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Calling Black Label

Calling Black Label

Nov 25, 2021

1 comment

Robert Henry

Have you noticed how black is beautiful and elegant?  This seems true whether it is associated with fashion, products, packaging or people?  In many cases black signifies quality and luxury.  With reference to people, the term ‘black is often used as a racial category to describe those who have connections to African ancestry.

Surprisingly, nowadays there seems to be something objectionable when the term is used to describe people.  The objectors argue that the term is outdated, negative, dehumanizing, offensive, so should be avoided as a classification of people.  They reason that the term is imposed on people with African lineage to discredit their humanity and to boost a false sense of white privilege and superiority.

Wow! Do you agree with the call to avoid use of the word black as suggested above?

Instead of responding to the way other people categorize them, black people should choose how to describe themselves.  So, instead of using the term black, what would be a better way to describe people from an African heritage?

Would the term Nubian be an acceptable replacement to describe black people from around the world?

Nubians are descendants of an ancient African civilization which is as old as Egypt itself.  This civilization was based primarily around what is now described as Northern Africa.  Bear in mind that before it was divided up by Europeans, Africa and Africans were all one people despite the different ethnicities and tribes.

Think about it carefully.  If the term black is unacceptable, what about simply describing black people world-wide as Africans?  Would that be a suitable alternative, or would it be opposed by many?  The Americans have a similar description to the suggested idea with the categorization of African-American. The proposed concept also already exists in similar forms used to describe other ethnicities or racial groups.  For example, the term Caucasian is often used to describe people scattered all over the world who have a European origin. Similarly, Jews are Jews anywhere in the world.

African map

If you were given the power to choose an alternative to the term black, would you prefer the term Nubian or African to describe people anywhere in the world who are from an African heritage?  Perhaps you have an alternative to the highlighted options.

A Jamaican reggae artist made his thoughts clear on the matter with these revolutionary lyrics:

No matter where you come from

As long as you're a black man

You're an African

No mind your nationality

You’ve got the identity of an African

All I can say is, know yourself as labels may not be the most helpful.

Let’s hear your views!

1 comment

  • Sushma Venugopal

    Very informative article.

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