband to had the false sense superiority and he learned the hard way and opened his eyes.

Sharon Doe
Guest
Sharon Doe

I agree. I am in Southeast Florida and there is still a divisiveness among the colored cultures here.

Nola Q. Darling
Guest
Nola Q. Darling

I live in south eastern Florida and I don’t even speak to Caribbean women. They are rude and the men only want to run scams.

tracienatural
Guest
tracienatural

Sis, ease up with these stereotypes. You don’t know enough people to make these generalizations. Real talk: most Caribbean people are very insular, i.e. tend to stay to themselves. So, it would be shocking that you knew enough Caribbean people to have “scams” run on you all the time. Maybe you need to go to different places, meet new people. You might find your niche. Blessings.

joan pike
Guest
joan pike

They are probably not looking to be friends with you either. A sad situation.

blu jamaican
Guest
blu jamaican

Can we stop generalizing? Stereotyping can be fun coming from comedians, but when we start to get angry and put down a whole group of people based on (let’s face it), limited experience with them, just proves how uninformed you are. Case and point, Donald Trump’s ban on Muslims.
The Us vs Them mentality needs to end.

Treat people like individuals and not a group, stop the hate.

Cosita
Guest
Cosita

So true. Every country, race, culture has its a$$holes. Don’t act like there are no idiots in your village. Unless you want them to represent how the world sees you shouldn’t do that to other people.

reina lockhart
Guest
reina lockhart

This comment is so pathetic it’s not even worth the read. Why spread the same ignorance that was given to you? That’s so backwards. If anything, you sound jealous.

CocoaGoddess
Guest
CocoaGoddess

Ignorant little girl. It’s good to be straight up African, means you know your heritage ?. You seem like an angry “white” black girl.

DLB
Guest
DLB

There are many “so called straight up Africans” that don’t know their own heritage. There is good/bad/ignorance on all sides, including your reply/comment. Just as there is much wisdom & knowledge from both sides because America’s greatest Black scholars teaching about Blacks & our history throughout the diaspora are Black Americans & some Blacks from the Caribbean. Black Americans built this country through slavery, inventions (that were stolen), many of our successful communities were destroyed by jealous whites, etc. Read the website BlackThen.

A. S. Baruti
Guest
A. S. Baruti

I was hoping, at the end of every word, someone would call this thing out.

V.
Guest
V.

Not entirely sure what you are trying to get at here, but you kind of proved my point. Being black means something different in america than it does in places with predominantly black populations. Like Iman said in an interview “Where I’m from everyone is black. It is redundant to state that. I identify as Somali”. So yeah, of course a black american is going to cling on to being black because they don’t have a country to claim. I never said pick a random country in Africa and start identifying with their culture. Black americans have their own rich,… Read more »

DLB
Guest
DLB

Black Americans do have a country to claim, which is America; just like Blacks who come from other countries in the Caribbean, countries in Africa, Latin America, etc. can claim that country. Blacks from Somali, Ethiopia, Panama, Colombia, Trinidad, etc. can claim their country, but when you go to a nonblack country, you are going to be called Black. I’ve lived abroad to see this.

OXxo
Guest
OXxo

Your comment shows you know nothing about European colonies and slavery in other parts of the world. West Indians, Hispanics and even Africans have last names which are the name of some white master. So a black person having a French, Dutch, Portuguese, Irish or British sounding name whose family isn’t AA and they have had that last name for known history has either slavery or some form of exploitation in their family history.* The difference with a Black person with family from elsewhere is they can claim another country and culture when they settle in America, yet some of… Read more »

vwlover
Guest
vwlover

At the end of the day black is black. No racist person is going to look at me and say, “Since you are Ghanaian you are okay. It’s the other black people I don’t like.” So yes it is silly to be divisive and ALL groups have been guilty of this (Africans, Black Americans, Careibeans, etc).

R.Cola
Guest
R.Cola

I agree with your second statement, but I have to disagree with your first point. Non American blacks do NOT share the same cultural identity as black Americans. Similarities? Absolutely. But we are different, and IMO “different” is good. Growing up as a Jamerican, I often didn’t fit into either side of the spectrum. I wasn’t black enough for the black kids, and I’m not white…I ate “foreign food”, I spoke differently than most AAs, I had different perspectives of diversity, among countless other things. I appreciate differences in all people, and I love Sharing culture, but I don’t want… Read more »

vwlover
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vwlover

Yes, I agree there are differences. My experience as a Ghanaian‐American ( I refer myself as Ghanaian) is different than that of an African‐American, Jamaican, Haitian, etc. My point is to a racist person there is no difference. You will never hear a racist person say, “I don’t like black people but I sure do love Bahamians.” That’s what I meant by at the end of the day we are all black. I hope I made sense.

Sugabelly
Guest

I don’t think we should have to be forced to identify ourselves based on the way racists and oppressors think about us.

What a racist thinks about me is really none of my business and I shouldn’t have to conform my sense of self to their own thoughts or ideas about me.

Jimx16
Guest
Jimx16

We all came from one man and one woman, that’s Adam and Eve. We are in the 21st century and we should know better and do better. I am West Indian from Trinidad with a mixed heritage of African, East Indian and French decent. I will never deny none. Lets celebrate our cultural differences. I we are all one people that God but here on this earth. So long as Satan rules this earth there will be division, but when Christ comes back to rule this earth all of this division will be done away with. I am beautiful. that’s… Read more »

kb
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kb

It’s really weird, how other blacks come here to the US, only bc African‐Americans have made it palatable, and still look down us. Strange indeed

WebGarv
Guest
WebGarv

This is a massive point. I lament that perhaps because of the continued “adversity” between Black Americans and whites, Black Americans are distracted and can’t capitalize on their huge power. (I am from the Caribbean.)

Anya W
Guest
Anya W

Your statement is very backwards, as it assumes that black Americans are the creators of race problems in America, and that if we would just be quiet, black Americans would be successful. No. That is not our heritage and it is not who we are. We have always been a politically active group — the most politically active minority group in America — and being politically active is precisely what has brought us as far as we’ve come; it’s also what allows black immigrants to this country to come here and be accepted into America. We continue to highlight race… Read more »

Ganadora Loteria
Guest
Ganadora Loteria

Americanism’ (which black/African Americans also actively participate in) is shoved down our non‐US black throats. I wish black/African Americans understood how much America has exploited predominantly black/brown countries around the world.

leuqarila17
Guest
leuqarila17

You made some very valid points. I’ve always felt like we black people in America we’re one of the first cultures to be “Americanized”. We still have bits and pieces of African culture, albeit unbeknownst to us. We are like magicians in the sense that we have a way of turning what was/is considered undesirable to the new “it” thing. We are brilliant!

Sigma_Since 93
Guest
Sigma_Since 93

If West Indians understood from molasses to rum to slaves, they would know we all came over on the same boat. The only difference was the exit

I'land Gyal
Guest
I'land Gyal

I’ve been preaching this for YEARS…

bbygirl
Guest
bbygirl

I’m very confused, can someone tell me why it’s ‘shameful’ to be Haitian? My cousin is Haitian and she doesn’t like to tell people, either. I think its something one should be proud of.

lis
Guest
lis

Right.….Haitians have a proud history.

rainbow
Guest
rainbow

They were the first black people to free themselves from slavery. White supremacy taught other black people to hate black people who are against white supremacy. Non Haitian people discriminate against Haitians.

Ta Juana TJ Burley-Robinson
Guest
Ta Juana TJ Burley-Robinson

It’s the dreaded lies of systematic massagany. Haitians are considered in alliance with the devil because they fought off slavery and oppression of the French. Good Christians say the sold their souls to the devil with their voodoo. When Napoleon left he took their lumber (sacred trees) and blackballed them from outside commerce. The Dominican Republic right on the other side of the island is revered for their mixing with their Spanish captors. We should be praising Haitians for their strength and bravery instead of perpetuating the stereotypes and I’ll will.

Kaygee.Allah
Guest
Kaygee.Allah

Hairltians catch ridicule because American whites started the campaign of negativity against them after the slave revolts that resulted in the French being exiled from the island. Although America profited greatly, by obtaining the Louisiana Purchase, the Haitians are still black, and the French are still white. This seeped into Black American culture because it was feted that if we knew we were the same people, we would revolt, as well. So, the equation of African spiritualisms (voodoo) with devil worship began. The same campaign that led us to believe that we’re different was spread throughout, and all who came… Read more »

LD
Guest
LD

I can speak for myself as a Haitian but around where I grew up, it wasn’t cool. And the “uncool‐ness” came from African Americans shaming us. Also, during that time there was a lot of the Haitian refugee talk going on and we were “boat people.” Not all African Americans are this way of course but I’ve noticed, a lot of African Americans talked crap about any black person from any other country because it was “weird” to them.

LW
Guest
LW

The Huffingtonpost writer hit it on the nail…its the divide and conquer method best believe racists don’t divide West Indians to AA and AA from Africans as long as your skin has any melanin I don’t care if its a light cream to the darkest blue black if you from Aruba to Argentina to Egypt you are a ninja to them.

If only we could realize and accept that and all join together we would be so powerful.

Leese
Guest
Leese

I grew up in a West Indian household and oddly I never heard the us vs them until I was much older and people complained to me ( mostly AA). I didnt get it arent we all African americans or just simply black ?( which I prefer to be called its more inclusive to me) .The majority of my family resides in the islands and growing up i spent ever summer with them. They use to call me “Yankee” I dint know it was an insult until my 20s. Especially when the same cousins often wanted what I had, my… Read more »

Guest
Guest
Guest

Very true indeed. African American lack of family structure plays a big part in this matter.

