Is it time to ditch the colour Black for our true heritage, African?

Is it time to ditch the colour Black for our true heritage, African?

The African Or Black Question: Colour or Heritage? – Ade Sawyerr

In an article I wrote last year, I wondered what people of African descent would make of the declaration of 2011 the International Year for people of African Descent, http://www.obv.org.uk/news-blogs/2011-year-people-african-descent, and to what extent they would benefit from the message of recognition, justice and development that was intended to be the hallmark of the celebrations.  Though we are yet to evaluate the significant outcomes of the year of celebration, it has forced on us a question that is being asked about what people of African descent should be called in the Diaspora – ‘The African or Black Question’?

Questions of identity are complex, sensitive and personal, and therefore reaching consensus even after extensive discussion may be difficult.  Any answer must be well reasoned and cover issues of race, ethnicity, culture, changes in terminology and colour.  My conclusion after considering this issue is that the colour Black does not quite denote our identity in Britain and that our heritage and historical geography, African is a more enduring and fitting term for our identity as a people.

Continue reading “Is it time to ditch the colour Black for our true heritage, African?”

The Black Man and the Seven ‘isms’

August 7, 2009…1:37 pm

Trevor Phillips and the Seven ‘isms’ The row over Trevor Phillips has distracted from the more important question of how to tackle racism, says Ade Sawyerr

Trevor Phillips, who chairs the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, has been reappointed to his position and the other commissioners representing the other equalities are resigning. And Black people in this country have been caught in an issue not of their making. They are being asked to support another black man who has risen to the top, and who suddenly needs their support to hang on to his job. The problem is that instead of a debate on the relevance and the effectiveness of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission to deal with the problems of racism, the focus is now on the competence and suitability of a black person to chair that super institution.

It was never supposed to be like this. It was supposed to be different.

Continue reading “The Black Man and the Seven ‘isms’”