Sellout

Mar 05 2008 | 0 comments |

Nword_book
I watched this fascinating conversation on Bloggingheads between Harvard Law Professor Randall Kennedy and John McWhorter of the Manhattan Institute.  They go back and forth about various backlash they've had on stuff they've written such as Kennedy's controversial "Nigger: The Strange Career of a Troublesome Word" which I really want to read now and McWhorter's piece on The Root about what constitutes "Black Culture"

I find all this fascinating because it fits squarely in the realm of the Afropolitan. What makes a black person go from being African to Afropolitan or African American to Afropolitan. I had an interesting email discussion with a friend about this who rejects the term Afropolitan. She sees it as another label that is more divisive than transformative.  I must say, I saw her point, but  I disagreed in that I don't see it as a label but more so an identity that develops.

I think there are black people who try  and transcend what it conventionally means to be black; but then there are others who just kind of ended up doing it because they were pushed out of one group and pulled in another or as the Afropolitan article says are "mutt" and gives the example of an "American accent, European affect, African ethos."thus creating a new cultural identity.

What does this have to do with selling out? Well is this the African community's version of a sellout? Someone who got to live/study abroad, picked up a European language or two, married/dates white people? Its just fascinating to me and I think its healthy for us as a community to be having these discussions.   

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