Pepie
Guest
Pepie

My friend, you can’t just make such a statement without citing your source like the person you’re responding to did. Statement is bias without proof.

Todd Pearson
Guest
Todd Pearson

And what comes in to play with foreign‐born blacks not being able to achieve this in their native countries when blacks are the majority, run the government and control the resources. If they could achieve this in their native countries they wouldn’t have to migrate to America, England, Canada or France.

maralondon
Guest
maralondon

Although you have majority blacks in the Caribbean it is the Americans and other Europeans pulling the puppet strings. You will find that the political and even the education systems are based on models introduced to the people by former Colonisers Many of the Islands have tourism as it’s economical force. This industry is heavily invested by Asians(mainly Indians) and Europeans alike. I have yet to learn of any African Caribbean with a chain of big hotels or owning those inclusive holiday complexes which foreign people like to go to. There isn’t that much that we control in the Caribbean… Read more »

Anya W
Guest
Anya W

Wrong. American racism and white supremacy is as much the reason for problems in the black community as European imperialism is the reason that Caribbean and African countries lag behind the rest of the world in every measure.

Guest
Guest
Guest

African American lack of family structure *plays a big part* in this matter.”

**–meaning it plays a part, but it’s not the only part, and it’s not the whole part, just plays a big part within the whole.

Hope the additional descriptions helped.

Pepie
Guest
Pepie

Very Informed post because it replicate the same issue here in America to a country predominately black.

Camara
Guest
Camara

Bitch, we hate you too tf. You’re not shit. You think NY and other places in the US aren’t damn dirty ass slums? Our islands have natural beauty that this ugly country lacks, coon. West Indians are far more diverse than you think idiot, probably even more diverse that American black. No one wants to be you guys. Y’all seriously bring shame to other blacks around the world and y’all do not have any good manners at all you self hating, ignorant bitch.

Cosita
Guest
Cosita

LMAO! You sound just as silly as her. You basicly said to black Americans “You bitches and coons don’t have good manners like we do.” Seriously?? LOL! I think you are both an embarassment to black people. If you haven’t seen natural beauty in the US then you must not get out much.

tracienatural
Guest
tracienatural

Just a small reminder: every African living outside of Africa is living on captured land, i.e. land stolen from its natives. So, America, Canada, the Caribbean, Central and South America–all captured land. Let’s not brag and say “my captured land is more beautiful than your captured land.” How do we sound? Ridiculous, especially since most Africans in the diaspora don’t own the so‐called beautiful land in the first place! Come on now, black people, let’s love each other! Ase

Poprockcola
Guest
Pepie
Guest
Pepie

I am Guyanese and i share some your the sentiments regarding differences. Having lived in the US for almost 10 years I can relate to everything said on this thread thus far. I believe too, until recent, that a significant difference between West Indians and African Americans was slavery ending early in the West Indies. When slavery ended in August of 1838, Guyana freed slaves bought the first plantation in November of that same year and named it Victoria. In February of 1938 the second plantation was bought and named Buxton; my father’s family are from this village. For more… Read more »

lis
Guest
lis

So why so many of you in the us?…bought plantations? From? If you own the country..‘no one? love or respect Black Americans’..who is no one?..whites?…because they love and respect you all..right?…please.…even when they are in your countries..they do not.…believe it or not Black Americans love and respect themselves, inspite of what shitty rap hip hop culture says because i know thats what you all look at.….. listen .…slavery ended in the US in 1863./5…on paper.…Black Americans had to navigate Jim crow, state terrorism, murder, rape, outnumbered, kept out of every industry/union, kept out of every scheme to provide people with… Read more »

Pepie
Guest
Pepie

Lis, I think you misunderstood what I wrote. I honestly ask you to read my comment over again. I have tremendous amount of respect for African Americans. My comment was to show how different groups evolved out of slavery and colonialism. In my closing sentence I praised your struggles and indicated the world, including West Indians, benefit directly and indirectly from your fight. I am sadden by your response.

Todd Pearson
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Todd Pearson

Yes all immigrants benefit off the free labor of black Americans…Maybe one day American blacks can get their reparations for giving immigrants the American Dream.

Todd Pearson
Guest
Todd Pearson

That’s because American blacks have their OWN Institutions…and have had them for the past century…most American Blacks attend HBCUs. But what’s interesting is why can’t foreign born blacks achieve this in their native countries where they are the majority and run the government and resources. Would love to see an article on that.

Ganadora Loteria
Guest
Ganadora Loteria

We do and we have achieved these things. Also, ‘American imperialism’ has alot to do with the destruction of many black/brown nations and our governments. Your argument lacks context.

mmmmm
Guest

The issue with this is at you’re all living for the white man’s approval. I’m also Haitian, but I’m tired of people telling me to conform to a standard of “blackness” that is not me. It is not my history. When will all our history’s be told/known? I did date several African men. 2 of them were divisive so I’ve experienced that but I took it as a huge cultural problem which it is. I haven’t been to any African countries yet, when I go I’ll have a better understanding of it. Just like when I came here to the… Read more »

maralondon
Guest
maralondon

The histories are all inter connected anyways. I think it’s silly to see us all as separate entities. When Europeans struck in Africa they were in cahoots with each other over who would get what and where. They didn’t care to keep us together according to our kins people, we were strewn everywhere. Many of us had families who remained on the continent and family members were further removed and taken to different parts of the Americas. Although I live in England with Caribbean parents I consider those in the diaspora lost cousins. We don’t know who we are related… Read more »

Guest
Guest
Guest

No offense, but many African women experience female genital mutation definition (FGM). Sad.

lis
Guest
lis

Ignorant.…a lot of West Indians look straight up African’.…is that supposed to be an insult?.…sigh.…I’ve had a few run ins with some Africans and tend to keep my distance until I know them better…but I have to say when an African woman is beautiful.…there’s no comparison. …perfect skin, features, bodies, even teeth.…When African women are beautiful.……THEY ARE DROP DEAD GORGEOUS.…so come again.

lis
Guest
lis

Milly.…it is human nature and it is disgusting. …isn’t it?

lis
Guest
lis

We have nothing’.…..oooohhhh?????????

lis
Guest
lis

Yes but those are the foreign born Blacks they let into the country. …The educated middle class ones who would thrive in any country.…..less in numbers.…(especially when the way was made easier by the native born Blacks).…and they and their children can be contrasted with the Blacks in say France who are African and West Indian background but are not doing as well.…and that is not to take away from their success?

lis
Guest
lis

Hmm…I see some of your points but as a Jamaican you should know that slavery in Jamaica was noted for its brutality.….In fact for a long time there was more foreign born Blacks than native born because soo many died young and it was cheaper to import Africans than to take care of the ones already there.…and Jamaican slavery was only a few decades shorter than American slavery.…A Mixed people?.…Ok.……The few.….but I see some of your points.

rainbow
Guest
rainbow

Not all black Londoners know their background. Immigrants from the Caribbean don’t know what part of Africa they are from.

ibutcherii
Guest
ibutcherii
I'land Gyal
Guest
I'land Gyal

I feel so sad for you. There’s more to the world than your small, sad existence. Take a trip, read a book, and FORGIVE yourself. It’s going to be okay! 🙂

Nola Q. Darling
Guest
Nola Q. Darling

Don’t worry‐ we blk Americans are taught the same things about Africans and West Indians‐ that they are ignorant, they think they are better than blacks, and that they come to the US with an entitlement complex. Conversely, we’re taught not to date or commingle with people who aren’t born with American citizenship. We are taught that islanders are savages. Goes both ways. I’m 33, I’ve traveled the world, I have professional certifications and I’m in IT Management. After four years of living in Florida (I was raised in the north), I still have yet to make friends with Caribbean… Read more »

Tracienatural
Guest
Tracienatural

Sorry to hear this, sis. I live in South Florida now (from NYC). Too bad we don’t know each other. I’m sure we’d be friends, or at least happy acquaintances lol. I hope you get to meet more of the kind, accepting, and conscious Caribbean and African people. Ase.

L
Guest
L

Thank you for sharing this. It is truly a serious issue. As an African‐American, I have encountered Carrbbeans and Africans with that ignorant mentality, and it makes me nauseous. I immediately lose respect for individuals like that. We are all black in the eyes of white people and they do not know the difference unless you tell them your nationality. We need to stick together and end this stupidity. I’ve had many experiences with this and unfortunately lost a great and close friend who is Afro‐French and have had to put people in their place, and “surprised” people because I’m… Read more »

tracienatural
Guest
tracienatural

*Sigh* This is such a heavy topic. When I first saw the article, I wished the author didn’t even write it, much less publish it on this blog. But, a few minutes later, I realized that sometimes you have to reveal the skeletons in the closet in order to sweep the closet clean. I might be one of the older posters here (70s baby), and I too am from lovely NYC, where a lot of these isms began. I don’t want to make this too long, but I understand how this has happened in recent history. West Indians, and some… Read more »

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

Drop the mic! Thank you! WOW, I’m blown away!!!! Key words: “Unapologetically African, love all black people.”

