If I rubbed a magic lamp and a genie could grant me one thing: To be called AMERICAN and not AFRICAN-AMERICAN. My response would be: “I’d rather be considered African instead, is that an option?”
If I were ever forced to choose, I’d keep African and sadly drop American. After about three days of seeing all the social media frenzy; I prepared myself to finally watch Oprah’s interview. Sure enough, after Mama Morrison taught us we live in a country that forces us to hyphenate… I was surprise to hear Raven-Symoné say that she would leave off African and keep just American.
African is more than just a label to me it’s my crown.
This conversation has caused conflict inside of me because I would be unwilling to ignore the fact that my interesting grade of hair happens to curls just like Makeda and Mandela.
I’m sure the tangled roots of my hair will tell me every story from Mama Walker all the way back to the Ashanti comb.
I know that for me, my family tree starts on the South Side of Chicago but I‘m quite sure if I took the time to trace those tangled roots the journey would lead me back through all the dogwood trees that hung strange fruit and would probably drop me somewhere under a Marula Tree and I would be able to find my way home from there.
I consider myself African then American. But that’s just me.
Now maybe you would like it better if we used the term American-Africans but surely we should never choose to drop African.