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Until lions tell their tale, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter
– African Proverb
Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will
– Frederick Douglass
The most pathetic thing is for a slave who doesn't know that he is a slave
– Malcolm X
Every man is rich in excuses to safeguard his prejudices, his instincts, and his opinions.
– Ancient Egypt
The people of Africa' is more than a name, it is linked to indigenous rights and issues of sovereignty. 'Blackness' fails at every level in both the historical and political context. Africans are the natural people of Africa: The hair, the skin, are all specific adaptations to living in the African landscape.
– 'Alik Shahadah
What kind of world do we live in when the views of the oppressed are expressed at the convenience of their oppressors?
– 'Alik Shahadah
We are not Africans because we are born in Africa, we are Africans because Africa is born in us.
– Chester Higgins Jr.
Leave no brother or sister behind the enemy line of poverty.
– Harriet Tubman
If we stand tall it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.
– African Proverb
If we do not stop oppression when it is a seed, it will be very hard to stop when it is a tree.
– ' Alik Shahadah
If the future doesn't come toward you, you have to go fetch it
– Zulu Proverb
The formation of a race-identity is necessary for the authentic notion of ones community as an autonomous agent. Without identity, there is no agency, and certainly no history to draw from. Regardless of how identity is formed (race, religion, geographical) it always shares the same objectives and has similar personalities in instructing a stronger group bond. African identity is not a monolithic personality, but neither is it "undefinable" because of its diversity. African identity does not rest on negation for its parameters but on inherent social, cultural, physical trends subjectively identified— for political reason— across diverse communities and nations.
Tribe, race, nation, ethnicity, are all anthropologically and ontologically identical— all are constructions with the same objectives. Therefore to invalidate 'race,' is 100% to also invalidate 'tribe' and 'nation'. "We all belong to this nation," because of a common mythological political construction. It is just as "made up" as race, it also functions as a power fulcrum, just like race.
But belief in difference should never, in a world of intelligence and humanity, be an excuse for antagonism. Some will point to the history of humanity to illustrate the violence in notions of identity (Zionism, Nazism, etc). But just as many examples exist of rainbows of difference coexisting, exchanging, sharing, the fruit of diversity. But if there is a lack of an autonomous identity that is perhaps why the benchmark will always be set by the hostile "other." It is that unique identity that allows multiculturalism, and moreover multicultural contributions to humanity. And how do you integrate your diversity into any society when you do not know yourself?
There is zero point talking about anything in the African world unless you first clarify African identity. You cannot talk about slavery without discussing identity — It is impossible. In every instance, slavery (Arab and European), colonialism, apartheid, identity was the criteria for those systems: And lack of a Pan-African identity is what allowed all those systems to be so effective. And while some might want to escape to the hills of a raceless world, know that wherever we go, someone is seeing us by our identity. Race in the case of the African, is the first thing people see when you show up at an immigration border, long before religion, way before ethnicity, political alignment. It supersedes notions of nationality, class, academic qualification, or social-economic status: If it is so visible then it must be real, and therefore a serious discourse.
"There is no such thing as race" seems to be the new anthem of modern liberals, it is a shame someone did not share this "fact" with the millions of victims of the African Holocaust (colonialism, enslavement, and apartheid). It falls into the same logic as "there is no such thing as God.." well considering the reoccurrence of God and Race in human lives it would be fair to say it is real enough to merit a very serious discussion (at least).
"It is not politically correct to discuss race" while almost everything in the last 500 years is because of race exploitation, of course they want the question of race off the table. As Martin Delany would argue that there is no time that race is not a principle factor in World politics ~ See Trayvon vs. Zimmerman
These habits exist, and manifest, with or without these definitions, in all human behaviorism. What they are really saying is: "The world would be better if Africans didn't see our ancestry, culture and history, and lost our memory of the ongoing African Holocaust." Failing to define oneself only means failing to have a frame of meaningful reference to describe one's experiences.
And where agency comes into play the self-determined definition must be done by those who hold the interest of African people and are loyal and sensitive to the history and culture(s), as well as the politics of race. This cannot therefore be done by politicians or the apex oppressor and their agents.
It would be unwise to leave identity to float around when someone's notion of African identity was what transported 20 million people out of Africa during the African Holocaust. There were not too many conferences on African identity during the apartheid era; they knew who we were, so it is strange that people are vague on these critical issues.
NO IDENTITY = NO DEFENSE
Now because Africans, are weak on identity, it means the group cannot quickly defend interest directly related to the group. So the South African protest to inequity has a slower rate of spread because Botswana, for example, cannot see its story in the SA Story; Nigeria cannot see its story in the South African story. The African connection is lost because Nigeria is Nigerian before being African, South African Africans are South Africans way before being African. But the Arab Libyan story is understood in an instance in Yemen, Sudan, and Egypt. That is the blessing of an identity, and it explains why Palestine is the rallying cry around the Arab world because two sources of identity exist; We are Arab, and We are Muslims. In a flash any offense to either of those identity structures can create a mass response.
HUMAN DIVISIVE NATURE
Bob Marley sung a song based on Haile Selassie speech, the message is a powerful statement which is a declaration of our basic human rights. It does not however say Race is a problem, but racism is a problem. Race should not confer privilege.
In Somalia what is there to divide over? Same religion, one language, one culture, one people. It is the most homogeneous community in the world, yet one of the most troublesome regions in Africa. Thwarting the notion of "sameness" holds any solutions for humanity. There is no requirement to be like your neighbor to be a good neighbor. Humanity will always seek divisions even if everyone was tall, blonde, blue-eyed and Christian.
Human diversity is a mercy, but humans ironically turn this mercy into a curse. Denying race is not part of the process to peace, regardless of how much horror has been caused in the name of race. No more so than ignoring a malignant tumor is a good cure for cancer. With or without modern constructions of "race" humans will find a reason to sub-divide-- it is a hard wired defensive and self-serving mechanism in human DNA. Social experiments show that even if everyone in a group are European, blonde, blue -eyed and tall they will over time naturally find a reason to "tribalize." So the only way is to understand, tolerate and celebrate difference – since it will always exist.
"Racially essentialism means that groups are seen as possessing an essences-- a natural, supernatural, or mystical characteristic -- that makes them share a fundamental similarity with all members of the group and a fundamental difference with non-members. The essences is understood in racialist thinking as being immune to social forces. It does not change with time or social context. In essentialist thought, Blacks in the African nation of Malawi, for example, and Blacks today share a fundamental similarity with Blacks in ancient Nubia thousands of years ago" - Algernon Austin
Austin certainly has a valid academic point, but all people seek their identity this way. It is certainly true for the 2000 year history of Jewish people. It is also true for Arab people, it is true for the people of China. Deconstructionialist intellectualism does very little to deal with the fact that all people's identification with ancient groups is part of their identity formation--mythical or otherwise.(Shlomo Sand, 2010) The Shona with Zimbabwe, the modern Italians with Ancient Rome, the Jews with David. Jews went so far as to displace an entire indigenous nation to restore their pseudo-historical claims to an ancient mythical title deeds. Right or wrong, true or false, it is a consistent aspect of human social behavior-- to identify with that which looks like you, or with legacy which embolden your national ideology. (e.g. See Nazi German's Aryan claims)
You can be from Africa (many Arabs, etc) but that doesn't satisfy being African in terms of self-identity; and we must deal with the two realities. Having African heritage and identifying with that heritage is a sociological aspect of being African. 20 Years ago, if you asked many African-Americans if they were African they would kick you in the mouth -- as that was considered offensive. Today these same people proudly identify as being African people. So in considering identity was must weigh in a communities exposure to information of self in making constructive opinions of self. So there is no valid point in saying "Black people in Columbia prefer to black to African" when it is clear these communities are still starve of knowledge of pride in their plural identities and are acting out self-hatred. So "self-determination" is not a sacred cow especially when full knowledge is absent.
Noemie Lenoir would be far more accepted as being African (especially if she said nothing about her heritage) than Miss Jones. But Miss Jones has more "right" to any African ancestral claims than Miss Lenoir. Gadaffi satisfies only 3 and 4, and while clearly an advocate for Africans, this alone does not make him an African person, despite his African sensibilities; which are much more defined than many "real" Africans.
So therefore somewhere in the African gene pool there must be the natural ability to produce a diverse human; with diverse hair texture and diverse skin color. So any African living in a cooler region would naturally have lighter skin (South Africa for example). The climate of Ethiopia would favor straighter hair, the jungles of Cameroon would favor squatter body structure, the deep equatorial heat might favor dark skin. African diversity is a child of time (Nehusi), and many times we fail to realize Africans have had over 120,000 years to be diverse. Another way of understanding this is the history of humanity is largely the history of people of Africa. The other "races" of the world have been here for less than 50-60,000 years of human history. And this explains why two Africans can have more genetic diversity between them than a the diversity between a European and a Chinese. Indians who have the narrowest genetic diversity of any national group still possess serious diversity in eye color, skin color, yet no one suggests that this implies the pale green eyed Kashmiri ( کٔشِیر) is "less" Asian, than the Tamel in Southern India.
