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"The labels used to describe Americans of African descent mark the movement of a people from the slave house to the White House. Today, many are resisting this progression by holding on to a name from the past: “black.”
For this group – some descended from U.S. slaves, some immigrants with a separate history – “African-American” is not the sign of progress hailed when the term was popularized in the late 1980s. Instead, it’s a misleading connection to a distant culture.
The debate has waxed and waned since African-American went mainstream, and gained new significance after the son of a black Kenyan and a white American moved into the White House. President Barack Obama’s identity has been contested from all sides, renewing questions that have followed millions of darker Americans:
What are you? Where are you from? And how do you fit into this country?
...Today, 24 years after [Rev. Jesse] Jackson popularized African-American, it’s unclear what term is preferred by the community. A series of Gallup polls from 1991 to 2007 showed no strong consensus for either black or African-American. In a January 2011 NBC/Wall Street Journal poll, 42 percent of respondents said they preferred black, 35 percent said African-American, 13 percent said it doesn’t make any difference, and 7 percent chose “some other term.”
Meanwhile, a record number of black people in America – almost 1 in 10 – were born abroad, according to census figures."To read the complete article please click here.