Coffee is for Closers
Guest
Coffee is for Closers

I’m also a 70’s baby. I’m curious where in NY you grew up? I grew up in Brooklyn where Americans and Caribbean people lived in overlapping neighborhoods and American blacks participate in Caribbean celebrations such as labor day and eat the food regularly. There were a lot of just pro black events at Brooklyn Academy of Music during memorial Day weekend, June Balloon at the Bk Children’s museum etc, Street fairs with African vendors, Soul food and jerk chicken. In spite of that, I do feel some Caribbean blacks — not all, act as if they are superior to American… Read more »

Tracienatural
Guest
Tracienatural

Just saw your question. I’m from the NE Bronx, bordering Mount Vernon. You are right about Brooklyn, it is much more mixed. But my area was predominantly Jamaican. NY Times dubbed it “Little Jamaica” in the ‘90s. You can look up the article if you want. Of course, I lived it, so I don’t need any validation from white media lol but maybe you didn’t know about my area (had a good friend from Brooklyn who didn’t know until she came to visit ). Blessings, sis.

Pepie
Guest
Pepie

One of the posters did say British Caribbean people can sometimes be haughty and this is true up to this day. I came to NYC from the Guyana 10 years ago. I traveled my little region and I love my West Indian people but sometimes we get head of ourselves. I dated an AA while doing my first Masters Degree here and i was embarrassed when she said West Indians think we are better than them. We need to be more cognizant of the things we say and the way we think about people who have sacrificed much and continue… Read more »

DreaMLC
Guest
DreaMLC

I don’t mind your long post at all. In fact, it has saved me from writing a perhaps even longer post, lol. I too am a 70’s baby born in Brooklyn to Jamaican ( products of the British Caribbean) parents, but raised primarily in Jamaica, Queens. My early experience in Brooklyn was fine, I was very young and hadn’t even realized that we were “different” until we moved to Queens, there were still many blacks there who’d migrated from the South. They were not very welcoming at first, and I was ridiculed for the food I ate, how properly I… Read more »

Pamela A
Guest
Pamela A

Most African countries have safe drinking water and improving electricity. And many Africans are making a difference in their countries and the countries they go to. And not every black immigrant looks down on black Americans. You’re making the same racist generalizations as those misguided people.

Pamela A
Guest
Pamela A

Exactly, I’ve seen the same thing happen in some black Americans attitude towards black Africans. No one is a saint here.

Chantell Bent
Guest
Chantell Bent

IFirstly I am Jamaican and not all west indian or caribbean people have what I call identity issues. I know who my people are and where they came from. I am proud to be of african descent. Now I seriouslyp have an issue with you calling us names and demeaning my country and culture. Now i have a question do you not have poor people everywhere? Does not every country have it socioeconomic issues. Do you not have crime in the US with curropted people? We seem to like perpetuating a cycle in the days if slavery field slaves distrusted… Read more »

Reina
Guest
Reina

Definitely grew up in a Haitian household, in a West Indian‐esq neighborhood… and it was definitely an us vs them mentality across the board. But what I ended up telling my parents was that ever generation birth onto American soil is now going to be labeled as African American… better known as American Black, so the people they are criticizing are literally their own children.
That concept was too hard for them to adjust to

Bryce
Guest

The reason why I still don’t accept that is because African American is an ethnic group and is not synonymous with the term Black. People need to understand that. It’s like saying every White person is Irish American. That simply isn’t true.

We’re all Black but Afro‐Caribbean people are not ethnically the same as African Americans.

cici
Guest
cici

How carribean people are not the same as african americans?

Bryce
Guest

Racially most are the same, however ethnically they aren’t. They don’t share the same culture. A culture is defined by language, traditions, etc. While both groups can trace a large portion of their heritage to Africa, their foods aren’t the same and they don’t have the same cultural traditions. My mother is from Trinidad and my Father is from North Carolina. Both sides of my family cross over and interact however neither side knows the slightest thing about the culture of the other. It’s the same way that someone from Spain and someone from Germany aren’t the same. They’re both… Read more »

Reina
Guest
Reina

But African American IS synonymous with the term Black, along with the Caribbean and African cultures. Black is the category, Nationality is the sub‐category and any traceable lineage. Just like White Americans are under the category White and sub category is wherever their family came from pre‐columbus. And a lot of white people know where their family lineage is from.
Just like Christian would be the Category, and then the denomination: Baptist, Catholic, Mormon, Evangelical, Protested… etc is the Sub‐Category. Its all still Christianity in the end.
So we are all still Black at the end of the day

Bryce
Guest

I never said we aren’t Black, you’re not arguing with me there. I said we aren’t all African American. African American and Black aren’t the same thing. African American is an ethnicity, Black is a race. That’s like saying Spanish (Spain) and White is the same thing. I’m Black and I am both African American and Afro‐Caribbean among other things. My mother is Black but she is not African American, she was born in Trinidad and is culturally different from my father who is African American and whose family is from North Carolina. Yes, at the end of the day… Read more »

Bryce
Guest

To sum up my longer comment: Someone who is descended from slaves in the U.S. is considered African American. If you aren’t from the U.S. but you are of sub‐Saharan African descent or you are descended from slaves brought to the Caribbean or Latin America, you are Black, but that ? African American.

Ganadora Loteria
Guest
Ganadora Loteria

How can African‐American be synonymous with the term Black? Do black/African Americans own the patent on the term ‘black’? No.
And this is the issue, when you say that black and African American are synonymous, you erase every non‐US black person. This is why most non‐US black people do not identify as black when in the US because of this constant erasure and centering of black/African Americans within blackness.

Kendra
Guest
Kendra

I grew up with a African American Father from Georgia and a West Indian mother. I didn’t see the difference between both sides pf my family until I got older.All I saw was BLACK. We’re all AFRICAN DECEDENTS. We need to stop perpetuating stereotypes among ourselves!!

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

So true…in my family we. range from passing white to blue black…we are ALL beautiful…we need learn and appreciate that ASAP!

Sugabelly
Guest

I think part of the issue is that Africans who move to the US are put under a lot of pressure to assimilate to African American culture, and this comes in the form of people just mistaking us for African Americans, or making comments like “you’re all black anyway, so what difference does it make?”. Comments like that are very erasing, and people in America don’t understand that most Africans’ default identity is NOT black. Growing up in Nigeria, I didn’t wake up in the morning and think to myself, “I am a black person”. I woke up thinking “I… Read more »

Cosita
Guest
Cosita

I get what you are saying and understand you want to identify with your culture and ethnic group. You also said you see yourself as black in comparrison to white people. The US is mostly white people. Seems to me anyone clearly of Subsaharan African decent who chooses to immigrate to a predominantly white country would arrive expecting to be considered black. I don’t understand the surprise. Of course the social dynamics are not going to be the same as in a predominantly black or black‐mixed race country. That is not to say that race is all of who you… Read more »

Ganadora Loteria
Guest
Ganadora Loteria

I feel the same way. As a non‐US black person, I have experienced more xenophobia from black Americans than any other group of people.

This article is based on someone’s personal experience but it fails to mention the other side of the argument, which is black American distain, ignorance and erasure of non‐US black cultures.

Actual West Indian
Guest
Actual West Indian

Last I checked, while Haiti is geographically located in the West Indies, culturally Haitians are NOT West Indian. West Indian in a cultural context refers to the English‐speaking Caribbean that was governed by the British West India Company. Thus, when one says West Indian they mean someone who is of English‐speaking Caribbean descent, such as those from Jamaica, Trinidad, St Lucia, Grenada, Barbados, Guyana, etc. Haitians are part of the French Caribbean, along with Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Martin, etc. and therefore not West Indian. So, Ms. Lisa Jean Francois was erroneously feeling superior of African Americans and united with West… Read more »

Tiffany
Guest
Tiffany

Im not sure how I feel about the tone of this article. It suggests that carribean and african cultures are more synonymous than african American cultures vs african/Caribbean cultures. Why are african Americans outcasted? The whole discussion has many flaws. For one, it is unfair to judge all african Americans as the same. Last time I checked, there are 50 states in America and we are all different from the accents we have, food we eat (I.e. Pulled pork in North Carolina vs Cajun food in Louisiana). Also, it is unfair to judge *all* carribean blacks the same, and the… Read more »

Kim
Guest
Kim

Haitians aren’t West Indians. Know your history.

Cosita
Guest
Cosita

I have heard about this way more than I have experienced it. But I have close family from the Caribbean, South America and from Africa. We see cultural diffences but see each other as black people. I honestly can’t remember ever hearing my family say anything negative about West Indies people. I have also dated guys from South Africa and Dominican Republic and we saw ourselves as culturally but not racially different. . I seen more negativity from blacks in other countries toward black Americans and vice versa on this site than I have ever experienced in “real” life. I… Read more »

Cosita
Guest
Cosita

You sound ridiculous and self hating. I am black American and I love being of African heritage. I went to the Bahamas on a family vacation as a teenager and it is beautiful. And the peope were wonderful.

Cosita
Guest
Cosita

Interesting point about regional differences among black Americans. I have noticed people on here from other countries who get upset if we lump their cultures together and rightfully so. But there seems to be no problem lumping black American culture as being all the same. Realize this is a big place and we have states that are larger than some of your countries so why would we all have same culture? For example where I live we are in the middle of Carnival season. Do you think black in Kentucky or New Jersey do this? Do you think they eat… Read more »

WebGarv
Guest
WebGarv

Lisa Jean Francois, this is a minefield. I am Caribbean. Black Enterprise posted these data: http://www.blackenterprise.com/money/black-immigrants-in-u-s-earning-30-more-than-u-s-born-blacks/. Oprah Winfrey herself opened a school for girls in South Africa because, she says, Black Americans are more interested in sneakers than in education. I have close Black American relatives, but I don’t feel that as a whole their culture is reaching out to white people who are reaching out to them. There is way too much unnecessary “us against them (whites)” going on in Black American culture, which may explain why whites are more accepting of black foreigners.