With regard to Ethiopia, one cannot become an Arab just because you cross the 22km gap into Yemen from Ethiopia, and then be mixed just because those people in Yemen walk back into Africa. And Ancient gene pool mixing is common for most groups so that is virtually negligible as an admixture argument. The features in East Africa are just as African as the noses on the Wolof and the epicanthic fold "Chinese eyes" in Southern Africa. (Also Sandawe and Khoisan)
Being African cannot be defined by Europeans or Arabs, in the same way Africans play no part in the definition of “Who is a Jew” or “who is a Caucasian.” To return to Israel (aliyah) you need to pass the "Who is a Jew" test. Through controversial, and still ambiguous, it exists because it is so important to maintaining an Israel of White Jewish people. In others words fear of alienation or the complexities of identity did not stop the occupying state of Israel from defining "who is a Jew". This definition is not set by Germans or Arabs or even the British.  Equally African will not be defined by politicians who service the business interest of the minority, nor any European or Indian minority settling in Africa. Minority cannot define a majority.
There is no service in adding Whites who happen to be born in Africa to that box when there are no historical or sociological similarities, except a relationship of one oppressing the other.
However, the irony does not end there, because as soon as this very identity starts servicing a stronger global African block then it is challenged by the same people who for centuries profited from it. And while seeking to restrict African people from accessing identity, they continue to extend their privilege through race-based opportunism. The ideas of race-based Pan-Africanism are not unique, we see the same arguments in Zionism (there are differences because Zionism has no ethics). The EU is no different, although the EU is not race base by definition, the reality is it is also not overrun with so-called ethnic minorities. So the EU does not have to worry about defining its unity by race when it is already securely controlled by the dominant race class, added to that Europe is already a majority White nation. Africa on the other hand is not so fortunate, and despite dominance in numbers -- that dominance is not reflected in the real economic power.
All non-African females are descendants of L3 line from Africa, and males have Y chromosome M-168
The common retort to African identity is nested in the genetic revelation that we are all "out of Africa." However, modern race did not exist when we "all left Africa." Moreover, no ethnic European walked out of Africa and into Europe. It was pigmented people from Africa who were transformed and genetically altered to give rise to modern races. This process was over millennium in accordance with the environmental conditions in the specific geographies: White skin in Europe, stocky bodies in the mountains of Nepal. "Out of Africa" has nothing to do with race, it has to do with genetic migration patterns; race is a social reality not a scientific one.
Even if we look deeper into genetics; where did Europeans become European? In Africa or in Europe? Where did Chinese become Chinese? In Africa or in China? Living for 20,000 of years in Europe created the modern European with unique gene mutation, which occurred only in Europe, as a branch from the gene pool of the Central Asia stock. These mutations were in direct response to the climate and events of Europe not Africa. Because if we use this argument then we could also say that, we are all single cell organisms because that is our common origin. Haplogroups do not represent modern ethnicities, but prehistoric adaptations that predate any modern self identification. The African is the result of a parallel response to the climatic conditions of Africa. And while Africans were continuing to respond to the African environment, the modern day European was doing the same, but in Europe.
And every feature that strayed from that White standard became labeled as being ugly. So the same thick lips that everyone is lining up for at plastic surgeries around the world were first labeled as ugly and at odds with the "beauty construct". Still to this day this perception of European beauty runs havoc on the African mind as kinky hair is poisoned straight and dark skin is bleached white.
They have for a long time argued that these groups are not "true Africans." or in the case of Egypt "Egyptians were not black Africans" when the very term "black African" and "Sub-Saharan African" are racist constructions in colonial theory. This is why the term black is so problematic because it is based on a mis-observation of perceived skin color which is used to define populations which might not share anything in common; For example the people of Australia and Solomon Islands.
The term Hamite was applied to different populations within Africa, mainly comprising Ethiopians, Eritreans, Somalis, Berbers, and Nubians. Hamites were regarded as Caucasoid peoples who probably originated in either Arabia or Asia on the basis of their cultural, physical and linguistic similarities with the peoples of those areas. Europeans considered Hamites to be more civilized than Black Africans, and more akin to themselves and other Semitic peoples. But many factors go into phenotypical features, and admixture is one factor, but certainly not the exclusive source. Ethiopians are Africans and some have dead straight hair while Diaspora people with kinky hair and thick noses might have European ancestry (like Henry Louis Gates). Human features are far more complex and have no allegiance to social constructions of "Black people v. White people." The straight nose of the Fulani is no less or more African than the thick nose of the Hutu.
(See photo of Meles v Bashir). Africans have always been diverse, and dark skin or thick lips has nothing to do with a more "historical" African. Actually the further back we go we see the so-called Bantu type is a recent African group who expanded during successive Bantu expansions. This expansion displaced many other "types" of Africans, such as the so-called pygmy people (Baka) of the Cameroon who are much smaller in stature and much lighter in complexion.
Difference does not mean different race. And how an ethnic group sees itself as distinct from other ethnic groups (as in the case of Egypt) does not mean Ancient Egyptians were not African. Only that they were another 'type' of African.
Race is also used very strategically by the dominant race class; as much as "race" doesn't exist it exists very quickly when Africans start claiming the achievements of Ancient Egypt. The Egyptians are tanned white people and the Nubians are black-skinned Caucasians. The racial classification switches to keep African contributions to civilization out of reach. So we see those who classify Egypt as a native African civilization being labeled as pseudo historians while to assert the White identity of Egypt is not called "ethnocentric" -- but history.
As oppose to going the predictable route of selecting thick nose Ancient Egyptian images as evidence of their Africanity we just need to show how Ghanaians paint themselves versus the Ethiopian self-aesthetic versus the Egyptian self-aesthetic and ask what is so radically different in these different ethnic depictions?
Under a geographical microscope what is understood as "race" in one society is not the same in another. Historically, In every instances, European self-interest is the overriding factor regardless of if it is "race whitening" in Brazil or "coloreds" in South Africa or the "one-drop rule " of America. In every instance "race" theories have been constructed to services the interest of White/European people.
And today, Brazilian government still racially classifies the population in five categories: white, black, pardo (brown), yellow, and indigenous.
We are all too familiar with the argument of class being a higher factor in oppression than "race" however in Brazil it has been argued that class ascension may be open to people of "mixed race", but a typically African person will consistently be discriminated and identified as "black" regardless of wealth or social status.
Every nation's origins are rarely carved in the hard rock of reality, more so in the brazen political reality of the human historiography. Race behaves as super-national identity of people who share common ancestry, history, culture and geography.  The myth of an Ancient Zulu people is really a story about the conquest of Chaka Zulu in our recent history. The process of that conquest created a Zulu identity, naturally at the expense of a lot of diversity; This is the story of almost all nations. Even when non-violent forces are at play identities are absorbed and nations become bigger than their origins.
One commonality across the span of time is the notion of "Us" and "them," where them are never good people. (Greek notion of the less sophisticated "other" despite the Persians being more advanced). Being African is not a virtue, which equals righteousness, it is just a human sociological/political grouping. Pride in oneself is healthy because it gives us the confidence to be productive in this world. But exclusively clinging to race as the ultimate human value can lead to terrible consequences (Europeans in Africa). But too much "race pride "is a dangerous pursuit, it is only necessary to strengthen us due to an ongoing assault on Africa, as a race. Because justice and truth do not run concurrently with racial lines. Obama may make us proud because he is an African, but this should never be used to say "I support Obama in his campaign of imperialism, just because he is African."
So we in dealing with African identity is the ontological sense we see that the state of "being African" is not defined only by our outward appearance (biological or cultural), but by our ethics and our ethos; sensiblities and paradigms. But this discourse requires a completly different paper because there is a very vivid distinction between defininig a race, and defining an ontological African being. Because culture, religion, all modulates identity. It is deeply subjective, and even more problematic to say these set of virtues make one more African and these set of virtues take you outside of the African ideal.
Just like a nuclear arms race, if your neighbors are defining themselves political exigencies means you must also. While using the formula of relative truth against political necessity we must be sensitive to the looming nemesis of any social study into race. Ethnonational character is shifting and acts out of necessity — Outside of this, defining African has no merits. The notion of race therefore is a mockery of every other discipline save politics and sociology. So the expression "We African people" is a modern phenomenon projected back into a history that would not have any use for it.
The concept of Du Boisian "double consciousness" has three manifestations. First, the power of white stereotypes on African life and thought (being forced into a context of misrepresentation of one's own people while also having the knowledge of reflexive truth, the instrument of this is mainly media). Second, the racism that excluded African people from the mainstream of society, being a full member of the national identity. Finally, the internal conflict between being African and American (or any national identity) simultaneously. So the notion of Blackness in the Dubois construction of double consciousness can actually be largely an identity created by the other. An Identity can become a straitjacket and conflict with notions of "self", clearly it is largely imposed by institutional and other factors. Kwame Appiah is very good at exploring these dilemmas but unfortunately not good at resolving them, except inside his psychoanalytical idealistic posh head-space.  Because all of this is stated in a dialectical need for balance, yet none of this deters the reality that today Africans (by the very definition given here) are the most oppressed race from China to Chile.
