Cultural Portrayals of African Americans: Creating An Ethnic/Racial Identity

By Janis Faye Hutchinson | Go to book overview

black preachers of race hate who mimic white racists, blackness and whiteness are different in their history and assumptions. Martin Luther King, Jr., looked forward to a time when people would be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. In this he merely urged white Americans to behave like black Americans. Although blackness is not perfect, and although many black Americans accept the color hierarchy, other Americans might do well to emulate a culture that rewards those who love their children, respect the elderly, serve their community, and believe in God. Second, blacks must accept the idea that many persons who are phenotypically black do not wish to be black. Recent immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean wish to hold on to their national identity, the grandchildren of Cape Verdean immigrants wish to maintain a sense of being Cape Verdean, and many new immigrants from Africa are committed to an African ethnicity. Some biracials of African ancestry want to separate themselves from the African-American community. While the majority of these persons appreciate the long African-American struggle for justice, most of them are committed to it, and some of them consider themselves as black, they do not want to see their sense of self submerged in blackness. The culture of blackness demands that African Americans allow these people not to be black. Just as the slaves allowed persons of mixed race ancestry to be black, so must their descendants allow persons of mixed race not to be black if this is their choice.


REFERENCES

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