Bettina Burrell
Guest
Bettina Burrell

You seem to have gotten caught up in the web that the writer is warning about. First, I tried Googling this quote you say comes from Oprah Winfrey because I find it completely unbelievable that an American black public figure of the multitude of Oprah Winfrey would make such an insulting statement toward her own culture. Not only would such a statement stereotype us as a whole but it would risk alienating a large portion of her audience. I found no such statement from Oprah Winfrey so you need to check your source. As far as your blaming my culture… Read more »

WebGarv
Guest
WebGarv

Believe me my culture has its weaknesses and I will be the first to acknowledge that. I invite you to do the same. Here is Oprah’s well known quote: http://www.people.com/people/article/0„20005585,00.html. Also, to clarify, Dr. King couldn’t be successful if whites didn’t embrace his movement. Neither could Obama be President if it weren’t for the wide support of whites. Those whites are the ones I say are “reaching out” to Black America. Love & Peace.

1 of 2GallowaySisters
Guest

I’m sorry but white ppl killed mlk. And just because white ppl support the movement doesn’t mean black ppl are the cause of the problem . Have u heard of the tipping point? It suggests that 80% of the work is done by 20% of the ppl. Assuming that’s true, only 20%of racist white ppl are needed to be a driving force against the cause. This majority of white ppl that u are referring are not the problem, and are not the main subject of this topic.

Bettina Burrell
Guest
Bettina Burrell

There is no culture in the world that is perfect, I never said that the American black culture did not have weaknesses but as stated previously, American blacks are working within the constructs of the society that was created by white people. Of course there have been white people that have been friends to the black community and they have been welcomed. But we have been here a long time so we know you have to proceed with caution. But this article is about how the author, as a black of Haitian origin, learned that she was not better than… Read more »

WebGarv
Guest
WebGarv

Following the race but not culture logic, a “ghetto” person would be as accepted as a doctor, an attorney, etc., provided they are both Black? I find it hard to believe.

Bettina Burrell
Guest
Bettina Burrell

That’s not my logic. It’s actually the reverse. I’m saying that many whites in the country make no distinction of any kind between black people; class or as you think, culture, does not matter to them. They think badly and speak badly of black people no matter who they are and what their station is in life. If you find it hard to believe, I have two words for you: President. Obama. Never has a president in the history of this country been treated so disrespectfully as our first Black president. And they call him a ni**er too. So you… Read more »

BlackAndBrilliant
Guest
BlackAndBrilliant

You are a mental Muhammad Ali.…I love it!!!

E[o
Guest
E[o

Well said! As a college educated professional myself, lest this WebGarv forget? “As Black people, regardless of the geographical region one came from, we are ALL equally hated under the same microscope.”

Epi
Guest
Epi

Well said! As a college educated professional myself, lest this WebGarv forget? “As Black people, regardless of the geographical region one came from, we are ALL equally hated under the same microscope.”

maralondon
Guest
maralondon

Being comfortable around many races has been and still is our downfall. To say that slavery wasn’t harsh in the Caribbean is a complete insult to the Ancestors. Murder is murder and abuse of the highest level is still abuse. Slavery was the most despicable crime committed on our people, it didn’t matter where in the Americas you were. Technically slavery had not ended until some 30 years after the abolition. The abolition was complete propaganda because it was all about Britain being in a position to industrialise their countries. Once the trade was no longer viable we were useless… Read more »

S Dub
Guest
S Dub

There is a Dutch, French, and British West Indies.…. They ARE just as west indian as the English speaking (British West Indies)… If you were an “Actual West Indian” you would have known that. Next time you want to spit your “erroneous” facts.… use Google.

Elodie Careme
Guest
Elodie Careme

I don’t think that the whole “West Indian” discussion is really just semantics and not the core of the problem. I believe she just meant “Caribbean”. There is no need to raise another argument here and start saying people they don’t know their origin etc.

S Dub
Guest
S Dub

You need to know YOUR history. Google West Indian boo.

pail
Guest
pail

West India is an European concept. When they discovered the Carribean islands they believed they were in India and when they find out that they were mistaken, the named the islands West indies to distinguish from the real India. Haiti being the first island colonized is actually the prototype West India.

Landa
Guest
Landa

Correct, you are.

Broomy
Guest
Broomy

Oh so a white person said “go back go Africa” and that somehow defines who you are? Why do we continue to see ourselves through the eyes (prejudices, hatreds, stereotyping etc) of others. mainly “da white peoples”? Persons of African descent are as diverse as any other group of people and there is absolutely no problem with claiming our diversity. Try confusing a french person with a German or an Aussie with a New Zealander…after you get cussed out come tell me there is no diversity in a race. As far as seeing ourselves as “better than”…it is my experience… Read more »

Southern Black Belle
Guest
Southern Black Belle

I think you missed the most important fact (amongst many missed) you forgot to mention that were it not for us uneducated, ugly, misbehaving African Americans YOU would not be welcomed here. Not sure if you’ve heard of this little thing called the civil rights movement that paved the way for YOUR acceptance here in America. Not sure why your parents didn’t fill your heads with that concept — speaking of uneducated. Yes it inflames me that West Indians come here from extremely poor THIRD WORLD countries to turn their noses up at African Americans and put all of us… Read more »

WebGarv
Guest
WebGarv

Southern Black Belle, just so you know, my Caribbean compatriots as well as my African friends have a total adoration for Dr. King and other Black American greats. We celebrate their landmark achievements in and out of the US. During the Civil Rights era, the President of my country even went so far as naming the main avenue from the airport to downtown “Dr. Martin Luther King Avenue”, so visitors knew where we stood. We black foreigners also admire your sports, artistic, and philosophy greats (Dr. Maya Angelou comes to mind.) My personal gripe with Black Americans is their obsession… Read more »

Virtual Belinda
Guest
Virtual Belinda

Stop speaking on things you don’t understand.

STOP
Guest
STOP

My personal gripe with Black Americans is their obsession with blaming
white people for everything. Your people must find a way to move on…”

Please have two seats. Stop while you’re ahead. You have NOTHING to offer about the policies and legacy of this country. ONLY the Amerindians and the indigenous Black population are in a place to speak on the legacy and policies of the African Holocaust in the United States. You have no place and it’s not your damn business.

I don’t tell a jew to just “move on” when speaking on the Jewish Holocaust. Again, KNOW YOUR PLACE.

Tracienatural
Guest
Tracienatural

Southern Belle, try not to worry yourself so much with what you think others think of you. I don’t believe most Caribbean and African people think African Americans are ugly and uneducated. How? You’ve lived in the wealthiest country in the world, have internationally known HBCUs that Caribbean and African foreign students have attended for decades, and some of the most beautiful and talented black people in the world are African Americans! Love, there will always be haters, backwaters, coons, sellouts, and ignorant unconscious folk. Just focus on the positive, conscious and loving black people who knows they’re African and… Read more »

Jamilah Hamilton
Guest
Jamilah Hamilton

I’m glad someone brought this thought out. It was definitely not clearly acknowledged in the article. Blacks from the Caribbean and African countries should acknowledge what Blacks in the US did for them by setting the foundation for their acceptance here instead of looking down their noses at them.

Helix Powers
Guest
Helix Powers

Good luck trying to convince most of these bougie Black people that they are inferior you’d have better luck at a homeless shelter in Manhatten. Most Black people will never look at themselves as being inferior and rightfully so. Everybodies in this screwed up world together and guess what everything in the world is pegged to the PETRO dollar which is rapidly declining! Hold on to your weaves, fake eyelashes, make‐up and hair products ya’ll better stock up now because its going to be some rough looking people out here when this dollar collapses. Show me someone who does not… Read more »

Elodie Careme
Guest
Elodie Careme

Looking at the comments, I really feel like people missed out on the real topic here and are jut falling into petty unnecessary arguments. Maybe the article is a bit confused and clumsy at times, it is often the case when someone relates her story with very personal anecdots, feelings etc. I am both from Martinique and Guadeloupe (call it West Indian, French Caribbean as you like as I don’t care) and I do know about this hierarchy between the African diaspora. Martinique and Guadeloupe still being French territories benefit from the better living conditions in the Caribbean (public transport,… Read more »

NikkiNYC
Guest
NikkiNYC

As an African American H.R. Coordinator and Jr. accountant I have been asked often if i’m Caribbean. One prospective candidate for employment so far to say “I’m suprised you are American. Most American people don’t have high ranking positions. They don’t work very hard either”. This sickens me to see the onward trend of bashing. These stereotypes discrediting my history, my ancestors, my culture who’ve faught damn hard for every minority to reap benefits of our suffrage leaves me speechless.

Tracienatural
Guest
Tracienatural

NikkiNYC, don’t get offended if you are mistaken for another group of African people. You are African, too. When people tell you they thought you were of another group, just laugh and tell them your excellent because it’s the African in you!

AfroCapricornette
Guest
AfroCapricornette

If this was a candidate for employment, did you just sit there and take the insult or did you do something about it?

dopper0189
Guest
dopper0189

I just want black people of immigrant backgrounds to have their own census category like every other race/nationality does. Look at Latinos they can list Mexican/Cuban/Puerto Rican, etc Asians can list Japanese/Chinese/Indian etc, whites can list English/German/Irish/Italian etc. 12% of the US black population is now of foreign decent yet we only get 1 category!