Being African should never trample Zulu identity; it cannot make Amhara identity redundant. Being Amhara is a rich heritage, as important to the Amhara as snow is to the Inuit. We must go deeper than just being Nigerian, and being African for our identity for creating a diverse Africa. Nigerian is a colonial imposition, no one was Nigerian when the Hausa ruled the North under the Sokoto Caliphate. But at another level, first we are an African people, because of the necesity of that political/cultural grouping. But Africans, as diverse ethnic groups, still all have a unique history and culture that cannot be lost — must not be lost. Being Hausa is language, dance, culture, ideology, worldview, we need that just as we need to know about that and preserve that. Maturity now means we do not let these differences and these identities divide us. It is identical to the concept of Ibn Khaldun of (Arabic: عصبية, ʻaṣabīya).
The idea of different "races" is as old as the history of modern people. The difference between our modern multicultural world and the ancient world was in antiquity the term was localized—not globalized. So that the Ancient Egypt vs. the Hykos, it was more related to ethnic and national differences. The Ancient Habesha vs. the African from Ancient Sudan. Everyone had their local notion of tribe, nation, or race. Race is just a modern word representing a social taxonomy. Most anthropologists and biologists view race as a political grouping with roots in slavery and colonialism. The number of races and who belongs in each race have shifted over time and nations in response to political purposes. Race is therefore a product of a politically and ideologically globalized world. But it is still and extension on notions of difference, which have always been aspects of human societies. And by this extension, the phenomenon of racism has, regardless of terminology, been a ongoing human affliction.
In every instance "race" theories have been constructed to services the interest of White people. Never has a race based theory been mainstreamed which assist Pan-Africanism, or a stronger African position. In the UK race is used to fragment African populations "Somali" v "Black other" v "Black African." In America the "one-drop world" (which is now working against American White interest) was initially intended to keep White pure. Colored in South Africa was to create a buffer between Africans and those of mix heritage. Privilege was conferred upon those with mix heritage creating tension and distrust between African and so-called colored populations.
This work has a popular appeal in certain circles because it bolsters a people who rarely hear anything nice about their accomplishments. The critical assessment of this race-theory is secondary to the pleasure this type of research brings to the African reader. As all of these groups in Australia, Solomon Islands, Andaman Islands (Jarawa and Onge people) do share a disadvantage similar to all pigmented people. Despite physical similarities, the above groups are descendants of peoples who migrated out of Africa (as are all humans when traced back far enough), the populations migrated to more distant territories and changed after reaching such destinations longer than did those people who migrated and developed as the "races" or peoples of Europe and Asia. This means, despite "looking African"(which is usually a product of European imposed definitions of what an African should look like - dark skin and thick noses) they are more non-related linguistically and certainly genetically to African people. For example they are genetically and linguistically more distant than Palestinians and Africans.
Actually one of the greatest percentage of genetic difference is .176% between Nigerians and Australian Aborigines (Nei and Arun K. Roychoudhury (1993) ) compared to 0.130 for an White Italian.  So despite phenotypical similarities to some African populations Native Australian people are in terms of genetic distant from Africa, even greater than Arabs, Indians and Europeans. If African identity rest on simply subjective debates of "looking African" then 1/2 of India can claim to be African. It cannot be any significant determining factor in who can define themselves as African. And to emphasis with other oppressed people does not require them becoming "African." They (Jarawa, people on Indonesia, etc) are native people of their own territories, and that in itself gives them indigenous rights which should not be thwarted by trying to give them dual-identity.
or selectively defining certain traits like aquiline features as Eurasian or Caucasoid, ignores the complexity of the DNA data on the ground.
With a broader study of African features we see the entire argument for skull science lost to the same wind that took "the Earth is flat." Ethiopians, Beja people, Rwandans, Somali etc all display this so-called Caucasoid skull type which is seen in Ancient Egypt. In any event, why would so much weight be placed on skull measurements as a classification of race? Clearly Africans come in different shapes and sizes to suit there environment. Unfortunately what really defines a "REAL AFRICAN" is the 15th century image created at the so-called moment of colonial discovery. That is the image that survives as the definitive archetype of the "Negro."
Africa, unlike "black," is a name, not a adjective. You can get on a plane and visit it, you can find it on a Sat Nav, it has boundaries, governments, you can grow crops on it, and build a house on it. But some say, Africa was a foreign name given to us, if this is true, it was given to us by our contemporaries not our conquerors. However, the word has Berber Tunisian origins meaning " A sunny place" - Ifriqiya . Romans appropriated this word from which it is believed the modern word Africa came about the describe the entire continent. In addition, Africa is a unique name of a place and Africans are simply people who are native to that place. And over the course of history different names such as Habesha and Takruri were used to refer to African people of various regions, Ethiopia and West Africa respectively. Also the word Moor has been used across the centuries but as critics have established, the term "Moor" was used interchangeably with such other ambiguous terms such as "Ethiopian," "Negro," and even "Indian" to designate a figure from different parts or the whole of Africa (or beyond) who was either black or Moslem, neither, or both. 
“Black” as an identity ultimately sets Africans outside of their connection to history and culture. Black does not connect us to Kemet, it only goes back 500 Years ago. Hence, “black” people are an “urban” people/culture and “urban” people's history is 5 minutes old. In addition, because it is a term placed on us, we have no bases for its control, and hence they are able to say; “Ancient Egyptians weren't black.” Black has no meaning; except the meaning they place on it, if and when they chose.
Oppressors do not like calling the real names of their victims. In cases of kidnapping the victim's family always humanizes the victim by saying their name. It creates a realization in the perpetrators mind that the person they have kidnapped also has a history, a life, a family, love and is therefore not is not disposable. Whites slavers were far happier in removing the humanity of Africans by re-classifying people as blacks. Not even "Black people", just blacks. It dehumanized the person to a mere color, which had no name, no history, no culture and most importantly no Motherland. To raid a village and kill women and children, you have to first remove the notion of them possession any humanity. Notice how Israel will always say "those people." Because to say "those Palestinians" gives Palestine a claim to the land called Palestine. South Africa also does not want to link Africans to land, hence the preferred identification with "blacks", void of history, agency, culture and land rights. And in the newly fabricated contrived rainbow, everyone became African-- thus everyone had claim.
All four ladies are the same Caucasian race. But this shows how politics impacts even similar looking people. And how the West v Islam tension causes new ways of "racial" classification. Strictly speaking the US censor classifies Arabs as White, but the social reality is very different, especially since 9/11. "Looking Arab" means "looking non-white" which equals "threat" and for these "new non-White people" it equals race based persecution.
The Apex race, the white race, is happy allowing Europeanization of the subaltern but never giving permanent membership to anyone non-white, regardless of how Europeanize those oppressed people become.
Whiteness consists of a body of knowledge, ideologies, norms, and particular practices that have been constructed over the history of the American colonies and the U.S. with roots in European history as well. The knowledge, ideologies, norms, and practices of whiteness affect how we think about race, what we see when we look at certain physical features, how we build our own racial identities, how we operate in the world, and what we "know" about our place in it. Whiteness is shaped and maintained by the full array of social institutions--legal, economic, political, educational, religious, and cultural.
It is all political to serve the purpose of managing populations in European spheres of self-interest. So in the UK with the growing Somali population with its Islamic tendencies all of a sudden is fractured from "African/Black" and a new ethnic classification legalized— "Somali." The UK government motives are not "multi-cultural" or accurate "ethnographic" classification— It is purely political.
Reality is often far more scary and complex than most of us are prepared for. Especially dealing with North Africa's Arab population. The problem is most of them are not native Arabs, no more than many "White" (ecky-becky) or "Creole" Caribbean populations are non-African. So the question of their claim or indigenous right cannot be discussed in terms of a 7th century invasion. People who have been Arabized, if indigenous, do not become un-indigenous by any process, Arabization or Europeanization. So we have a large group of people who are united by religion and moreover culture and language. But within that population is a complex array of mixed ancestry (mixed with everything for the last 4000 years of history) and recent settler communities. Identity in the Arabized North can therefore not be dealt with a flash statement, no more than the diverse people who make up the African Diaspora (and even Native Africa) can be summed up as some homogeneous group sharing phenotype and culture.
So applying the 4 conditions system to most of North Africa's populations means that they largely fail the condition of self-identity. But what happens when/if some of them with strong African ancestry or "features" accept being African?
Because if we transplanted our modern notions of race into antiquity they would come up moot. So when we discuss KMT it is only our opinion of a people that would have had no loyalty to our politics if we went back to that time period. No Egyptian would look at a Zulu and identify them as their racial brother. Just like the Habasha (Semitic speaking Ethiopians) do not look at Gambela people as "brothers." So what we are really saying is if the people looking like the Egyptians were living in America, what race would they be? And the answer is African-American. Would the race based discrimination witnessed by Ethiopians, Somali, Zulu, Fon, Akan in our 21st century also equally apply to them? Yes.
