Articles

What does it mean to be black in America

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2012 by blacklearner

This has been a prominent question in the wake of the election of President Barack Obama—The first black president of the U.S. CNN’s Soledad Obrian provided a glimpse into black life with the special,”Black in America.” However, Soledads documentary only provided viewers with a social depiction of black life; without tackling the psycho-social aspects of being black in America. Thus it is vital for those who are not privy to black culture to understand that being black in America is an obscure phenomena that is arduous to explain through illusory means: due in part to phenomenology. That is, many people attempt to understand the “black experience” through existentialism, but without having lived as a black person one cannot fully understand or appreciate its dynamics. The most proximal way to deduce the black perspective is through theory of “double consciousness” coined by Dr.W.E.B Dubois (Social Theory). The theory posits that black identity can be divided into several facets or layers of counsiousness. That is to that say, that black people must see themselves out of the eyes of white people; and not from their own self-counciousness. Thus black people are often split between being American on on end, and having an African heritage on the other. In a world where conformity is often the precursor for american success, many black Americans are opposing to this acculturation process, while others are flourishing under this system. This de-emphasis of “unified blackness” or black solidarity  has caused a rift between black people in America. Indeed, as Randal author of the acclaimed, “Disintegration” has eloquently point out is that there are several distinct groups of African-Americans in the US. Thus, the splintering of blacks has caused many to question that group loyalty of the President of the U.S. The president who is mixed in race-black father and white mother-has been accused of not working hard enough for the rights of black Americans. Many blacks argue that his primary political base is black and therefore his allegnence should be to us. But many blacks side with the president claiming that he does care about the poor social and economic plight of African-Americans; but due to the threat of a call on preferential treatment from opponents the president cannot directly address the issues of black america. While there are many critics on both sides of the coin, theres on thing that remains true, W.E.B theory of double consciousness has been validated. How then can blacks people be able to fight for the rights of black people when they may seen as giving preferential treatment to their own race.

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