Cosita
Guest
Cosita

You need to check your facts. That is not how the US census works for race. Latino is not a race and is not among the race choices on the US census. In fact the US government’s position is that Latino or Hispanic can be of any race. This is what US Government defines as black: Black or African American – A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa. These are not MY words but straight from the US Gov. Website which is why for the life of me I can’t understand how subsaharan descent… Read more »

dopper0189
Guest
dopper0189

You’re missing my point. I attached a link to the US Census form from 2010. Notice that whites, Latinos, and Asians are ALL given a chance to list their national origin. Blacks are not. THAT is my point. 12% of blacks in the US are from an immigrant background (1 out of 8) yet the census doesn’t account for it. Look at the form. I quite aware of how Latinos are listed on the form. Part of my family is Cuban. What is confusing you is that the census ask for both race AND ethnicity, that’s why it ask for… Read more »

Cosita
Guest
Cosita

Ok. So am I right to say you want to be asked your race then go the extra step of asking country of national origin? Again Hispanic is NOT a race according to the US Gov. The form allows you to mark both race and hispanic. So a lot of the people who mark black can also be marking Cuban, Dominican, etc. Your family would not be left out. If I understand your complaint then if anything the blacks may feel left out would be the non latino ones. I looked at your link. I saw no boxes for nation… Read more »

Kellance Young
Guest
Kellance Young

Enough with these racial classifications pink toes use these only to benefit themselves and continue to economically disenfranchise other groups 2020 census I’m checking off Native American because I was born here and no I’m not denying my African lineage many of my ancestors were most likely here before any Europeans ask Columbus

LetsTalkRaeStyle
Guest
LetsTalkRaeStyle

True!

dopper0189
Guest
dopper0189

Just because you don’t like a difference, it doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.…

Sharon Equality-Now Johnson Mi
Guest
Sharon Equality-Now Johnson Mi

There is a huge difference between Native American and American Native. Unless your foreparents were original inhabitants of these lands, you’re not Native American. If you’re 1/128th or 1/64th Native American, doesn’t make you Native American. It makes you Black American Native. Huge difference!

LetsTalkRaeStyle
Guest
LetsTalkRaeStyle

That should let you know how they view us. They don’t have a category for Afro‐Latinos.

D. Wole Murray-Ifa
Guest
D. Wole Murray-Ifa

That’s called CULTURAL GROUP, dropper!! But, please, tell me WHY? Instead of looking for more ways to socially divide‐and‐conquer yourself out…why??? Look how the so=called “whites,” of different European cultural groups come together with the British (who have dogged us ALL — including the other “white groups”) to oppress us!! And those Latino grouping you mentioned are NATIONALITIES/citizenship differences — they are ALL ethnically either Natives (American), Europeans, and/or African‐descendents, of variety cultural differences!!! Or, am I missing your point, and you are instead calling for us to get MORE involved with our African ETHNIC ancestry, so that we will… Read more »

dopper0189
Guest
dopper0189

D. Wole look at the census form. Whites are asked their ancestry (English, German, Irish, Italian, etc), Asians (Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Filipino), as are Latinos (Mexican, Puerto Rican, etc). Blacks are the only group that don’t get that treatment. So yes, I think listing nationalities are important. African Americans have a unique culture formed by merging several West and Central African cultures, in the (mostly) American South. Same is true of the black Caribbean. The foods, music, and culture are different. We have all united as black people, but I also think it’s good to acknowledge it. Nothing to do… Read more »

Sharon Equality-Now Johnson Mi
Guest
Sharon Equality-Now Johnson Mi

This is the dumbest, most ignorant shyt I’ve seen written since the internet began. You could’ve kept that ignorance to yourself.

dopper0189
Guest
dopper0189

What ever.…

dopper0189
Guest
dopper0189

Exactly. For me the biggest thing is food. As a Jamaican their is a lot of food that I like that African‐Americans don’t and vice versa. There is a lot of just expecting I like some foods they do. It’s very annoying.

Music too, but not to the same degree.

TWA4now
Guest
TWA4now

I like Jamaican food and music…it all depends on the person! : )

Sdal
Guest
Sdal

I think you need to speak for yourself and not stereotype West Indians in order to discuss stereotyping. Most don’t share your views. Your superiority complex is yours alone boo. Just speak for yourself.

mariebuch
Guest
mariebuch

You need to read the literature on Caribbean immigration to see that she is not just blowing hot air. I applaud you for being egalitarian, by not all my Caribbean people are like you.

D. Wole Murray-Ifa
Guest
D. Wole Murray-Ifa

Try Dat, Sista!! Sdal, PLEASE, don’t get so defensive!! Look outside of yourself sometimes, too — you might find A WHOLE OTHER WORLD out there! All the best!.…And, thanks Marie

James Morgan III
Guest
James Morgan III

I love how we as Africans no matter where dispersed in this world, are trying to measure up a European standard of acceptability. As an African American I don’t understand this sense of trying to prove ourselves to anyone and while I recognize Africans in the diaspora and in Africa have had divergent experiences in the past few centuries, I believe we need to identify with Africa first and foremost as that is the base for our culture today.

D. Wole Murray-Ifa
Guest
D. Wole Murray-Ifa

100%, Brother!!! 🙂

Sharon Equality-Now Johnson Mi
Guest
Sharon Equality-Now Johnson Mi

Drop the mic!!!!!!!!!!!!!

mhfrancois52
Guest
mhfrancois52

As a Haitian man who graduated college I’ve been through the exact same situation when I moved to the United States. It’s like I had walked into a battlefield. It’s been 12 years, now I have an understanding of what has been going on. When they see or hear you with your different accent, your different sounding name, your different way of carrying yourself, deep down they don’t think any higher of you. They are actually surprised and angry to find out that somewhere outside of their white bubble, black people have managed to evolve and progress from the white… Read more »

Dee
Guest
Dee

I haven’t had any issues with Caribbean folks at all.

The only Africans that I have issues with are cab drivers in my area. One of them refused to pick me and other African Americans up (this was before Uber came about).

D. Wole Murray-Ifa
Guest
D. Wole Murray-Ifa

So what??? Does that mean that this is not an issue FOR OTHERS??? Dee, people will not tell you, but commenting on your SOLELY on your own PERSONAL experience shows a very limited outlook!! So, Please, please, please start thinking BEYOND YOURSELF, and your personal experiences!! Learn about the world outside of your own views, experiences, and beliefs!! There is actually more to the world than you: as my father used to stay, “What YOU don’t know would make a new world!!”

Sarah Swan-Yarrell
Guest
Sarah Swan-Yarrell

That isn’t only her experience. It is the experience of many African Americans here. They will look at your skin and gender and decide if they want to pick you up or not. Some have also harassed black women and have actually acted in what can be called a violent and harsh manner. I know of many and I myself had to have one taken before their taxi and limousine board. For taking my cousin and daughters on a very scary ride after he tried to over charge them. And thanks to cellphones I was able to get hold of… Read more »

Bryce
Guest

We are all Black people however African American and Afro‐Caribbean are separate and distinct ethic groups. The same way you have many Irish‐Americans and German‐Americans but they’re both White.

Melody Mise
Guest
Melody Mise

Thank You!

D. Wole Murray-Ifa
Guest
D. Wole Murray-Ifa

We are all AFRICAN PEOPLE!!! Because enslavers dropped one person off on an different island DOES NOT MAKE YOU A DIFFERENT ETHNIC GROUP!!! At more, you may have develop some CULTURAL difference, and thus can claim a CULTURAL DIFFERENCE…But, “ethnic;’ can on — think about it!!! Angela Bruce Rayburn’s father got it right long ago…IT IS A “DIVIDE AND CONQUER” technique, which, unfortunately, has been working extremely well on us for CENTURIES!!! BREAK THE CYCLE, Diaspora, and Continental, AFRICANS!!!!

Bryce
Guest

We are all of African descent, yes! But if I were to walk into any country in Africa today, I would stick out like a sore thumb. I don’t know their culture, customs, or traditions. I am not African! My Ghanian friends are African, my Jamaican friend isn’t.

I understand we want to reclaim our heritage and I do. I love my Blackness and my African roots, but if you say I’m African, I’m going to correct you.

D. Wole Murray-Ifa
Guest
D. Wole Murray-Ifa

PS: Both Ireland and German could both fit into many, individual, African countries, old empires, and/or Ethnic enclave of today.…A big problem SEEMS TO BE that only when Africa and its descendants are discussed, there is a HUGE confusion about the identities, and terms, or: CITIZENSHIP, CULTURAL GROUPS, ETHNIC GROUPS, and RACIAL GROUPS!!! The race is Homo Sapiens, unless people are trying to discriminate against certain groups FOR POLITICAL REASONS, usually!! The ethnic groupings are African, Europe, Asian, and other MAJOR phenotype‐different groups!! The cultural groups tend to be those differences AROUND DAILY lifestyle uniquenesses, usually found WITHIN ethnicities!! Culture… Read more »

Bryce
Guest

You have no idea what ethnicity means do you? Race is a social construct that we all participate in. Our species is Homo sapiens. Our race (or rather mine) is Black. My ethnicity is African American and Afro‐Caribbean.

If you think culture = lifestyle you are very misinformed. A culture is a way of life of a group of people, the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next. That’s much more than “lifestyle”.