A key example is the complexity of ascribing a race to Turkish people who are all Turkish, they are more than a nationality but too phenotypically spread to be a race. Ancient history cannot be transplanted onto our modern reality. Even today race is very complex, Sudan and Brazil, for example. Not to mention politically created racial groups such as so-called "colored" in South Africa.
The term Black people has no function in any debate beyond European enslavement, it has only been a name imposed by "the other." Black pride is reactionary pride, necessary then, irrelevant now. As Africa blossoms into a greater historical and cultural awareness of a Motherland, Africans are starting to detach themselves from slave names and slave definitions and embrace terminologies which better do justice to a historical and cultural reality.
The viewpoint that “Africans” enslaved “Africans” is obfuscating if not troubling. The deployment of “African” in African history tends to coalesce into obscurantist constructions of identities that allow scholars, for instance, to subtly call into question the humanity of “all” Africans. Whenever Asante rulers sold non-Asantes into slavery, they did not construct it in terms of Africans selling fellow Africans. They saw the victims for what they were, for instance, as Akuapems, without categorizing them as fellow Africans. Equally, when Christian Scandinavians and Russians sold war captives to the Islamic people of the Abbasid Empire, they didn’t think that they were placing fellow Europeans into slavery. This lazy categorizing homogenizes Africans and has become a part of the methodology of African history; not surprisingly, the Western media’s cottage industry on Africa has tapped into it to frame Africans in inchoate generalities allowing the media to describe local crisis in one African state as “African” problem – Dr. Akurang-Parry, Ending the Slavery Blame, Ghana Web
Even if that warfare was against a "weaker" nation who served as a target group for procuring captives. The long standing temptation is to paint all these groups as African fighting Africans. However, in this historical period there was no African identity. People in 15th century Africa never heard of "Black people" as an identity. While they had knowledge of self from an internal perspective, that knowledge of self lacked a relationship to other African groups in the broader sense, especially when confronted with the arrival of Europeans. And that is key because being proud to be Zulu, for example, but seeing a Xhosa as different is a narrow understanding of self. And this failure made it easy for identities whether ethnic or national to be used as a tool to be exploited. And this is not unique to Africa, the same thing happened every where the European went in his expansion where he meet different ethnic groups.
Updating This section and is not finalized by the author. See also: African Kingdoms
There is a lot of controversy around the racial identity of Ancient Egypt. Most opinions are not historical opinions -- but political opinions, seeking to bolster race based claims to ancient achievements: That in itself is a common trend in history.
Without being an Egyptologist, without even look at one genetic test, or one single argument we only need to look at the history of Orientalism and White supremacy in re-writing and discrediting Africans as contributors to anything them see as notable. So already, in the trial of the Race of Egypt we have a problem and an case for intent to distort whatever evidence is turned up. The race of Ancient Egypt obviously depends on how we define race today, and what period we are looking at. Race of Ancient Egypt is not important for the Ancient Egyptians; they might have no concept of race, maybe only a concept of Nationality, or maybe a quasi-Identity-religious grouping like the modern Jews. Therefore, the only people their race is important to is us today and no one else. And the only reason it matters is because history is politics; always has been, always will be.
The awe-inspiring achievements of the Egyptians have given rise to a plethora of theories in an attempt to claim these wonders in the name of any one or thing - but the Africans who put forth these splendors. Not least of these theories range from the idea that people from the Middle-East, Asians and Europeans migrated south and settled among the natives, bringing enlightenment and governance but leaving the poor backward natives to grapple with technologies and precepts beyond their impoverished tribal minds! To the far-fetched notion that visitors from beyond the stars or dwellers from inter-dimensional stargates erected the pyramids and then fled! Such arguments, particularly the latter, are hardly worthy of a response but doubts must be addressed and the voice of reason must prevail. Although in the nineteenth century Sir Richard Burton referred to modern Egyptians as "whitewashed niggers," and Sir Flinders Petrie referred to their ancient ancestors as being of "course mulatto stock," neither of these formulations serve to give an agreeable pedigree to the precursors of Western civilization.
One writer that deal with race is Lefkowitz (a textbook orientalist) go to considerable lengths to prove that "Blacks," however defined, are not part of the story. She later admited that because of the broad classification of "African American" in America, that it was possible that today Ancient Egyptians would be considered "Black" under the one drop rule. Indeed, it was for this reason that Giuseppe Sergi, an Italian anthropologist overcame the problem in the 1880s by divining that the ancient Egyptians were dark — sometimes very dark — Caucasians. He labeled his group Hamites and placed them at the intersection of Africa and Asia. Later anthropologists theorized a Hamitic or series of Hamitic languages. By the 1920s the American anthropologist, C. G. Seligman, wrote that any signs of "civilization" in Africa were the products of the penetration of these incomparable bearers of culture. A few years later, Alfred Rosenberg, chief Nazi Party ideologue, could confidently claim Egypt's ruling class for Europe's peoples - and their Aryan branch at that. By the 1960s, however, the "Hamitic Hypothesis" had fallen from grace as the established orthodoxy. The linguist Joseph Greenberg demonstrated that the "Hamitic" languages were a chimera; no such unified group could be found. The people called "Hamites" were found to belong to differing language families.
As the linguistic foundations for the hypothesis fell away, so too did the idea of a conquering "Hamitic Race." W. E. B. Du Bois was right when he said: "We cannot if we are sane, divide the world into whites, yellows, and Blacks, and then call Blacks white." He might have said that it would be equally as strange to call them "Mediterranean," "Hamitic," or a hundred other euphemisms. "Black" in the North American context. The "social "construction of race in America does not rely on skin color. "African Americans," as Asante notes, " constitute the most heterogeneous group in the United States biologically, but perhaps one of the most homogeneous socially.
The debate of Africaness must shift; expand, refine itself, but all the while keeping itself anchored in a fundamental link to the historical Africaness. The 21st century definition of African identity is expanding to include new values, which embed the best African characteristics therefore servicing stronger Pan-African identities. Enriching the paradigm and sourcing from the diverse and complex forms of the global African cultural personality. None of this includes changing water into wine or White people into African people. Exceptions must not be used to defer the formations of solid definitions nested in self-interest. No definition can ever be 100% accurate in every instance in our complex societies. There is an increasing trend to use terms like the complexity of African identity as a way of thwarting the discussion from producing any conclusions. This trend stands as an opposition to the concept of African Union. Just because something is complex does not arrest the attempt at a resolution, nor should it interrupt the broader agendas of a single African identity which umbrellas the complexities surrounding global African identities.
New York Times | The term African-American has crept steadily into the nation's vocabulary since 1988, when the Rev. Jesse Jackson held a news conference to urge Americans to use it to refer to blacks. ''It puts us in our proper historical context,'' Mr. Jackson said then, adding in a recent interview that he still favored the term. ''Every ethnic group in this country has a reference to some land base, some historical cultural base. African-Americans have hit that level of cultural maturity.'' Since 1989, the number of blacks using the term has steadily increased, polls show. In a survey that year conducted by ABC and The Washington Post, 66 percent said they preferred the term black, 22 preferred African-American, 10 percent liked both terms and 2 percent had no opinion. In 2000, the Census Bureau for the first time allowed respondents to check a box that carried the heading African-American next to the term black. In 2003, a poll by the same news organizations found that 48 percent of blacks preferred the term African-American, 35 percent favored black and 17 percent liked both terms. (ref)
A brother is someone who shares a common reality (mother, father, struggle, etc). This term gained popularity in usage among African-Americans in the 60's due to the shared race. This brotherhood went beyond biology, it extended to describe a shared history, a shared ancestry, a shared oppression, and naturally a sharred oppressor. The priority in this African-American identity boiled down to one thing – we have the same problems and therefore can watch each other's back. South Africa has a gross agenda of nationalism before racial kinship with the rest of the African world, and this nationalism has acquiesced with unresolved relationships with the former and current apex oppressor, who shares nothing with the African except being the bearer of oppression. The relationship is therefore slave and master. How is it possible for this relationship to ascend the more pressing matter of race and race-based Pan-Africanism. What are the features of that relationship that bonds these two groups? How can a colonially created country be a definitive bond?
By posing challenges to African identify they undermine the foundation of concepts such as African unity, African culture, African history and African empowerment to name a few. If 'African' as a concept is swallowed into the colonial linguistic definition of Europeans then ultimately the attachment to the word “African” floats around and thus serves no constructive process in liberation. Europeans have long realized that language is a tool of oppression and warfare, unfortunately most Africans are passive to this attack. Others have also realized that ownership and controlling the academic process is another good investment in the war against African growth. So it is no surprise that scholars and academics come out of the woodwork in defense of the most ridiculous Eurocentric assertions.
Some people have issues with putting boxes around people; however, the politics of agency demand that people with common interest respond to a world that does groups people into boxes for easy oppression. Moreover, human behavior fundamental, for ease and function, has a natural habit of defining and naming creation. Who is a Muslim, who is a male, who is a female, where is Africa; all of these have definitions, which are critical in language and human behavior. If the color red is blue to some people and green to another, then red as a color has no meaning.
