Who is a real African-American?

21 05 2009

I came across this news story and could not believe it, a man got expelled from a university for claiming to be African-American. This is absurd!!!

What was the problem you may ask, well he is white. This guy is a white man from Africa who became a US citizen, how should he call himself? In this era of hyphenated nationalities or ethnicities what is right and what is wrong?  Who is a real African American, a Black American or an African that became American? Who makes the rules? 

Paulo Serodio says he is.

Born and raised in Mozambique and now a naturalized U.S. citizen, Serodio, 45, has filed a lawsuit against a New Jersey medical school, claiming he was harassed and ultimately suspended for identifying himself during a class cultural exercise as a “white African-American.”

After Serodio labeled himself as a white African-American, another student said she was offended by his comments and that, because of his white skin, was not an African-American.

According to the lawsuit, Serodio was summoned to Duncan’s office where he was instructed “never to define himself as an African-American … because it was offensive to others and to people of color for him to do so.”

You can read the rest of the story here

His was instructed to never define himself as what he is African-American, because the label here in the US has certain parameters that never accounted for other possibilities. African Americans can only be black? How about a black person from Europe, that comes to America, could they be European American? they certainly do not have the African American culture. How about a person of Asian descent, that is also Latino? What can they call themselves, they look Asian but have the Latino Culture. It is 2009, we have an “African American” president. The world is getting smaller by the minute. Isn’t it time to open our minds and our hearts and stop the bickering?

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3 responses

29 08 2009
Eileen

I agree with you 100 percent on this issue. I guess what African-American really means in America is BLACK, and born and raised in America.

I’m glad that man is suing!

4 12 2009
Balanced Melting Pot

This is a good example of why we should just do away with these labels altogether. I am still perplexed about their utility…

29 11 2010
Cleva Watson

The man is right for suing . by definition he is an African American. That’s why I prefer using Black American. That leaves no doubt about who I am.

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