CameronJada
Guest
CameronJada

Thanks you for acknowledging that there is a difference between Africans, African Americans (or Black Americans, the name changes so much), and West Indian/Caribbean Americans. I don’t think one is better than the other. More often than not in big cities like NYC, Orlando, Miami, Atlanta, etc. we all live among each other and get along. We are all Black but have different cultures, ethnicities, come from different countries with different languages and histories. Sometimes, White America only wants to acknowledge the difference when they want to pose us against each other hahahhha. But otherwise, they treat us like they… Read more »

Nunya Biznys
Guest
Nunya Biznys

Having a superiority complex is always toxic and it is always based on lies and false pride. I applaud thus writer’s honesty and courage on this important topic. It would seem that Indigenous people and African Americans made such huge sacrifices to pave the way for other minorities to experience greater equality, only to slip further down the totem pole while they move up with ease. On another note, In college, I spent time with both the African and Caribbean student organizations. They were welcoming to all.

D. Wole Murray-Ifa
Guest
D. Wole Murray-Ifa

We are ALL Africans, dropped off of the boat in different locations.…that’s ALL!!!!

Black Women
Guest
Black Women

This is only a real factor in NYC, true ignorance. Oprah Winfrey is one of the richest women in the world, and she still has problems with racism. I guess she wouldnt have those problems if she was from the caribbean? Wake up people this is self hatred, and the need to put others down so you feel better about yourself. Money beauty nor fame will save you from the racism in America. Educate yourself because in other states you experience more discrimination being a black foreigner.

Angela Bruce Raeburn
Guest
Angela Bruce Raeburn

From the first day I arrived in this country — my Guyanese dad told me that I was not better than African Americans. He told me that it was the strategy — to divide and conquer. To convince us Caribbean people that were better so they could be absolved of the racism and the hate that defines this country. Once I understood it — it was clear to me that Black Americans have fought the fight — and we have come into their country and we were able to thrive on the backs of the marches, the dogs, the fire… Read more »

LetsTalkRaeStyle
Guest
LetsTalkRaeStyle

Tell your Dad I said he’s awesome!

D. Wole Murray-Ifa
Guest
D. Wole Murray-Ifa

Excellent, excellent, excellent!! And, congratulations on be blessed with a father who understood geo‐political realities!! You can see after reading this Sista’s article, that your father’s advice has placed you are ‘WAY ahead of the game!’ Ase ooo

SouthernBelle
Guest
SouthernBelle

THANK YOU!!!!! And God bless your father…,we love you guys and see you as our brothers and sister but oftentimes the sentiment you just expressed is never expressed.

STOP
Guest
STOP

This is what happens when you want to raise your child well. You educate them to life’s realities. You have a good father and a clarity many lack.

blogdiz
Guest
blogdiz

late to the thread as a fellow West Indian thanks for saying this

MyTake305
Guest
MyTake305

Smart dad!

Empathy and Love
Guest
Empathy and Love

I am so hurt after reading these comments look what they done to us. I love my African and Caribbean sisters and brothers. As African Americans we were taught to hate ourselves. I’m so sorry we treated you’ll with same nastiness, it’s the remnants of slavery and now your victims of internal racism. I want so much more for us as people, none of us want this oppression it hurts so bad and it’s so deep.

Lavish D
Guest
Lavish D

Thank you for this timely advise & rule of thumb!
“If Africans can do so well then surely racism has nothing to do with anything, therefore, American Blacks are to be blamed for their condition in America”.
Pass it along!!

LetsTalkRaeStyle
Guest
LetsTalkRaeStyle

What so many people fail to realize is that our ancestors are the same! We were jsut dropped off in different places. As an African American woman I absolutely hate that we dont have a real culture to connect to like those from the West Indies, etc. We as African Americans were stripped of our culture and the ones that we create for ourselves is often mocked and then stolen by the dominant culture. Know that we are all one!

Krokrokoto
Guest
Krokrokoto

This was a very sad day for me: I almost gave up my social media activism! Two unrelated incidents:

1.This black girl called her African boyfriend an African monkey just because she was angry at my friend!

2.An African female friend of mine called her hair dresser a cotton picker ( Akata) because she stood her up!

I am disappointed at all of us!

So Raya
Guest
So Raya

smh “AKATA” does not mean cotton picker.
It is a yoruba term which means “cat that has lost it’s home/wild cat”.

D. Wole Murray-Ifa
Guest
D. Wole Murray-Ifa

You SEEM truly lost!! HOW does being drop off from a neighboring island make you a different ethnicity?? THINK!!!

HOW long will it take for you to understand that what whites think, OR how YOU may show your ignorance about Asian CULTURAL different, does not matter IF IT IS NOT CORRECT!!! Your reasoning how is simply FALSE!!

I guess you just may need someone of European descent to tell you and you are wrong to understand it!! Good luck CameronJada…don’t get yourself hurt one day BY THE TRUTH!!

Janice Little
Guest
Janice Little

A different ethnicity denotes a different nationality, culture & customs despite belonging to an identical racial group. Caribbean peoples have different customs from U.S blacks just as there are cultural differences between Irish, Italians or whites of German ancestry. However, in the U.S.A race is more important than cultural identity. Race is political & it trumps culture in America. Therefore, all blacks are lumped together just as all whites are lumped together as one.

D. Wole Murray-Ifa
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D. Wole Murray-Ifa

Interesting take on things, Francois. I would like to mention, however, that ONLY approximately 4% of ENSLAVED AFRICANS were brought to the US…That means that nearly 96% of US, are “somewhere outside of their white bubble!!!” …Really, I think MOST of them know that so‐called “Blacks” exist outside of the USA :-)!! Perhaps maybe, WE are the ones who SEEMS not to know that!! Oh, and just for the record, THE LONGER YOU STAY IN THE USA, the MORE you will come to act, behavior, and LOOK with the “DREADED AFRICAN‐AMERICANS!!!” Doubt it? Just look at how each new generation… Read more »

mhfrancois52
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mhfrancois52

First of all I was raised until 19 in Haiti then I moved to the USA for college and stayed for personal reasons. This article is referring to people like me. You’re telling me that my mind has shifted towards the “DREADED AFRICAN‐AMERICANS!!!” mentality due to the fact that I’ve relocated myself closer to them? So forget about my ability to make my own observations with the data out there showing the unfolding of the oppression of black people everywhere on earth? To that I’m saying that white oppression/ignorance is true, it’s planetary, and that we should, as Afro immigrants… Read more »

Phoenix Starr
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Phoenix Starr

Geographically, neither is Guyana…

Charlotte
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Charlotte

This hit home with me. Being of Indian descent and half black. My mother is Indian from Trinidad and an African American father. I learned quickly though as long as you have black in you in America.….baby you black.…not African black, not haitian black not, Jamaican black, heck even when your black and white your still black

Tracienatural
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Tracienatural

Yes, DreaMLC, I know about Queens (father’s side of family lives in Queens/Long Island),because I used to visit almost every weekend as a teenager. I try to explain these things to people outside the tri‐state area but I guess you had to live it to understand. My family members were in England, too. When I was in school they called me British, teased me about my proper speech, different attire — English ribbons and patent leather lol. I think at that timthis is di were strange/different to African -Americans; they probably just didn’t understand us. In my opinion, some of… Read more »

tracienatural
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tracienatural

*at that time we were strange/different

DreaMLC
Guest
DreaMLC

Finally, someone who understands!

Pepie
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Pepie

Why red, black and green. The PAN right? I like the Red, Gold and Green (ights, gold and green as we call it back in the Caribbean LOL)

tracienatural
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tracienatural

Emjay Mangual, was it racism or prejudice? West Indian immigrants don’t have power or control of systems in this country, so they can’t really use their prejudice to impact your life (although they may have done so, to a limited extent, in your example). There were two West Indian women involved in this incident, right? There are millions–let me repeat–MILLIONS of West Indian women in this world, quite a few of which live in the NY tri‐state area. You can’t stereotype millions of people off of one incident with two women. Unless, you just want to, because you can. I… Read more »

Felina Femenina
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Felina Femenina

There were numerous people instrumental to the American Civil Rights Movement who had West Indian nationality or heritage. Malcolm X, Harry Belafonte, and Stokely Carmichael, Nina Simone, Shirley Chisholm, for starters.

YolandaYRT
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YolandaYRT

I’ve always love being Black, African American. I’m mystified by self hatred because of skin color. I was taught to research true history of Africa’s Great Black Civilizations from birth. I know European and America propaganda BS lies so can dispute and challenge BS of stereotypes. The history of my African American ancestors here in America who shed their blood for the human and civil rights hugely benefitted all people of color and women. They are reasons West Indians others enjoy freedoms in America and the opportunities to succeed.

So Raya
Guest
So Raya

CORRECTION: It was not just African Americans who fought on behalf of black people in this nation. Beginning in the 1500s when the Spaniards first landed on North American soil bringing their west indian human property here as “slaves”, Afro‐Caribbean people have made many sacrifices on behalf of black people in this country. The Civil Rights Era is one of the best examples of how black people from all walks of life came together to fight a common cause during the 20th century. Many Civil Rights activists were of Caribbean heritage (partial) or were born in the islands before migrating… Read more »

Sharon Equality-Now Johnson Mi
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Sharon Equality-Now Johnson Mi

Your last two sentences illuminate your limited research. Had your depth and breadth of research been as comprehensive as you suggest, then you would’ve eliminated those comments. Having studied World history, I know the history and struggles of African Americans and Caribbean Americans. We must also include the struggles of Africans in South and Central America. Simply because they’re not in the textbooks you’ve chosen for your research, doesn’t mean they should be negated. Marcus Garvey was Caribbean. Toussaint L’Ourture from Haiti and many more. Haiti fought for and received their freedom before America did. They were asked for their… Read more »

John Thompson
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John Thompson

Another excellent point.

