African American in Italy

Sep 6th, 2001, 06:04 AM
  #21  
Jean
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To me the term "African American" means, an African who has immigrated to the US and has become a citizen. Someone who was born in the US and has black skin does not an "African American" make.
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 06:21 AM
  #22  
George
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Grow Up Jean, noone care what being African American means to you. Do you even live in the U.S.? So sad how so few of you have the means for a college education. This is the real problem in Europe we all have to suffer your ignorance.
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 06:39 AM
  #23  
Jean
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Please explain to me how I'm being ignorant. Doesn't the term "African" mean, one coming from Africa? Would someone white coming from Africa still be a "African American"?
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 06:43 AM
  #24  
Tony Hughes
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My point exactly.

If my great-grandparents were born in Zimbabwe (Rhodesia), then emigrated to the United States, would that then make their children (white) African Americans?
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 07:01 AM
  #25  
xxx
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Gotta have my say too.

I am american and think that most of the black population in the US now want to call themselves African Amercians, which they are'nt.
If they were born on US soil, they are american. If they hold the citizenship of another country then they are also that too.
However, those born in the US and not holding another citizentship, are only americans.
Those immigrating to the US and obtaining citizenship can then call themselves -----(so&so country)american (ie: italian-american, african american, cuban-american, etc).
Just because I moved to live in lets say Italy for the last 20 years, does not make me an american-italian.
I would have to get italian citizenship and be able to hold two passports to be able to call myself that.
I am only an american.
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 08:04 AM
  #26  
Kelly
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How you are being ignorant Joan is that you think people an Ocean away should use your definition to define themselves. This is largely what Americans are accussed of when we visit in large numbers. African Americans call themselves this just as Irish Americans, German Americans, call themselves this. They want to draw a link between their past and present. Funny Europeans very often accuse us of not having a sense of history the minute we try to establish this people like yourself emerge to take yet another issue. What kind of ignorance or arrogance is it that leads you to think you can tell an entire population of people how they should define themselves. This is how you are ignorant Joan.
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 09:24 AM
  #27  
ugh
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You know what? This forum is really starting to suck.
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 09:55 AM
  #28  
Jean
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First of all Kelly, it's Jean, not Joan. Who is ignorant here? What are you talking about? What does your statement that I think people an ocean away should use my definition to define themselves? I am an American of Irish blood, I'm not an Irish-American. I'm American, its that simple. Just because a certain percentage of Americans with black skin have decided that they want to be called African Americans, doesn't make it correct or right. I have friends that are black and think the term is silly.

Joan is that you think people an Ocean away should use your definition to define themselves. This is largely what Americans are accussed of when we visit in large numbers
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 05:03 PM
  #29  
xxx
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I know of people who were born in this country and who are third and fourth gen decendants and they refer to themselves as Irish American and Italian American. No one comments on that.

I am African American. I celebrate my African heritage. Although African Americans in the US have adopted many western customs, we still have many cultural expressions in common with Africa. It is how I am millions of other African Americans choose to call ourselves. Africans from the African continent have no problem with the reference, so why should anyone else? And by the way, I do know whites from AFrican who do refer to themselves as African. If their decendents choose to refer to themselves as African Americans, that is fine by me.

It is amazing on a European travel board that many of you pride yourselves on going to Europe, learning a little of the language, and respecting the culture of the countries you visit. If Parisians wanted to be called something, you would oblige, because to do otherwise would be rude and ignorant.

So if you can respect other cultures and how they choose to identify themselves, offer African Americans the same courtesy.
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 05:31 PM
  #30  
rainey
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I watched a show on T.V. recently. There were two old woman, proud, up standing and black. They made sure everyone knew they were not "African Americans" just Americans. They stated they did not like the term, and prefered to be called blacks.They found the term African American insulting.
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 07:02 PM
  #31  
Karen
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Why are all of you having such a fit? It's a valid question. Having grown up in snotty Orange County, CA, (Thank heaven I moved out of there!) I definitely know there are places there where whites will question the presence of an African-American. Some of our own U.S. Southerners can be horrible and terrifying. Elise, I didn't see anything like this in Italy - yay! And no, I'm not African-American, I'm Mexican-American, because of my skin coloring am NEVER perceived as such, so I see and hear a lot more than most minorities do from "unsuspecting" bigots.
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 07:18 PM
  #32  
Escritora
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Karen--Aren't those "unsuspecting bigots" a hoot when you pull the rug out from under them? I've run into my share, too, as I'm white but from a mixed-race family. Oh, the stammering and "no, you misunderstood what I was saying" of it all!

