Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Dad what does African American mean?

My son recently upon coming home from school asked me what African American means?  My own stumbling answer caught me off guard as I realized that I'm not entirely sure.  Well, I was able to define it as I understand, Americans whose ancestors came from Africa.  Right?.  Then my son asked if our ancestors came from some other place.  Well yes son part of our ancestors did come from other continents as did almost all who are in America.  Then he asked what we are?  We are Americans son.  How come we don't have other names he then asked?  Uhhhhhhhh, it was time to change the subject since I have no clue.

Given America is a melting pot and unless you are a Native American Indian your ancestors came from somewhere else.  What and how do you define why some people are African American, specifically the extra identifier of African or Hispanic American for that matter?  I have no clue.

Then again, my children would dread having their full identifier if required to disclose it.  Yes son you are a Irish, English, German, Hispanic, Russian, Native Indian (Coushatta) American.  Now say that 3 times fast.


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