Saturday, November 17, 2012


This topic was inspired by a group discussion that I had last night with several young African American men and women. We all come from different backgrounds, so the different discussions that we had were interesting. I actually believe that group discussions among people of all races, sex, and ages is very productive. You learn so much about one another that you otherwise may not have known.

What does it mean to be black?

Actually, this question is not as easy to answer as it may seem. At least I had difficulty answering the question. I'm not even sure if I ever really answered the question. I really did not know what to say because I feel like there are so many factors involved. I personally don't think people should be defined by their skin color but by their culture. Unfortunately, in society we are all judged by our skin color both positively and negatively. I also believe that economic status plays a huge role in how you view yourself in society. I believe many black people are defined by their skin color and then we are all put into this one category.

How do those around you defines blackness?

When I think about how others (or society) may define blackness, many times I feel that I am not black enough. However, I only feel this way around other black people. If I am not familiar with things that most black people are accustomed to I am made to feel like I am not black enough. There are even times when black people will tell other black people that "I'm taking your black card away." What exactly does that mean? Does that even make sense? Many times if I don't speak a certain way or act a certain way, I am considered to not be talking or acting black. Again, I say that this is a difference in culture and experience and not a matter of how black I am. I think because society stereotypes blacks and black culture in one way, we tend to only think of certain things when the term black comes up.

How do you define blackness?

As a black woman I would define my blackness based on how I was raised and my experiences. However, I believe that you don't have to be black to have shared the same experiences as me. It is also embracing my culture as an African American of African descent. As a member of this race, I have the right to embrace everything and the right not to embrace everything within my culture. I don't feel that my skin color alone should define who am I as a person. However, it will always be linked to my history, my culture, and some experiences. I should be able to identify myself as being a black person without having to defend my level of blackness.

How do you define blackness?

Can you be culturally black and of another race?
Do you base it on how a person act?
Do you base it on how a person talks?
Do you base it on their economic status?
Is this a topic among other minority races in America...i.e. Asians, Hispanics, and Native Americans?


  1. Well well, this an interesting topic.I believe that a lot of comments that people make about being black are really said out of of ignorance, meaning that some people are not too well informed, many other comments are made out of people just being plan stupid (sad).None of us are well informed about everything or every culture, so we all do have the element of ignorance, but the foolish talking and comments are made out of pure stupidty (sad).We have to love them all,the ignorant and the foolish, but we do not have to tolerate any, So what I do in those kind of situations is pray and keep moving,and of course I KEEP praying :).

    Much Love,Dad

  2. well a lot of people don't know who they are so the easiest thing to i dentify with is . The color of there skin. To me the work black mean the color not how u act people wit the color black as the skin tone may act according to how they were raised not necessarily the color of their skin but based off of movies steriotypes music so forth n so on people throw u in a category whether they know u or not jus by lookin at ur skin. So really you have to ask every person of color wat it means to them because I get told I act white all the time I pay it no mind cuz I'm jus me really think about it

  3. I see blackness as being synonomous to holy. As a culture we have a great history and our culture begin over in Africa. I totally agree that blackness has nothing to do with our skin tone because all nationalites have dark-skinned people in their families. I say blackness represent holiness because most Americans in the United States practice some type of religion. My foundation as a child was Christianity and our culture represented community, church and school. Our communities exhibited love and hospitality, However the society has changed and some people no longer reverence God. Mom


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