FYI: "Black" doesn't mean "African-American"
A conversation on blackness, ethnicity, nationality, and identity. Not in strict chronological order - somewhat rearranged so the conversation flows more logically.
- And the person who said this was a historian! It was something.
- More on why some white people are uncomfortable saying "Black" because of how others say it.
- [Still thinking this part out, so it's in progress and might change!] I think there's something here about "ethnic" being implicitly understood as having some proximity or access to whiteness. Relevant context: the cultural annihilation that was and still is part of U.S. white supremacy and colonialism - robbing African-descended slaves of their history, language, customs. Black American cultures come out of that; there's a relatedness to African cultures of origin but they're uniquely American. Which I think makes it difficult to talk about the difference ethnicity and nationality make within blackness - to Black identity and experience - in an American context because there's this quite reasonable assumption of a certain history and experience that Black immigrants don't necessarily have or understand (and vice versa, Black immigrant histories and cultures are often not understood). To put it more concisely, there's not much space in dominant U.S. discourse on race to talk about the Black diaspora, culturally or geographically.