Sunday, January 06, 2008

Words, Words, Words

Dear Gentle Reader(s), take the phrase "African American," (please). What think'st thou upon first hearing it?

For me, the first thought is that it is a direct descendant of socially acceptable terms used to modify citizens of the United States whose ancestors were brought over on a slave ship in the 17th and 18th centuries. (A superficial search indicates the slave trade was outlawed in 1808.)

If that particular lineage is most commonly used, then what does one do with Senator Obama, whose mother is a white woman from Kansas, and his father a Kenyan?

Isn't the disconnect a worthwhile element in the senator's current (as of 1.06.08) political successes?

Obama is a living example of the "bridge" between the racial issues of the past and the present cultural shift.

This cultural abridgement is very seldom discussed in specific terms. One wonders why.

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