- Aug 28, 2015
The current trends placing members of black America everywhere seem to be suggesting a deviation from the present label of African American. If you compare an article published in the New York Times in 1989 to a modern day article on the same subject, you will notice that what once was an acceptable title seems to be losing favor.
According to a 1989 New York Times article written by journalist Isabel Wilkerson, what was once seen as an empowering and liberating term advocated by the Rev. Jesse Jackson and black academics to describe a population who throughout history has seen more name changes than any other, is now seen as an inaccurate description for encompassing the true essence of the black experience.
The argument suggests that the desire for a less ambiguous label than “black” or “American” comes from the desire to include all members of the African diaspora by simply respecting their claim to the title “African.” It would seem erroneous to suggest – according to a commentary by John H. Mcwhorter on the differences between black and African American identity – that a group of people who have lived in North America for over 400 years, versus people who actually immigrate from Africa, should be given the same descriptive label.
The reasoning stems from a belief that there are only echoes of Africa in modern day black America.