John Thompson
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John Thompson

Excellent point.

Ganadora Loteria
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Ganadora Loteria

And the Haitian Revolution was the first free country in the western hemisphere, which lead to ‘freedom’ for all oppressed people. So this is the reason black Americans enjoy freedoms in America.

Dana Nero
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Dana Nero

Ive always heard that Africans did not like African Americans.As i got older, traveled abroad and met different people, i came to believe that all black people loved each other and that that was just a thing we had been told to keep us seperate. Honestly, they try to play the same trick on us in america. They show us starving children in Africa, mass murders or makeshift rafts filled with Haitian peope washing up on us soil;only to be pushed away and refused entry . we hear nothing of the modern cities and beautiful cultures. This is the 2nd… Read more »

joan pike
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joan pike

They did not own every corner of Africa, ask the Ethiopians about that ;-).

Kyoko Sakata
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Kyoko Sakata

You hit the nail on the head. People with dark skin color are just used to make money and entertainment. Fat jokes, football/basketball, singers and performers, service industry workers…it is okay for blacks to be that but if you try anything else you are not accepted even to the point that some blacks will ask, “Why are you selling out to the man?” This greatly saddens me that everyone can CLEARLY see we are human but idiots let skin color drive stereotypes, hate and everything else dictate how a man or woman is going to be treated. This is world… Read more »

Kim
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Kim

Anybody else think it’s cool that her name is Lisa Frank?

STOP
Guest
STOP

PLEASE stop with this masked self‐contempt and melodrama.

Precious
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Precious

Wow. That’s what you took from her comment? Smh

STOP
Guest
STOP

TRUTH.

STOP
Guest
STOP

Im not sure how I feel about the tone of this article. It suggests that
carribean and african cultures are more synonymous than african American
cultures vs african/Caribbean cultures.”

Exactly! I picked that up too. This post is thinly masked buffoonery and self‐righteousness being passed off as some outstretched olive branch. Chile, PLEASE!

Sugabelly
Guest

I get this in theory, but the point I was making is that we simply don’t think this way. Americans might not know this but you CAN tell Africans apart just by looking visually. And we grow up doing this all the time, so when I see someone, I might come inside my house and say something like “There’s an Edo woman and two Yoruba men standing outside.” We simply don’t grow up reaching for “black” as the first descriptor for a person so it’s very hard to shift into that mindset even if you move to a new country.… Read more »

Cosita
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Cosita

Interesting. Makes sense. I see differences in appearances in different African ethnic groups but many times I can’t pin the features to a specific group. Well I can usually tell someone is East African but Nigerian I usually get from accent. The same way if someone from an African country far from Nigeria came to your door you might not immediately know their ethnicity. Most of my close friends are either immigrants or the children of immigrants. I don’t get what the “issues” are between people. I know my friend from Argentina told me he hates Domincans and Puerto Ricans.… Read more »

Sugabelly
Guest

Yes but why do we care what the racist person sees or thinks though?

mocha87
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mocha87

I get it on both sides. My mother is trinidadian, and my father is jamaican. I was born and raised in america and i feel i dont fit in with my carribean roots. They treat me like an african american even though my roots are carribean. I have been on the side of the fence where i hear my family talking aboit black americans. And ive been on the side where im treated like a regular black american. Its sad but thats the way it is.

Kyoko Sakata
Guest
Kyoko Sakata

I feel similarly to you. My father is African American and my mother is Antiguan, I didn’t struggle with terms of black, African American or British West Indian though I tried to identify through each one and I never found the sweet spot. In my house hold we never derided West Indians or Americans who are black. There are mindsets that are remarkably different but never to the point of us vs them. In my house were are us AND them.

christinanolanXD
Guest
christinanolanXD

I’m British African and I used to think like this (a tiny bit). I’m 15 now but I’m glad I’ve stopped.

christinanolanXD
Guest
christinanolanXD

The hypocrisy of whites is so prevalent.

Take Rihanna and Beyonce.

I’ve seen racist comments by whities on Beyonce’s instagram, calling her a monkey, saying that her daughter looks like an ape.

Rihanna gets nothing.

joan pike
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joan pike

I see AA saying the same about Blue and J. Sad

Newslord
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Newslord

The name of the game is divide and conquer. In reality black is Black. Yes, Some whtes in power (and blacks too) will make a distinction between Black people of the Carribbean and South America vs. Blacks from Africa vs. Blacks from the USA. Ultimately the same discrimination applies in job hunting, getting a mortgage, salary inequities, etc. Ultimately black peoples of the world have more in common with each other than they do with the Whites. Each person regardless of his/her cultural background has talent they have as individuals and steer clear of creating enemies. Don’t hide your origin.… Read more »

Sharon Equality-Now Johnson Mi
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Sharon Equality-Now Johnson Mi

I think you miss the point that even Africans dropped off in the West Indies were also stripped of their culture. As Africans in the new world however, we created our memories of our homeland passed down along the way. Go to the south and you will see, feel and hear taste the remnants of our African ancestry enmeshed into the cultures of the new world..This became our African American culture. It’s as much our African American culture as the Caribbean peoples who created their own based on their geographical influences.. The Black Diaspora is very creative, regardless of our… Read more »

Anya W
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Anya W

It is true that Caribbean peoples have been able to hold on to more of their African culture when compared to African Americans. Caribbean nations were black‐majority nations, despite being ruled by Europeans. This is not the case in America, which was made up of settler colonies and has always been overwhelmingly European. Blacks were inevitably influenced by Europeans in large measure due to those frequent daily interactions with them. It is no coincidence that African Americans who reside in the Low Country (a region made up of isolated South Carolina and Georgia islands that are inhabited almost exclusively by… Read more »

Pepie
Guest
Pepie

Great point. I am West Indian and I know for a fact there is a AA culture. I will start with great food, Music, Arts, people, etc. I once dated a AA from down south, maan I was called the most darling of pet names. Love you guys.

Sharon Equality-Now Johnson Mi
Guest
Sharon Equality-Now Johnson Mi

Black. Regardless of whether you’re Afto‐Italian, Afro‐Indian, etc. Afro means black. Be proud of it.

Sharon Equality-Now Johnson Mi
Guest
Sharon Equality-Now Johnson Mi

This is terribly annoying to presume the civil rights struggle was simply relegated to African American Natives. The civil rights struggle was carried out by all black people in the USA and the Caribbean! Being Black in America, doesn’t mean your ancestors were only located in mainland America. Slave owners moved slaves between their plantations in the USA and Caribbean. I can trace my ancestors to generations of American Native born, to their brothers and sisters in the Caribbean and back. It’s so ridiculous that people make these ignorant statements. Black people of all ‘stripes’ fought the civil rights movement… Read more »

Nissi
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Nissi

Wow, what a relief, thanks for this! Now I know that I am not crazy and finally have explanation for what I have been experiencing. It’s not just me and my imagination. Within my worship context of what has become a majority Caribbean / West Indian population, I as an African American have been living the phenomena in your article and found this to be a pronounced and yes, painful, issue for me. Expecting everyone to come together spiritually in the name of Christ the Lord with an open heart and “kumbaya” together (since we’re all of African descent), and… Read more »

JoAnn Gardner
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JoAnn Gardner

After I read the book, King Leopold’s Ghost — I knew without a doubt how the game worked. Once upon a time I worked for a law‐firm, and met a young‐lady from the Congo. She barely spoke to me, and chose to spend all her time with “Americans”. It took time, but I finally became acquainted with her, enough to recommend the book for her reading pleasure. I chose THIS book, because it was written by an “American” (which carries more weight with some), and because she was from that region. I advised her, that IF, she read it, she… Read more »

Coolbean
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Coolbean

Thumbs up a thousand times. I’m gonna read this book.

OnPace
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OnPace

My ex‐husband is African and his disdain for my people and our culture was always a point of contention. My own daughter once referred to me as “you people.” Don’t worry I quickly set her straight reminding her, “Anybody could be yo daddy. It’s for sure I’m yo mama.” Our sons have also expressed to me that he speaks so badly of Black Americans that they’ve had to remind him, “Dad, we’re your kids too.” The really sad thing is he’s oblivious to the fact that he’s just a pawn. He really thinks he’s better.

Coolbean
Guest
Coolbean

God, I’m really sorry you went through that. And it doesn’t surprise me your daughter said that to you. I’ve heard stories from friends (I’m Somali BTW) when the civil war happened in Somalia a daughter telling her own mother “It’s our turn now and we’ll get our day in the sun”. Mind you her father’s tribe was slaughtering her mother’s tribe. And She was never raised by her father’s tribe but her mother’s. I Think Africans are stupid. Not all but some. And their stupidity sometimes is hereditary. I love African Americans. I feel that we need to come… Read more »

Connor Meyer
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Connor Meyer

HAITIANS ARE NOT WEST INDIAN. You should do your research before spreading misinformation. Again, HAITIANS ARE NOT WEST INDIAN.

Bigg King
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Bigg King

Bleh, they’re caribbean so it doesn’t matter

Connor Meyer
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Connor Meyer

So is the case for Puerto Ricans, Cubans and Dominicans. It does matter. There is a big difference between Caribbean and West Indian. It only doesn’t matter to the next generation filled with anti‐intellectuals, anti‐rationalists and other proud‐to‐be‐morons. Haitians are not WEST INDIAN, they’re Caribbean.