It seems pretty simple to me. People have, at the very least, a right to decide what they choose to call themselves. And if their choices are a major cause of upset for anyone, I'd suggest that person look about the world a bit more. There are considerably more disturbing things out there, such as poverty, disease, ignorance, and yes, racism, that are more worthy of our outrage.
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 07:23 PM
  #33  
Maybe
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... that wearing the label _African American_ on a traveler's sleeve and wondering Hey Mister European, what kind of attitude I be expecting from YOU... is not accepted and certainly not appreciated from some people who frequent this forum.

Jospeh Jenkins Roberts, the first president of Liberia, was an American born (1809) Negro who was never a slave. He left his home country, the United States, in 1843 to relocate to Africa.

If African American is the preferred term for Elise, what is the correct term for Mr. Roberts, or his descendants?

American-Liberian?
African-American-Liberian?

or just Liberian?

Yes, the terms Irish-American and Italian-American do get used, but in general they are adjectives, describing one aspect of that person's interests and personality. I think there is not so much attitude associated with Elise saying I am a black woman who enjoys African-American culture. And even this assumes that she wants to call attention to her skin color or racial background. Not sure why this is desirable. Kinda like Bald American. Is the label necessary?
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 07:37 PM
  #34  
John G
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Elise, darling, Methinks the Fodorites doth digress too much....To get back to your original query....As a gay man who has travel throughout Italy, I think bigotry is more likely to happen in small towns rather than in the more sophisticated cities such as Firenze, Roma, or Venezia. You may encounter problems in places like Napoli, where the people are backward. But, I honestly think that if people realize you are an American tourist you will not be bothered. Remember, Italy derives lots of revenue from tourists. Hotels, restaurants, shops, etc. want your dollars. So if people think you will be spending money, you will be accomodated in most places. JohnG
 
Sep 6th, 2001, 09:17 PM
  #35  
andie
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Elise...I don't know if you're still reading this thread. I noticed some people have helpful information here. If you conduct yourself in a sensible way with the people you meet, you should have no problems. There's no way to predict how any individual is going to treat you, so relax and have fun on your trip. Keep up with travel advisories http://travel.state.gov. Know where to get help and how to ask for it in case there are problems.
Ciao signorina
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 04:18 AM
  #36  
Kelly
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Jean, Not a Joan but you respond to the label ignorantIt does not matter that you are an American JEAN you are still an idiot. I could care less what your friends are telling you. You have no right to decide how others should define themselves none of us do in any country is that clear? Now grow up and find another way to seek acceptance from Europeans. I guess that is hard to do when you want to get rid of all this extra anger. You can find other outlets darling.
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 07:21 AM
  #37  
kjames
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Elise:

I am an African-American woman who spent some time in Italy during a study-abroad experience in Vienna. I have to say that most Europeans (Italians and Austrians) were not especially kind or mean to me at all. It was pretty neutral. Go and enjoy yourself.

As for the NPR special regarding a black woman's experiences in France: the woman's name is Janet McDonald. Read her autobiography, Project Girl, to find out more about her experiences in France and America. I was completely enthralled by the NPR story and her book is now at the top of my list of books to read...soon.
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 08:03 AM
  #38  
Jean
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Kelly,

It is you that seem to have so much anger. I am simply raising a point and I'm trying to do it in a adult manner. Many of my friends that happen to be Black do not refer to themselves as "African American". The term has become politically correct and although many people and the media use this term, not everyone wants to be categorized and refered to in this way. The term itself in referring to someone born in the US with dark skin is incorrect. If a certain segment of American Blacks want to call themselves this, than that is fine. I refer to people however they want to be referred to.
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 08:13 AM
  #39  
Kelly
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Again who cares about how your friends read this, accept how others choose to define themselves not how you or your friends choose to define others. A very easy difference here your friends & others who have their own definition, your friends & others, your friends & others, your friends & others. Oh but wait your friends are the spokes people for the entire community! Sorry I was forgetting this. Understanding yet how your reasoning is rooted in ignorance?
 
Sep 7th, 2001, 08:38 AM
  #40  
bbb
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Kelly: You are a friggin idiot.
 

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