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  • Are We Africanized?

     

    The day before my godmother asked me if what I was doing (so loving my natural hair) was called getting in touch with my African roots. I calmly, but firmly, said no and left my rants for my journal. I thought that she was just being her usual wannabe know-it-all self
    Then yesterday, my own mother made a similar comment saying that she was proud of my for sticking to my roots.
    Now, neither of them know the joys of having natural hair, and I find that them saying things like that annoying. I went natural because the CFC obviously wasn't helping and I was curious. But, is it really a bad thing to be told something like that? Am I getting irriated over nothing?

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    I also find this annoying. To me, it's just wearing my natural hair texture just as anyone would do, I'm still the same me. I'm no more closer to Africa than I was before I went natural.

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    i'd be annoyed as well. we aren't doing anything to our hair.. this is just how it grows out of the scalp.

    when white women don;t get perms i don't think anyone says something as stupid as they are getting in touch with the whiteness.. same with asian women.

    i think sometimes people forget we arent born with a pair of rubber gloves, a jar of vaseline and a rela.xer kit.

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    I just stopped r3laxing my hair because they annoy me.
    Do your mom and grandma know that people relax their hair in Africa too?

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    Do your mom and grandma know that people relax their...

    doubt it, I didn't even know that until I started reading various hair journals.
    I'm so glad that you guys think that this is annoying too. There is nothing wrong with "getting in touch with your roots" but everyone came from Africa. And if we aren't going to go that far back, then I ain't from Africa. I'm from the Bahamas. Just because I want to rock a puff, it shouldn't mean that I'm going to learn Swahili, too.

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    I'm so glad that you guys think that this is...

    Interesting.....now if an AFRICAN opens his/her mouth to say that Black Americans (and that includes North, South, and any other part of the Americas) are NOT AFRICANS then there would probably be a huge uproar and folks would be ready to lynch someone. So I guess you are only African if you say so, but no one else should dare make that mistake.

    Na wa for una o! Na you sabi..

    Ijeoma <---- THE AFRICAN

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    I wouldn't care, because I don't even refer to myself as African American anyways.

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    Yep...

    As I think I mentioned in another thread, I'm about to start a job with another Afro-wearing woman. I'm waiting for the first person to say that I'm trying to emulate her (because she's known for her massive 'fro, never mind the fact that I'm 15 years older and was wearing the BAA while she was in high school, but ANYway...).

    My version of GG's response: Contrary to popular belief, the majority of black women do NOT have naturally straight hair.

    And for the record: I am an AMERICAN of (overwhelmingly) African descent. I happen to prefer the term "black" but I'm not going to smack someone for calling me "African-American" either.

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    Yah.....and you are not alone. And don't get me wrong, I do feel that people do have the right to identify themselves as what ever.....For example, many Africans do not identify with being "African American" and visa versa....yadda, yadda...we all know the history behind all of this....And I should think that most of us REALIZE that there is a difference between NATIONALITY (place of birth) and RACE (genetics)...however, I find one thing interesting...

    Let's imagine for a minute a hypothetical situation: The U.S. Government and other ex-slave holding nations have announce today that reparations will be issued tomorrow for all African slave decendants, but only those with proof of that African Heritage. I wonder how many "black" people who do not identify with African would be coming out of the woodwork with proof of their African heritage and their "African-ness" to claim those reparations? Since most people would not have much proof - most documents from slave ships were destroyed - then what would be used as proof.... Appearance? hair? Thick lips? Broad nose? Dark skin? an old picture of Great grandmom with the nappy hair??? Of course there are non-black people with these same features, but I am speaking specifically of descendants of African slaves in the Americas.

    Reading about deep seated psychological issues about race and belonging in a college course is one thing...seeing it with my own eyes is another....Wow!

    Ijeoma <--Desde la Tierra Africana!

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    To be honest I dont care. I want to go to Africa one day...I feel like Im missing something in my life....maybe me cuttin my hair is a way of "finding my roots" so to say since Im not burning them with the perm anymore....yeah know?

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    I don't feel "Africanized"...but I do feel "de-Europeanized", if that makes sense.

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    when white women don;t get perms i don't think anyone...

    girl if you just didnt hit that nail on the head!!!! i was trying to explain that to a relative (who was born down south) just an hour ago, but i left it alone.

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    dimebag91, that's how I feel EXACTLY! ^_^

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    Sorry to be flipping my mouth so much, but this post really tugs at me...

    Right now I am reminded of a scene I saw in the movie, ROOTS, where Kunta Kinte is talking to one of the slave women about Africa and liberation from slavery and some things...so she turns to Kunta Kinte and says in a very annoyed voice, "Me! I ain't no African!" I realized how profound that statement when I first saw the movie, but now it REALLY HITS HOME TO ME! How quickly we forget...

    Ije

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    Even though many of us did not have the intention of "going back to our roots" when we stopped relaxing, we did take a step in that direction. We are choosing to get to know and love our natural hair that grows from our heads instead of permanently straigtening it with lye. In so doing, we have chosen to identify with wearing our hair the way our ancestors did when there was no such thing as a r.elaxer. Thereby getting back to our roots (that are in Africa).