Terms such as African have a deep social and historical meaning in our modern history as well as the contemporary moment. Being African 200 years ago was the difference between being human or chattel. Thus vague open ended terms further serve in the muddy of this historical narrative of a specific group of people whose primary commonality in oppression was based on their place of origin; native Africa. Hence in the battle for linguistic real estate terms have always been controlled by the strongest, open-ended is no place for a people who have been the greatest victims of white supremacy. In defining an object and its properties, it is possible to call that thing into its correct historical location. And like a name specifically is used to separate and speak to certain individuals in a group, so to race has this function in a society deeply influenced by racial origin.
The crisis of identity sits hand in hand with all the other crises that African people are faced with. Cultural ownership and historical placement all contribute to the dilemma of the Global African. As a weak self-identifying group, compared to others, Africans are susceptible to being knocked off course by non-Africans, like leaves in the wind blowing to everything that has the power to blow. African cannot be a term to hug everything that comes its way for then it has no concrete meaning. It is an integrative term but not for Europeans, Indians, ethnic Arabs, and other non-Africans.
Naturally greed and many other factors must be considered but we must not be blinded by the obvious just because human greed is also a factor in oppression (i.e. the argument the rich exploit the weak as a distraction to the question of race being relevant).
In South Africa Africans have been moved from African, to Blacks and now from Blacks to an ethnic group called "previously disadvantage." The inescapable question that needs to be posed to the genius that went so far to construct this awkward term is, what is "previous" about the disadvantage in South Africa? Seems pretty currently disadvantaged per every social-economic indicator. So why celebrate a victory for a war still to be won? All these elaborate terms to speak around race and to keep the minority elites not having to be reminded of the world they built at the expense of everyone else.
Creating jobs is not the only criteria for the "New South Africa", creating economic wealth and justice across the divide created by apartheid is the challenge. An X% increase in African cleaners is not the increase we are discussing. It has to be in upper management and in areas of ownership, which have barely moved since 1994– so clearly it is not working out. By muddying definitions it creates a space for capitalism and racism to operate in comfort. And this is where we see the introduction of broad terms which hug entire demographics such as "black people." Collapsing the realities of privileged Chinese and Indian people with that of the seriously oppressed Africans.
How is it possible for White owned companies to be trusted to deliver race equality? The trinket incentives of Black Economic Empowerment have been proven to be another opportunity for exploitation. So where are the independent race-monitor operating in the society? What we find is the illusion of a few societies which have nothing to show, and because the populous is not sensitive (due to miseducation) no one asked twice. It is like setting up a law but not having any police to enforce the law.
See full Article | Language for a New African Reality
Brief History : During the displacement of the African Holocaust people were disconnected from culture, language and identity, they went from Fulani, Hausa, Igbo to a relative color, aptly describing their status in European society-- Black. Now stuck with this name, and with no agency, no conscious of self outside of the chains of the Holocaust, being black became a source of reactionary pride. (especially in the 60's). This happened also because the involuntary Diaspora had a deep self-hatred for their African connection, and would prefer to be a empty color than connected to their Motherland--that was the dept of the self hatred. And this produced reactionary love because they had to be something, and they could not be European, so in the psyche reaffirming a negative name was in some sense a statement of ownership--a statement of being. In reality it was a statement of displacement and self-hatred.
"White" depends for its stability on its negation, "black." Neither exists without the other, and both come into being at the moment of imperial conquest. - Franz Fanon. If there are no White people, could there be Black people? For over 100,000 years there were only native people of Africa on the planet, and since there were no "White" people there could not have been Black people, since everyone would have been "Black"? And if all the "White people" vanished from the Earth, would the remaining "Black" people still be Black? Black and White are therefore debunked as regressive incomplete terms for describing people.
Most of Africans in the West and Southern Africa have an image of self built out of a house of racism. They are hence blacks, finding identity in the fringes of whiteness. Today only two major racial groups adhere to color definitions; the African (the most oppressed group on Earth) and the apex oppressor, the European (White). While every other self-determined people have commuted color labels, the African in lands of strong white influence still romantically hold on to it.
If there are a black or Black people then where do "black" people come form? Since Asians come from Asia, Indians from India (all makes perfect logically sense). So where do Black people come from? Blackia, Negroland or Blackistan following the obvious naming convention. So if they do not come from these fictitious places and we find that so-called Black people come from Africa (at some time in our recent history) then why not just call them Africans? What is the purpose of Blackness?
Very few Africans are actually Black in color, so where is the foundation of a Black people or black people coming from? It is how Africans were seen relative to the European people. So relative to the pales skin of Europe and the White Arab the most dominant thing about African was relative skin color. It was not the land, not the African hair but the relative color of a diverse skin pigment which is rarely black in color. For Indians it is their land, for Chinese it is their land, for Jews it is their faith.
Notice today only two races go by color labels; The race with the most oppression and the ones inflicting that oppression. "I am black and proud" is a song, nothing else. It is the rhetoric necessary at the time to lift us up. It has run its course and has expired. (See Language and Africa)
We can contrast Africaness from the modern phenomenon of Blackness. They must be treated as two distinctive identity formations, as they have their foundations in different paradigms while sharing similar authors and realities.
Identity is everything, and if you don't have it you will look for it in places that will ultimately frustrate and kill you. Thats why many rappers who make up the new Black identity are not clear, it is cloudy, they not sure hence violently reactionary. They are "Black" but Blackness has no home, they are not cultured in Africa or anything real beyond drinking smoking and cursing their own kind. Hood is not a culture to locate ones existence. 'Location' (loxion) is not a place to rest the heart of your identity. So we see the anger which is destined to self-destruct for it has no boundaries and is defined by frustration, vices, rejection and negation.
In Israel Ethiopians are Black but Ethiopians did not consider themselves to be Black when they arrived. You see young people identifying with reggae music, Afro-Caribbean culture that people tend to view as natural, but it's not natural. It's a choice they made, because it speaks to them. (Kaplan) All over the African world where African people from anywhere come into contact with mainstream "Black" culture there is a current creating new Blackness as an identity. Just as consciousness via music and revolution has created a global Pan-African identity. But there is a difference. Africaness is rooted in a cultural understanding of African peoples links and interconnectedness to development and civilization, Blackness on the other hand is link to a culture relevant to YouTube and MTV base. Blackness has zero concern with anything beyond attitude, speaking bad English, wearing your pants low, walking with bad posture, and gaining status by being as ignorant as possible. While Africaness seeks to create an alternative to the White world linguistics and identity, Blackness is a sub-culture in Whiteness. It is not concerned with Swahili but broken English. It is not concerned with African clothing - but with Western designer garments worn low. Its historical references are not the battles between Ancient Egypt and Nubia but between Tupac and Biggie. Africaness is concerned with our humanity, while Blackness is concerned with consumerism. It is a statement of ownership of self and ideals. Africaness defines itself and creates it's own agenda. Blackness is defined as the opposite of whiteness and it's agenda has been pre-arranged . The New Blackness takes African people further into a Western identity trap of still being alienated but without a framework for self-development.
In reality we must ask ourselves what is the difference between "Negro" and "Black" save historical association, the words mean the same thing, so we have moved from being Black in Spanish (negro) to Black in English (black). It is strange that despite all the genetic research and advance human anthropology we are still clinging to primitive 18th century post-Darwin model of race, which sole aim was/is to segregate and de-culturalize and enslave.
The concept of a “black Africa ” is a Eurocentric term based upon their ignorant primitive regressive deductions. It is true Arabs and Greeks referred to Africans as "black" but this was not a racial label, and moreover Africans themselves did not self-apply these external labels. Like the Phoenician who were called the "red people," but no Phoenician would have referred to themselves in this way. See Language and Africa)
African diversity is a child of time (Nehusi) and within Africa’s indigenous people, we find all textures of hair, colors of skin, types of eyes and noses. So beyond the European defined boxes of what a “real African” looks like we find a continent representing most of the features found throughout the world. The straight nose is a feature of Africa; light skin is a feature of Africa; even Chinese eyes are found among African people. The old theory of the darker, you were the more African you were is now buried as a plantation tale to create the self-hating slave. We now know that the oldest people on the planet in terms of genes are the “yellow skin” San of Southern Africa. And one of the blessings witnessed in the Americas is how quickly African-Diasporian people have moved beyond “what massa wants us to think.” And why would it be a surprise to find the aquiline features of the Tutsis, Amhara, the Fulani and Somali in Africa.
