Falling From Favor: The Term 'African American'
Changing tastes have many preferring 'black'—or just 'American'
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Feb 5, 2012 1:29 PM CST
Gibre George started a Facebook page called 'Don't Call Me African-American," in Hollywood, Fla.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

(Newser) – African Americans are increasingly shunning, well, the very term "African American," with many just preferring "black" amid increasingly complex origins and loyalties, reports the AP. "African American" rose to popularity in the 1980s, thanks in large part of Jesse Jackson's 1988 run for the presidency, but it's America that looms larger for many. "Africa was a long time ago," said a Miami entrepreneur who started the Facebook page "Don't call me African American" (now with more than 800 likes). "Are we always going to be tethered to Africa? Spiritually, I'm American. When the war starts, I'm fighting for America."

And then there are the white Americans who were also born in Africa, like one man who's suing his medical school after he was suspended over a debate whether he could call himself African American. And with almost one in 10 black people in America born abroad, more and more do not feel connected to the same history as those who have been living in America for generations. "It just sort of screams this political correctness," says a Nigerian-born woman who grew up in England and became a US citizen last year. "Or it's a word that people who aren't black use to describe black people."

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Showing 3 of 137 comments
brady51h
Feb 6, 2012 10:31 PM CST
With all due respect just how is the average person supposed to know how people wish to be referenced. It seems to me that it is up to a community to decide their wishes. But if a community refuses to decide as a whole they can't expect others to know their wishes. I don't want to offend anyone but I don't have a crystal ball just make up your minds and let me know.
Redtopp
Feb 6, 2012 12:50 PM CST
I RAISE THE QUESTION ....IS ANYONE REALLY BLACK ANYMORE? WE HAVE MIXED MARRIED AND MIX CULTURED FOR SO LONG THE TRUE BLACK RACE NO LONGER EXISTS EXCEPT PERHAPS IN AFRICA....NOR IS THERE ANY MORE 'WHITE'' RACE... WE HAVE LEFT THE 'PURE' SO FAR BEHIND...WONDER IF ONE DAY IN THE NEXT WORLD WILL BE JUST BE CALLED THE HUMAN RACE! --THAT'S SOMETHING TO HOPE FOR ALBEIT NOT IN THIS LIFETIME...WITH MY MIXTURE I AM NOT SURE WHAT TO BE CALLED LOLOLOLOL
JackNelsonSteward
Feb 6, 2012 11:35 AM CST
I think that's very cool. Black's chose their own public reference for the first time on this continent ... defining their public SELVES for the first time in their history here, telling the REST of us who THEY were instead of responding to or adopting any of the terms GIVEN them during their tenure. ... and now they have moved to what's next, defining themselves aGAIN, moving from whatever need that "African American" came from and moving toward whatever is next. The evolution of the black population as a part of the population of this country and the world continues.