By: April C. Thornton
Racial identity has been a manifesting issue on HBCU campuses. The formal term African American is used to classify the race of our people. To my amazement, this so-call formal term is sometimes inaccurate to people that do not consider themselves African American, but Black. Matter of fact, some Blacks are mindful that they are descendants from Africa, but they single handedly refuse to be identified as African. It is okay to scratch your head to this ridiculous way of thinking.
Oftentimes, as human-beings our vision and perception are clouded with personal stereotypes and the mis-education about other cultures, especially our own. These indications are the reason why some Black students are unwilling to bridge the gap of racial identity on campus. The media has a huge impact on how society view certain cultures. Newspapers and television portray individuals in Africa as destitute, infected with the HIV/AIDS virus and uneducated. Are these the reasons why a number of Black students are somewhat skeptical to refer to their race as African Americans? I was not born in Africa; therefore I am not African American. This is the most common response some Black students say when someone refers to their race as African American. Not only are they discrediting who they are, but their ancestors and culture as well. Many Black students are truly disconnected from their African roots. Wouldn’t you think?
Bowie State University senior, Quinton Thompson considers himself African American and believes, “We are a culture without an identity.” Ask yourself this, who am I and where did I come from? Thompson mentions, “Black people that do not recognize their African roots are oblivious to where their roots steam from.”
As time progress, majority of HBCU students are not as interested in learning about their African history. Could ignorance be the key factor in this issue? Students prefer to interact on various social networks, instead of reading a book that defines who we are as a culture or going on-line to research about African kings and queens and how they were prosperous in more ways than one. When someone refers to your race as African American, be proud. Our African culture is who we are as a people. I am African American.
By: April C. Thornton