When we venture back into history, or what is known as pre-history, it is a fact that people left Africa in numerous waves over thousands of years to populate the world. Thus, African people have the greatest genetic diversity. Which is inclusive of every single race on the planet, but the reverse is not true. As people left Africa, some unique features came about due to mutation and adaptation via Darwin’s favorite word, Natural Selection. However, the physical features seen in India and the Middle East originally came from an African genetic pool. Thus within the African is the ability to produce every race on the planet. Within the skin hues, texture of hair found on the continent it is possible to make Europeans, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, etc. Intrestingly studies now show that 80% of Europe has "Middle Eastern" genetic stock 
There is a mythological notion of going back in a time machine to find a Real African! Whatdoes that mean? A place where Africa, and its people, was 100% authentic, 100% perfect, 100% self-identifying and happy. First things first, no such place in the history of any group of humans exist. No developed state has ever come into existence without degrees of influence, diffusion, sharing from other "different" communities. Where different can only be judged by the specific politics of a specific time. (not in hindsight) This planet is a circle with 50,000 years of people movement, and if by pure we mean isolated then what value does that have in any analysis? Second thing race, as real as it is for us today, can only be defined for us today. We cannot transport or teleport our modern race constructions into ancient society and start saying "These people were real Africans." They are defined by how they saw themselves, not by how we chose to see them today. Because none of them identified with any group larger than their own terms of self-identity.
So when we look at people, there is the identity we place on them, in hindsight; and then there is the identity they had for themselves. If this is the case the historical lens is not authentic, but corrupted. So we see Tewdros as a great African warrior (and he was in our modern terms) but Tewdros would have been seen in his time period as a Abyssinian Christian. It is no different from Jews, Christians, Romans, etc. We cannot say Moses was a Jew, because Moses did not self-identify as a Jew, no more than Jesus self-identified as a Christian or Ancient Egyptian as an African civilization. What happened (respectively); the religion of Moses over thousands of years became Judaism, over hundreds of years the icon of Jesus became a deity of Christianity, and in our political modern time the definition of "African" hugs the people of Ancient Egypt.
See African Culture
Just like the millions of Africans across the globe who speak European languages, eat European food, behave like Europeans, engage in Eurocentric understandings of religion are no closer to actually being European. They still are physically Africans who are European in mentality and attitudes. The placement of these people in the African world is debatable. The current and most progressive theory is to re-educate these people to give them an understanding of themselves. For it is unnatural to act in the image of those who oppressed you.
Just as climate played a role in physical traits such as dark skin, it can be argued that culture evolved to a specific reality. However, the cultures of African people extend beyond their physical geography and are informed not only by geography but also by physical ethnic traits.
David Rowe states that : "A racial concept, although sometimes in the guise of another name, will remain in use in biology and in other fields because scientists, as well as lay persons, are fascinated by human diversity, some of which is captured by race." So the very scientist telling us "there is no race" will alter the terms of the study and still make "racial observations and claims" one good example of this is so-called Sub-Saharan African gene studies. Clearly this study is ultimately discussing 90% of the African/Black world, while academically looking free from race.
Where dice are "fairly" thrown yet the result always, by some amazing chance, comes back White. In Israel, in America, in Africa (Kenya, South Africa, etc). Now it may be called Jewish or Western but the reality is the same, it is majority White. It is therefore not good enough for those accused to say the game is not rigged. It may mask itself within capitalism and produce some exceptions to the White only club, but these are minorities. And while wealth does dictate a lot of human politics, make no mistake, race has had a equally important legacy in how humans interact in an unequitable way. Most of the world is racially inaccessible or uncomfortable to African people, just try walking around China with Black skin or some far flung town in Russia.
Things must run their course. And before we get to paradise we must walk through Earth. We cannot jump to a raceless world when everything is still painted white. Race is not a science; it is a social construct rooted in how humans chose to group themselves for protection and common interest; appearance, religion, location, ideology, genealogy, etc.
As much as race is biological nonsensical, it is also the reason why you didn't get that job, it is the reason immigration took 10 minutes with your passport, it is the reason why your film didn't make it into Sundance. And it is the reason why our children keep picking up the white doll. - Facebook comment
Anthropologists no longer regard "race" as a useful concept in understanding human evolution and variation, but people throughout history have grouped themselves in terms of common interest, common culture common religion and common appearance (in-group and out group). It is an innate trait that ultimately protects us. However difference does not mean animosity. It is neo-Darwinist to believe in this constant battle of different groups for resources. Painting humanity in those terms, justifies the unnecessary and continuous state of war. Ignoring those differences does not resolve the nature of man. Saying, “stop using race and see people as they are” is simplistic and only the most ill informed people will reason in this manner. For instance, if every single one of us was European from Milan, we would start to automatically group ourselves by region, or class or accent. The solution is to recognize the differences and use them as an exchange to celebrate this beauty. The Olympic Games has an atmosphere of healthy competition, people are grouped by nations and it celebrates the best aspects of humanity; if it is true for nations, then it is also true for race.
The primary relationship between Africans and Europeans, independent of time and geography is that of slave and slave master, colonial subject and colonizer, Employee and employer, oppressed and oppressor, respectively. This rule does not have any demographic exception regardless of if we are discussing Brazil, South Africa or Barbados, and regardless of if we are discussing 1811 or 2011. African and European represent the text book poster-boy definition of race history and race relations.
Discussing race does not make you racist. But ignoring it when it exists is ignorant. The “black doll, white doll test” is testimony to this. If unchecked, racial privileges will always be unbalanced in a society. Race existed during both the Arab and European trade in Africans. Race existed in the 60’s, as it exists today. Race will always be present. Race is there when you walk into a restaurant, when you go for a job, when you cross borders, when you go to Japan, or even Africa. So race is the first thing people see, and humans rely heavily on their eyes as a point of understanding. Now when Africans organize as a race, speak as one against the global oppression experienced, unify as an economic and cultural unit then the world will be forced to interact differently. The recent election of Obama proved how that single act could overnight change how people perceive African people.
In the post 9-11 attacks on America, looking Arab (whatever that means in America) had real social consequences. Thus, it is not possible to erase race just because it sometimes seems untidy. Although race from a scientific persuasion is a fallacy, it does not discount it as a social and historical reality. Engaging race is healthy as to ignore it is to ignore the horrid nature within men. In Post-Apartheid South Africa, many of the elite ethnic minorities debate the relevance of race in the new “Rainbow Nation.” Seeing beyond color does not change the 'strange' fact that all those at the top are European, those in the middle are Indian and those at the absolute bottom serving as the labor pool are the African.
At what stage did the distinctive elements of African-Americans stop being African? At what time did they ever forget the drum and the notion of a Motherland? Africanity in the Americas is a continuum of an African culture experience, responding to the environment of enslavement and oppression. When Africans got to the New World the culture of Africa came with them and stayed with them, adapted evolved and produced another African culture; African-American culture. The expression continued to expand in a Eurocentric environment of extreme oppression which shaped, and influenced the African culture. It forced improvisation and new ways of expression. Naturally, fusion occurred, but this was not peculiar to the Americas, the same thing happend in Africa where civilizations made contact, in Ethiopia during its occupation of Arabia, In North Africa and West Africa with Islam. The Swahili coast with the Arab and Indian traders, and even in Kemet with the invasion of the Hyksos. The debate of fusion is far more common than uncommon. Let's start with the understanding that African-Americans are fundamentally an African people living in America.
The AU sees the Diaspora as part of Africa. America is the new world and in that process, Africans via the most brutal practice lost some elements of their African identity. However in Jazz, in the Blues, in Soca, in Hip Hop all the core African traditions are there. In Dance, in body language, in expression, in inflection and linguistic articulation. The US flag seduces some African-Americans into an illusion of a new homeland, which continues to fail to place them in any positive space. Preferring to be as Kimani Nehusi puts "it cultural orphans and step-children of their slave masters." Now all over America Africans are changing their dress, changing their holidays (Kwanzaa), celebrating God just like continental Africans, seeking things which are far removed from White America. This is the natural yearning of a people who are spiritually out of tune with an environment of Whiteness that speaks neither to their physical condition or their spiritual determination. Why Should an African-American look to Europe for names for their children? Why should an African-American look to the version of Christianity practiced by Rome for God? The spirit of the African-American is in Africa and this is even truer today than it was before. The urban reality does not alter the natural spiritual behavior of a people or their cultural uniqueness.
RACIAL DIFFERENCE DEBATE
There is no denying that the modern races are 90% clearly identifiable. Most people would have no trouble differentiating between a Norwegian and a Kenyan in a line up. There is also a percentage of people that could also differentiate between a Syrian and a native Irish person. Some people will be able to pick out a Spaniard from a British person. What changes, is the degree of accuracy that this can be done. Just this fact, does not mean that those who argue strongly for radical difference by bringing volumes of research, which proves Africans have earlier sexually maturity, African babies lift their heads earlier, Africans have bigger sex organs and a higher libido, higher disposition to high blood pressure, etc. The issue is the way in which research is polarized to give a distorted reality of racial difference.
Some of these differences, such as penis size, may be true but most of these studies are victims of sampling error in most cases. These studies usually contrast European Americans against African Americans, and ignore social and hereditary factors. Hereditary and race are very easy to confuse. An example would be Sickle cell anemia, which is hereditary, and since people of a certain region share genes, they naturally would have a higher disposition to this disease. If one wanted to, one could find the same “differences” between European Jews and other Europeans and prove a “different” race. You could do the same thing with Norwegian and Spanish, and prove a different race.
