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Friday, June 17, 2011

Blacks Stereotyping Blacks

Black Americans Who Are Oblivious
to Black Latinos (Afro-Latinos)

In other parts of this blog, I talked about the ignorance of many Latinos who feel that only brown or olive skinned people can speak Spanish and enjoy Latin music and are totally oblivious to the black Latinos/Afro-Latinos in their own communities. This post is addressing the ignorance of many African-Americans who feel that black people are only limited to English, Ebonics, and hip hop. It's bad enough when Latinos stereotype blacks; it's appalling when blacks stereotype blacks.

When I was working as a security officer in a downtown-Oakland office building, I had to laugh when I learned that my African-American co-workers were clowning me behind my back as they stamped their feet, snapped their fingers in the air making the sound of castanets, and referring to me as Merengue Man. It was hell-a-funny in one sense and hell-a-sad in another.

A question an African-American supervisor asked my co-workers, referring to me was, “does he know he's black?”

My co-workers often heard me speaking Spanish on the job and listening to salsa music while on break. A question an African-American supervisor asked my co-workers, referring to me was, does he know he's black? On another occasion, some African-American youth referred their classmate, a black, Spanish-speaking girl from Panamá, as a confused niggah. That says a lot about their knowledge of black history. More slave ships went to Spanish-speaking countries than those that came to the U.S. Furthermore, when the Spanish conquistadors, like Cortez and Pizzaro, first invaded what we today know of as Latin-America, there were black slaves marching in their ranks. Spain had African slaves more than 100 years before the before the U.S.

What is it about so many black Americans who think we are the only legitimate blacks on the planet?

I always get a thrill and a chuckle when an African-American (and members of other ethnic groups, as well) react in shock when they hear me speaking Spanish. What is it about so many black Americans who think we are the only legitimate blacks on the planet? I've often heard black Americans infer that blacks of other cultures were non-black. In fact, I've been asked myself if I were black. Black people come in many nationalities and cultures, and speak many different languages.

Some African-American youth referred to their classmate, a black, Spanish-speaking girl from Panamá, as a confused niggah.

Yes, I know that I'm black. I'm also proud and knowledgeable of black history; not just in the United States, but around the world. In addition to Latin music, I like R&B, jazz, classical, new age, and world beat. Spanish is my second language, but I also know a tiny bit of Russian, Amharic, Tigrinya, Arabic, and Mandarin, and my skin color will never, ever change because of it.