Fixer
Guest
Fixer

um, West Indian is the group of people from or inhabiting the region of the West Indies. if you didn’t know, the West Indies are the Caribbean, before you talk about “anti‐intellectuals” do your research before you make a bold claim. Carribean people have different labels thanks to different names given to the region and whatever they go by does not matter as long as you know their the same thing.

Ron
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Ron

But don’t African Americans have more history and achievements far more than any other group of blacks I think you would have to compare all the other blacks around the world to equate to wait African Americans have done

Ganadora Loteria
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Ganadora Loteria

First of all, no you don’t have more history and achievements far more than any other ‘group of blacks’. And, you do realize that many of the history and achievements that black/African Americans have are by immigrants and 1st/2nd/3rd generation Americans, right?

Also, America, the country, has more resources and black/African Americans benefit from those resources (which are mostly exploits of predominantly black and brown countries and labour), so you should be ‘doing better’ than anyone else.

Outlaw Star
Guest
Outlaw Star

by whose standards?

Just saying!!
Guest
Just saying!!

This is awesome! As an African‐American, I have often experienced disdain from Caribbeans, and i believe black immigrants have probably had their share of experiences being criticized by African‐Americans as well, but I was always of the belief that it is the “divide and conquer” mentality. It only benefits one group of people for us to constantly be trying to figure out who the better slave is (sort of speak). I’m so glad you chose to no longer be a victim of that mentality. Whether we like it or not, all of us around the world have been impacted my… Read more »

Ganadora Loteria
Guest
Ganadora Loteria

Although I recognize, acknowledge and appreciate this post by Lisa Jean Francois, it is very one sided, which is expected of a personal piece. I hope this conversation is expanded to speak about xenophobia, erasure, centering and privilege black/African Americans have and exibit towards non‐US black people. This is also a serious issue that is often, if not always, over looked. In the same sense that cis‐gender black men centre their bodies, their struggles, their voices, their narrative over those of black women, black/African Americans do that to non‐US black people. Just like cis‐gender black men have certain privilege(s) over… Read more »

Osato
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Osato

It’s one‐sided because it stems from her personal experience

Ganadora Loteria
Guest
Ganadora Loteria

Although I recognize, acknowledge and appreciate this post by Lisa Jean Francois, it is very one sided, which is expected of a personal piece.” — the first sentence in my response.

Notice how I mentioned it being expected to be one‐sided because it is a personal piece.

Osato
Guest
Osato

We should, but we all know why we aren’t…let’s not play the blame game here though

Ganadora Loteria
Guest
Ganadora Loteria

I wasn’t playing the blame game. I replied to a post that implied that black/African Americans are superior to other non‐US black people.

Jarrett Guilbe Gaymon
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Jarrett Guilbe Gaymon

I’d like to expand the conversation then as I’m glad you bring up this concern about xenophobia, erasure and privilege that you say African‐Americans have and exude. African‐Americans do not enjoy privilege over non‐American black people in the US in anywise, in fact, we are seen as inferior and lazy because that is the narrative that is ascribed us by popular culture here. The xenophobia of which you speak is not widespread, and that of it which does exist is a direct response to the treatment we receive by non‐American black people that by and large have the same disdain… Read more »

Ganadora Loteria
Guest
Ganadora Loteria

Although I do agree with you that much of the attitudes we have towards each other as black people in the diaspora stem from a colonizers lens, it does not take away privileges that certain black people have over other groups of black people, which also stems from said colonization. When I speak of black/African Americans, I am speaking of social conditioning as opposed to individuals. I assumed this was understood. And of course black/African Americans experience discrimination by non‐US black people, I never stated otherwise. I said, “…let us please add some context to this dialogue” because this was… Read more »

Sach
Guest
Sach

Thank you for pointing that some of the the prejudices can be reciprical. I had Affrican Americans say things like you are Haitian but you don’t look Haitian. You are not ugly and dark. Or do you practice voodoo since you are Haitian? There is a complex and symbiotic relationship between being a black and a foreigner in this country. In some ways we are different in that we didn’t grew up or least made to feel inferior and criminalized on a daily basis implicitly and explicitly. We still have to deal with the oppressing remnants of slavery and colonialism… Read more »

Tanaquil
Guest
Tanaquil

I would never see myself as being above American Blacks because I am West Indian because at the end of the days, we are all Black. We may have grown up in different cultures, but we should teach each other instead of being divisive. I do not think that there is one singular way to be Black just like there is no one way to be White, Asian. Latino, African, etc.

Anya W
Guest
Anya W

And you do realize that none of the achievements of 1st/2nd/3rd generation Americans would even be possible without African Americans having paved the way in every respect, right? It was the Civil Rights Act of 1964, a law that was primarily the product of the work of African Americans, which made it illegal to discriminate against someone not just based on their race, but also their national origin. America as it is now — a place where a non‐white immigrant can come and make a huge success of him/herself — is a new America that African Americans have worked hard… Read more »

Sach
Guest
Sach

You are right African Americans have fought the fight that has allowed us to get educated in these illustrious US Universities, not to have to sit at the back of the bus and many other human rights. Those opportunities granted to us by their efforts can at times make us feel we are superior and AA resentful that we are taking opportunities that are deemed theirs. The laughable part is that white women have been the most beneficiaries of the civil rights movement. So there we go again fighting over a very small piece of the pie when someone else’s… Read more »

Anya W
Guest
Anya W

I guess someone had better let people like Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, and black Union soldiers (such as my 3rd great grandfather) know that they aren’t responsible for African Americans’ freedom — Haitians are. Your post is a huge overstatement. Firstly, the enslavement of African Americans lasted for over a half‐century after the Haitian Revolution and Jim Crow didn’t end until the 1960s. Thus, the Haitian Revolution is not “the reason black Americans enjoy freedoms in America”. The rights that African Americans enjoy today are largely the product of our own fights and our own advocacy (though that is not… Read more »

Anya W
Guest
Anya W

Welcome to race in America. Your experience is a legacy of the one‐drop rule. You’d be surprised to know that most African Americans are actually genetically both African and European (sometimes Native American, as well, but less so) as a result of the frequent raping of black women during slavery, yet we’ve only ever been considered “black”, “negro”, or whatever the term was that was being used at the time. This served the purpose of ensuring that white supremacy continued in America, while also protecting the “purity” of the white race. The mindset persists today without many people realizing where… Read more »

Anya W
Guest
Anya W

America has exploited black Americans far more than it has exploited any individual country — black, white, or brown — so why you believe it necessary for black Americans to understand “how much America has exploited predominantly black/brown countries around the world” is beyond me. The only group who has been exploited as much by America are the Native Americans. Secondly, it’s rather ignorant to assume that black Americans do not already understand that America has treated other nations poorly. You seem to know very little about the history of the people you seem to think you know so much… Read more »

Anya W
Guest
Anya W

“Why is it that Italians/Irish/British are able to distinguish themselves culturally without being criticized? Nobody tells them that they shouldn’t see themselves as “Italians” because “at the end of the day white is white”. This rhetoric is unheard of.” That is a bad comparison because you’re comparing white Americans — the majority group that has never had identity/race issues — to black Americans — a minority group that has had many identity/race issues. It is unheard of because white Americans are not negatively judged by society simply because they are white, without regard to their ethnic origins. So, you wouldn’t… Read more »

R.Cola
Guest
R.Cola

They don’t have race/identity issues because their own people don’t have a problem with their own cultural identity. If a white person says they’re Italian, the odds of another white person saying “Yeah well White is white and being italian doesn’t mean you’re not white” And IMO we have this issue because of people who believe this statement is ok.… “You can choose to identify as Jamaican, Nigerian, or whatever, but black Americans know from hundreds of years worth of experience in America that nothing will ever negate your blackness.” What is that supposed to mean? Being Jamaican/Nigerian/Dominican etc. doesn’t… Read more »

JahNikki
Guest
JahNikki

Ganadora, you can’t be serious, right? Historically, the achievements by Black Americans have been gained by just that, Black Americans. The hard work, sacrifice, discrimination, and such experienced by Black Americans have paved the way for immigrants from the West Indies and Africa to be able to come here and flourish. If there was no Civil Rights Movement, I doubt there would be any Black people with the achievements they have today — Black American, West Indian, or African.

Oh, and I’m 1/2 Nigerian and 1/2 Black American, so I’ve seen both sides of the coin.

smartytrousers
Guest
smartytrousers

You generalized with no examples. What are you referring to when you say this?

MyTake305
Guest
MyTake305

Great article. I’m “African American,” born and raised in Miami and I’ve definitely observed this dynamic.

Black people will do anything they can to set themselves apart from whatever they consider to be a stereotypical black person. It’s not only Caribbean versus AA versus African… it’s also a class thing. African Americans who’s reached a certain status will try to disassociate with Black Americans as a whole.

It’s so f*cked up and utterly sad we can’t take full pride in being a black person. That being something other than black is preferred. So f*cking sad.

Sach
Guest
Sach

There is a complex and symbiotic relationship between being a black and a foreigner in this country. In some ways we are different in that we didn’t grew up or least made to feel inferior and criminalized on a daily basis implicitly and explicitly. We still have to deal with the oppressing remnants of slavery and colonialism like colourism and being other. African Americans have fought the fight that has allowed us to get educated in these illustrious US Universities, not to have to sit at the back of the bus and many other human rights. Those opportunities granted to… Read more »

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