Many of the race advocates who lean on biological difference, as opposed to historical, social and cultural difference (as this article does) cherry pick every example of difference and synthesizes it into one big conclusion. The research will generalize Africans by looking at traits in African Americans versus European Americans. Or San people versus people of European stock. You could in one simple test, deconstruct this type of work by starting to contrast Africans against other Africans; Ethiopians against Nigerians, Fulani against Zulu, Igbo against Sanhaja, Moor against Ndebele. What we will find is that many of the arguments are seen to not be “race”, but more ethnic. For example, while the African American (who is generally of West African stock) has certain “racial” traits, those traits are ethnic because they are unique to say Mandika and other West African people, by travelling a few miles south to Namibia, all of those traits disappear. The Herero and the Mandinka are both Africans, but do not necessarily display the identical traits. In some cases the generalizations are statistically valid, but statistics are deceptive, because if in Ethiopia and Kenya the statics can prove difference, then how is it racial? If women of the Bakongo ethnicity mature at 10 years old, and the women of the Amhara ethnicity mature at 14 years old, then the entire notion of early maturity in “Black” women has to be thrown out, a more accurate statement would be African American women have a higher maturity rate than their white American counterparts, it cannot be generalized as a racial difference as it is not factually across the entire African group. This is just a hypothetical example to prove why the research that suggest sharp biological and physical difference is flawed because of its definitions of race and its lack of study inside of the so-called race. To conclude these “proof” of physical races arguments mix true differences with social differences and hereditary trends, and cite every difference which favors their argument.
In a pure just world, a person of multi-racial lineage would have the right to claim both origins; however, the primary reality is dictated by physical appearance and social perceptions. There is no merit in posing hypothetical questions at a world that does not exist—save in dreams.
So, years of this social set-up have created a new community of people identified as “colored”. Being identified as “colored” created a peculiar situation as it granted privileges greater than that of the African populations. Thus, people were desperate to not be identified as African. The complex surrounding being African lingers despite the dismantlement of apartheid. In some cases, members of the same family would be split apart due to being classified in different race groups despite being 100% related. The UK tinkered to different degrees of success with the “half-caste”, “mix-race” classification which in the new era of serious inter-racial activity between predominately African-Caribbean males and White-British women has created a new “race.” With this new generation is a further distancing of themselves from identifying with being African. The politics of divide and rule are clearly at play, as it worked for Europeans during the centuries of enslavement on the plantations.
Miscegenation in Arab culture favors the Arab father regardless of the mother’s race.. So in stark contrast to European enslavement those children born to enslaved African women became Arab and not African. Despite their physical appearance, they were generally culturally Arab. (e.g. Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Anwar Sadat , and Tibbu Tip)
The question regarding people of mix-race heritage is difficult because although they are accepted by other Africans as being African, it is possible that they do not view themselves as African, as in parts of Brazil and South Africa. It is sometimes hard to believe Bob Marley had a European father, as he is so deeply associated with being African. Thus, the final thought is that being African must have a dual condition: Being of African heritage and identifying with that heritage.
The purpose of a definition in sociological terms is to discuss groups with historical, social, mental, physiological, linguistic, cultural, similarities. We have no hope of understanding anything if two polarized groups are collapsed into the same name. Nationality is a extremaly poor classification for banding people toegether when race is far more an active factor in historical and social-economic realities.
"The primary relationship between Africans and Europeans, independent of time and geography is that of slave and slave master, colonial subject and colonizer, Employee and employer, oppressed and oppressor, respectively. This rule does not have any demographic exception regardless of if we are discussing Brazil, South Africa or Barbados, and regardless of if we are discussing 1811 or 2011. African and European represent the text book poster-boy definition of race history and race relations. "
African is a jacket worn by non-Africans to suit an economic or political opportunity. Was anyone rushing to be African when Good Ship Jesus showed up looking for African slaves? When they said "Go and catch some Africans for the plantations of Jamaica." Was anyone trying to be Black or African when the KKK was running through the South?
Now even Chinese and Indians have been legally classified as "Black people" in the "New South Africa." Not one of them wore African when African meant being the victims of apartheid or slavery. We see Asians, Arabs, Indians none of them accomodate "White-Indian, White-Chinese, etc" being attached to them. Because Asian means the land and the race. Arab means the land-culture and the race. Racial identity is always tied to georgraphy. If you are in an hotel in Tokyo and tell the receptionist that you are looking for an African person, it is very clear – not only in Tokyo – that you are referring to a Black person. There is no confusion what that African is, so how does this minority position get so much weight attached to it. This points to the White privilege and white power to impress a very minority fringe perspective on a majority people.
Clearly the argument can be reversed and Africans should be able to identify as being White when the mood hits them. Blackness they will tell you has a different meaning to African - no it doesn't. It only has the meaning European/Caucasians have assigned to it to accommodate their dominance. So if they are African then some of us are White people. Also any White person who speaks Zulu or Amharic should therefore have the option of calling themselves Zulu or Amharic by that very definition. And if Afrikaans is an "African" language then so to is English and French (by percentage of Africans who use them). Afrikaans is an European language (a Dutch dialect) spoken in Africa, just like Europeans in Africa are not White Africans but White people living in Africa.
"South Africa's economy is controlled by Africans" - true if we obfuscate the terminology, thus language serves to hide or limite the race issues of Southern Africa. "Blacks in Durban, South Africa have a marked increase in ownership in the last 10 years" - true again if we confuse Indian and African.
The fact that 1% of White Chinese (Europeans in China) might call themselves "Chinese" has zero accommodation in China, why would Africans be so concerned about re-orientating their language (by using Black or Black African) to identify themselves? Especially in a world where Black = Africa is the overwhelming majority.
However, the definition of racism does not accommodate in-group exclusion as a characteristic of being racist. And the power of definition like “who is a Jew”, “who is Chinese” belongs with the majority, not the minority. Africans cannot over night just say they are Chinese and then call Chinese racist if they do not accept them. Now in the case of the Native American indigenous claim we saw how many White people came out of the wood works to claim Native American heritage. When claim chases profit, then claiming identities will not be uncommon.
Despite claiming "African" in name they are very conscious of Whiteness when propagating the White dominant image on the broadcast mediums they control. Being White is clearly obvious when it comes to the dilemma of ownership which is still tipped in their favor. When all of these White South Africans rush home to Europe (when Africa gets a little sticky) do they encounter job discrimination experienced by fellow African South Africans or even 3rd and 4th generation African-British? They integrate smoothly into the social environment created by White privilege. Seems like with the Indian "Africans", African is a jacket worn to suit an economic or political opportunity. Lets ask a question. An African man takes an Indian woman back to his village for marriage- how will she be treated? An Indian woman takes an African man back to her community for marriage how will he be treated. This highlights a fundamental difference between Africans and everyone else. A Characteristic exploited by every visitor to Africa.
So this argument or false focus serves to disrupt the greater Pan-African solidarity necessary for African people. And anyone trying to put a taboo on such debates is probably an oppressor. Now the classic straw man argument is to associate this stance with expelling Whites from Africa. The human rights of the African cannot be secured while violating the human rights of another people. We do not need a new Israel in Africa. However, gross inequalities must be destroyed. What business does someone have with 1000 of acres of land while the native people starve all around them? Especially when that land was acquired by displacing the ancestors of that land. All of these issues need to be collapsed into the broader debate of identity and native claim.
In the scramble for linguistic real estate, why would these descendants of European colonialist who devastated and exploited the continent want to be called African? And in terms of self-determination who introduced these concepts? It would be very strange if a European, after 200 years in China or India, could be so powerful to alter the definition of Chinese just to be accommodated. Linguistic accommodation is only possible in Africa because of the prevailing injustice of a post-colonial dominance of European settlers.
Race was not only defined in the 18th century, in Axum and Kemet African peoples have always identified with degrees of racial inclusion and exclusion. The arrogance of Whiteness is to assume they are responsible for every single point of view that has ever existed on this planet. All the while South Africa remains White dominant and unchallenged by people who are the most vocal White Africans. Interestingly if you examine their lifestyle, you will find them to be the most racial conservative personalities. They date and marry women of their specific race, they socialize in White circles, they engage a distinctive non-African culture. The injustices of White dominance and the legacy of that dominance are smoothed over by fictional fantasies of non-returning colonial tourist who still impose their reality as the norm for everyone else. Moreover, in dealing with these issues they always select broad base arguments and never deal with the core issue of African self-determination and agency.
