Singer Justine Skye took to her Instagram account to address those who challenge her choice to identify solely as Jamaican and not American, despite being born here.
I noticed some people getting upset that I say I’m Jamaican although I was born in America.. I don’t need to prove myself to anyone.. but I’ve grown up all my life, coming to Jamaica multiple times a year, visiting my Jamaican family with my Jamaican parents and grandparents, in a Jamaican house hold.
that’s the problem, everyone is so busy trying to tell everyone else who they are.. when they don’t even know what they’re talking about let alone know themselves.
Hispanic kids not born in DR or PR aren’t Dominican or Puerto Rican? Asian kids born in America aren’t Chinese, Korean, Japanese, etc?
America is a melting pot, filled with people of all colors, shapes and sizes from different places in the world. different cultures.. who are you to tell someone where they come from?
Justine has a point. Many bi-cultural Americans identify solely with their non-US ethnicity (Dominican, Puerto Rican, Nigerian), and this could be for a variety of reasons — family influence, a stronger feeling of identification, feeling rejected within American culture. On the other hand, ‘othering’ in black culture is nothing new. Also it is disingenuous, on some level, to exist in, benefit from and be influenced by American culture without acknowledging it in any way. If we’re being 100% real, it’s not like Justine launched her singing career in Jamaica. It’s here in the United States.
Does identifying strongly with a home culture always boil down to othering? And do we allow for enough diversity *within* the black experience in America? What are your thoughts?