African Americans are sometimes too quick to speak about Dominican race consciousness,” says Díaz. “If we’re honest, many African Americans still overvalue white characteristics and behavior. If there’s one thing that ties African Americans and Dominicans together, it’s our self-hatred, this tendency to value whiteness and to devalue blackness. It’s a fundamental issue facing all African Diaspora communities. Another divider is conversations on race and culture in this country that are too often limited to black and white, and that erase Dominicans. I live in Harlem, and am often challenged by African Americans: ‘Hey, why cant you folks just speak English?!’ Some are upset when we’re unwilling to define ourselves merely as Black.
Junot Diaz, Same Trip, Different Ships By Milca Esdaille (via howtobeterrell)
Where is the .gif with a fully applauding audience?
“…we’re unwilling to define ourselves merely as Black.”
THAT is the problem right there. That ‘merely’, like it’s just So. Awful. to be black, so there’s the need to identify as everything BUT black, but still want to claim blackness when it’s convenient.
This is not at all about being considered “merely” Black, and while I understand how that word choice could be a problem if misinterpreted, “merely” in this context is relating to the fact that he identifies with an ethnic/national/cultural identity AS WELL AS a racial one that IS BLACK, but via DOMINICAN BLACKNESS. Everybody’s Black-orientation isn’t from an American perspective. This isn’t about devaluing African-American blackness, it’s about having HIS blackness, the blackness that’s generated from HIS historical/cultural experiences, the genesis of blackness from HIS country – be respected and acknowledged. That being Dominican, his blackness is also combined with the importance of his language and bonding with other Latinos via that language and for that to be questioned or for somebody to not understand that or want him to not engage in that is flat out ridiculous … And why should he have to? Because Blacks in the US no matter your ethnic background, you’re supposed to speak English to make other folk comfortable? I hope people don’t miss the point of this quote …