The fact that Europeans are sensitive to the politics of things suggests that they do not do anything for romantic reasons. It is very disappointing when senior African academics, so desperate to embrace the rainbow theory and share the “African burden”, rush with open arms to embrace these pseudo concepts without any political or economic consideration. What is the objective of these claims? It is interesting to note Europeans (including Caucasoid Arabs) constitute around 10 million people verses the 800 million Africans. Now, this negligible minority, by way of social influence, has caused the majority to need to refer to themselves with the adjective of “black” to separate themselves from a serious minority group who want to be “Indian Africans” or “white Africans.” Minorities of Europeans live in China, in India and in Arabia yet only in Africa has linguistic accommodation been given to these European minorities. Africans now must make room for those settlers who want to identify with the continent for capitalist reasons. Because once you identify with a continent then you have a legitimate claim to its resources. Thus, the saying and the philosophy of Garvey “Africa for the Africans” becomes usurped. In South Africa, the new trend of “Black Economic Empowerment” has seen the broadening, opening up of the borders of blackness so to speak. Indians are economically classified as ‘black’, and recently Chinese have been included in this definition. So again, we see the relationship between linguistics and economic profit.
What about people who are European who speak African languages, wear African clothing, eat African food, etc? With all due respect, the mistake made by Dr. Ali Mazrui in his accommodation was to confuse the empirical reality of being African with the cultural phenomenon of being Africanized. Just as most Africans in the west are to a large degree Europeanized Africans, it does not make them in anyway shape or form European.
Identity should be a foremost consideration, for if it is not then subsequent work would not be grounded. Now we can see how the question of reparations, land ownership, citizenship, free-movement, African continental unity, African People unity, all hinge on a clear definition of African identity. History is our clarifier; it is our memory. And every struggle that forgets history repeats it. The dilemma of race was unresolved Post-Civil Rights and still today we fight for the very same basic rights. Unfortunately, what Africans first have in common with each other is a monolithic response to the same oppression. That oppression always identifies us by our race; From South Africa to Barbados. Yet every African generation is procrastinating and re-visiting how or even if to self-define. And while we fiddle with our thumbs we are being defined in a way which enhances our oppression.
Race identity does not have to equal hate politics. Being proud and defining African identity does not impose upon, threaten, or obscure the identity of Arabs or Europeans. Humanity must evolve enough where it is no longer threaten by difference. Different religion, diet, social habits do not have to be greeted with antagonism and conquest.
We see all other groups, such as Jews in Israel, clarifying a definition of who is a Jew and denying “right of return” to those who do not fall into that definition. Open definitions allow those who have traditionally exploited Africans to continue to do so. It must be realized that our cultural immunity and cultural defence systems have been the most destroyed. As a group interested in self-preservation and self-determination, the question of who belongs to our group, who has that group’s interest, will be paramount.
CRITICAL | Some people have this notion of going back in a time machine to find a Real African! What the does that mean? A place where Africa was 100% authentic, 100% perfect, 100% self-identifying and happy. First things first, no such place in the history of any group of human exist. No developed state has ever come into existence without degrees of influence, diffusion, sharing from other "different" communities. Where different can only be judged by the specific politics of a specific time. (not in hindsight)
This planet is a circle with 50,000 years of people movement, and if by pure we mean isolated then what value does that have in any analysis? Second thing race, as real as it is for us today, can only be defined for us today. We cannot transport or teleport our modern race constructions into ancient society and start saying "These people were real Africans." They are defined by how they saw themselves, not by how we chose to see them today. Because none of them identified with any group larger than their own terms of self-identity.
Race refers to the different geographic populations of humanity that share a common ancestry and can be distinguished from each other by an inherited combination of morphological traits, i.e., by genetically determined physical appearance or phenotype. Race thus refers both to populations and to the phenotypes that are associated with these populations and by which they are identified. These populations and phenotypes existed for many thousands of years before the word race became the common term to refer to them.
It is funny how many people are comfortable using these terms like "African", and how many books are published on Africa people, by Africans, without every pausing to define "What does it mean to be African" , "what are the essentialistic qualities embedded in that identity?" Yet so much hinges on its qualification. And you cannot define a complex term like African with another more nebulous term like "black". i.e. "Africans are black people."
The racial cut-off has to be no earlier than 10,000 years ago when the modern races of the world would have been established. We cannot take race from the 40,000 year period which is for one historically unknown as well as when Arab people and other groups would have left Africa.
Habesha is super-ethnic term for a Semitic speaking Ethiopian (Amhara, Gurage, Tigray, Tigre). But in popular usage it can also refer to Oromo people and others, due to urbanization and the Ethiopian Diaspora who become ethnically blurred. However, the term Habesha has never been used to describe Gambella Ethiopians or the Mursi, Hamer, Surma, etc. In the Arab world the term Habesha historically speaks to a distinction between the Ethiopian (Abyssinian African) "type" from the "other" African type (so-called Black African).
Studies have reported that most Irish and Britons are descendants of farmers who left modern day Iraq and Syria 10,000 years ago. Genetic researchers say they have found compelling evidence that four out of five (80% of) white Europeans can trace their roots to the Near East. In another study, scientists analysed DNA from the 8,000 year-old remains of early farmers found at an ancient graveyard in Germany. They compared the genetic signatures to those of modern populations and found similarities with the DNA of people living in today's Turkey and Iraq.
If one were to spatially visualize the first column of the above scale, with a German standing at a distance of 20 feet from an Englishman, a Finn would stand at a distance of 50 feet, an Italian at 70 feet, a northern Indian at 200 feet, a Japanese at 610 feet, a North American Amerindian at 760 feet, a Nigerian at 1,330 feet, and a Chimpanzee at 16,000 feet. The greatest percentage of genetic difference is .176% between Nigerians and Australian Aborigines. ( Masatoshi Nei and Arun K. Roychoudhury (1993) )
Audrey Smedley shows that “race” is a cultural invention that began to appear around the turn of the eighteenth century. In its origin, race was not a product of science but a folk ideology reflecting a new form of social stratification and a rationalization for inequality among the peoples of North America. Race in North America: Origin And Evolution of a Worldview
n 2000 reported more specifically that a substantial number of Lemba men carry a particular haplotype of the Y-chromosome known as the Cohen modal haplotype (CMH), as well as, a haplogrup of Y-DNA Haplogroup J found amongst some Jews and in other populations across the Middle East. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1288118/?tool=pmcentrez
Mitochondrial DNA variation of populations from the Near East and Africa found a very high frequency of African lineages present in the Yemen Hadramawt: more than a third were of clear African origin. Other Arab populations carried ∼10% lineages of African origin, whereas non-Arab Near Eastern populations, by contrast, carried few or no such lineages, suggesting that gene flow has been preferentially into Arab populations. Several lines of evidence suggest that most of this gene flow probably occurred within the past ∼2,500 years. In contrast, there is little evidence for male-mediated gene flow from African Africa in Y-chromosome haplotypes in Arab populations, including the Hadramawt. Taken together, these results are consistent with substantial migration from eastern Africa into Arabia, at least in part as a result of the Arab slave trade, and mainly female assimilation into the Arabian population as a result of miscegenation and manumission. [Chicago Journal - Fiona Gratrix] .
Historically, European self-interest is the overriding factor in race definitions, regardless of if it is "race whitening" in Brazil or "coloreds" in South Africa or the "one-drop rule" of America. In every instance "race" theories have been constructed to services the interest of White people. Never has a race based theory been mainstreamed which assist Pan-Africanism, or a stronger African position. In the UK race is used to fragment African populations "Somali" v "Black other" v "Black African." In America the "one-drop world" (which is now working against American White interest) was initially intended to keep White pure. Colored in South Africa was to create a buffer between Africans and those of mix heritage. Privilege was conferred upon those with mix heritage creating tension and distrust between African and so-called colored populations.
In 1867 (two years after Africans were free from Slavery in America) 98% of African-American worked for Whites. In 2011 (with an African-American President) 98% of African-Americans people still work for white people, with another thirty three percent of Males being unemployed or incarcerated.
Epicanthic fold, epicanthal fold, or epicanthus is a skin fold of the upper eyelid, covering the inner corner (medial canthus) of the eye. This lower fold of the upper eyelid gives the eyes of certain East Asians an appearance which seems relatively narrower and almond-like compared to those without such folds. People of Southern Africa have similar epicanthal folds but have no direct genetic relationship with East Asian communities. The DNA to create these folds must be within the African gene pool sense the Khoisan etc are far older groups than East Asian communities.
Following the creation of the modern State of Israel in 1948 by the super-colonial powers. the Law of Return was enacted to give any Jew the right to immigrate to Israel and become a citizen. Law of Return 5710-1950. Law of Return, the racist building block of Israeli Apartheid
The name is usually connected with Phoenician afar, "dust", but a 1981 theory has asserted that it stems from a Berber word ifri or Ifran meaning "cave", in reference to cave dwellers. Africa or Ifri or Afer is name of Banu Ifran from Algeria and Tripolitania Berber Tribe of Yafran. Itineraria Phoenicia, Edward Lipinski, Peeters Publishers, p200, 2004
Dame Jane Goodall, DBE (born Valerie Jane Morris Goodall on 3 April 1934) is an English UN Messenger of Peace, primatologist, ethologist, and anthropologist. She is well-known for her 45-year study of chimpanzee social and family interactions in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania, and for founding the Jane Goodall Institute.