Reading this article and all of the responses to it has been very interesting and informative to me. I refer to myself as black rather than African-American because my skin color and hair texture affect how I am perceived more than my lived cultural experience does. But I do not reject the term African-American, as it is linguistically and historically accurate. My mother’s side of the family originated on the African continent, though where exactly I have not traced.

What troubles me is the tendency of some in the USA to refer to anyone with African features as “African-American” without actually knowing their background. There are black people native to many countries throughout the world, some of whom have moved to America but do not identify as African-Americans. When speaking of individuals, rather than culture, I find it simpler to refer to folks as “black” unless they indicate a preference otherwise.

Queer agender trans male. Black vegan atheist, photographer, blogger. Pronouns: they/them/their. http://funcrunch.org, https://www.patreon.com/funcrunch

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store