    I wouldn't have been insulted if someone said these things to me but I do understand where you're coming from.

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    Let's imagine for a minute a hypothetical situation: The U.S....

    I see what you're saying, but people do that all the time with their native american heritage. the only time they acknowledge it is when it benefits them. I'm not all black so i'm not just going to say African american. I just refer to myself as american. Yeah, racism exist, yada yada yada, but i'm so sick of hearing about who's what and who's who. I don't even care. If I go to Africa, fine, if not, oh well. We're all going to die anyway someday, what we are doesn't matter.

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    I'd be annoyed,too. Just because someone stops perming doesn't mean they are Africanized. Why can't people just dislike cfcs and hot tools of torture?

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    Me,too!!!

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    In a nutshell, ITA.

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    I never saw going natural as a way to "get back to my roots". It seemed like becoming natural chose me, I didnt chose it. I've been totally natural since 2003 and my family still makes litt snide comments and rude remarks about my hair. I've learned to just ignore them.

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    Your hair doesn't have to be the only thing that makes you africanized. It's has to be your way of thinking, in my opinion. You can be natural and not know a thing about Africa. You can be natural and be the "Whitest acting person"? I think it takes more than hair.
    Most of us are europeanized because we've adopted european customs in everything to what we eat, how we great each other, music we listen to.
    I guess if you're putting 'africanization" and 'afrocentric' to mean the same thing, that's what i get out of it.

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    when white women don;t get perms i don't think anyone...

    ointlaugh: So True

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    I don't feel Africanized; I do feel more Authentic..more like ME.

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    I'm African via my history, not my hairstyle.
    Moreover, have these folk actually visited an African country recently? I got more stares and comments about my hair in Ghana, than I have receieved anywhere else in the world. Almost everyone was complimentary, but my hair was clearly a different sight. Nearly every adult woman had processed hair, and there were more p.erm kits, and weaves hanging in the markets than anything else.

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    Right now I am reminded of a scene I saw...

    I understand your frustration, but you seem to be in a similar place where I used to be.

    But I've thought about it a lot and I've realized that I can grasp why some (though in my immediate surroundings it's a lot more than just "some") Black Americans choose to distant themselves from Africa.

    I mean for one, I don't refer to myself as African/Black American, because I do not see myself as one...If I must speak of my identity, I say Sudanese American, or I just say....Sudanese. (I don't just say "African either"....but that's a whole different story ^_^ )

    Yes, they (blacks who originated from africa and are now littered all over the world, but in this context..."African/black Americans") are from the continent, but they do not have any real linguistic, cultural and traditional connections. That being said, what part of Africa should they (generally) even begin to identify with? Africa is not a country. And in all honesty I find great irritation when people make references to "getting back to their roots" or going to the "motherland." Which roots? What land? I despise the grouping that takes place, and even more the commercialized, generalized lion king meets tarzan meet prince of Egypt version of Africa that people choose to appropriate in the end...

    Give me a specific country, a specific tribe, a specific culture and then come back to me and talk about "roots." Because then it's like a white person hooked on "Asian" culture with their kimonos and chop sticks. *sigh*

    Yes, they were once from there, but they have created a flourishing culture in North/South American, Europe and other places. They have their own different identity now. People act as if African Americans have NO CULTURE. They stemmed from there, but they really owe no real connection with "Africa." Hell, where I come from, Black Americans are referred to with a term that means "Europeanized Blacks" or even roughly "Black Whites" no matter how dark their skin is or how nappy their hair is.

    I hope this didn't sound insulting...that was not my intention at all.

    Also...last, but not least. People perm their hair like crazy in different countries across Africa, it certainly is not just an issue in the States. However, when I was in Uganda, you wouldn't find perms on young children, and it's not big deal to have natural hair. Bleaching cream was a bigger issue.

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    But I've thought about it a lot and I've realized...

    Very interesting perspective. So, do you suggest that those of the diaspora, no longer on the continent, just dissasociate if they don't have a clear idea of their specific history (country, tribe language etc)?

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    ITA I don't feel africanized either, I just feel more...

    This is an interesting perpective indeed. I know I'm from African descent but I wouldn't say I'm African per say. I think there is a difference between those 2 perspectives. I think those of African descent really created their own different cultures. But on the other hand, I'm Haitian and I doubt that there wasn't some African traditions that have been carried over to Haiti (exemple : animism in religion). But I see where you're coming from. It's hard to retrace what country we where from and to put a specific name to the tribe/country we (who are of african descent ) originated.

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    I didn't go natural to be Africanized (besides I identify as Haitian first), I just decided to live with my real hair. When I was away a few weeks ago, I suddenly became one of just three sisters on a military as opposed to the constant contact with Blacks I have everyday. I was suddenly aware how different my teeny tiny TWA was to the standard European look and but then I figured hey, it's part of my package.

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    Na wa for una o! Na you sabi.. Ijeoma ...

    The proof in African slave ancestors can be proven by the mere fact we are born here, unless your family migrated here after slavery ended.

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    fftop: Your hair looks so soft and fluffy, I just want to reach out and touch it

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    Yeah my husband has a black friend who wears locs but dont date black women. For some there is no "african" or "roots" in the equation.

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