Sun, 19 Feb 2023 Feature Article

What Makes You African?

What Makes You African?

African is not a geographic term, but a racial term like Asian. There are Asians in the US who have been there since the 1840s and even before, having paved the very railroads that connect America's Pacific to the Atlantic. No matter how long they have been in America, people still respect their identity as Asian.

When the European told the Asian he was a Yellow man, the Asian said, "My identity is not a color, but the continent of my heritage."

Then the European told the Asian he is "Oriental" and the Asian responded, "Oriental is an object from the direction meaning East. I am not an object nor am I a direction. I am the continent of my heritage. I am Asian." As a result, Euro-Americans are forced to address Asians as "Asian", even if they speak not a word of an Asian language and have been in America for over 170 years. Even when calling them "Asian Americans," it is the "Asian" part that takes precedence and often stands alone to identify them.

Why should we allow Europeans to reduce our identity to a color and not the continent of our heritage? Garvey and Nkrumah proclaimed that We are African, whether at home or abroad. To deny your identity as an African--even if a colonized continental African doesn't recognize you--is to deny the very dna of your body. Your melanin of your body and the tight spiral of your hair are not random, but designs by NATURE for a human to thrive in the climate of Africa. Thus NATURE is defining you still as BUILT FOR AFRICA and therefore African, regardless of what other place you have been displaced.

Your ancestors, your dna, is African. According to the African spiritual scriptures, we don't simply "have" ancestors, we are the reincarnation of our ancestors and thus if they are African so are we.

Edward Mitole