A+ R A-

Shall We Call Ourselves Colored?

E-mail Print PDF

Share this article with a friend

What is "colored?" “Black” is absolutely destitute of color. Real “Dark,” being absolutely destitute of light, is a loose generic term used figuratively (metaphorical, symbolic) and literally (most obvious meaning). Yet, it may mean anything from complete absence of light to varying degrees of mixed or partial or shaded light or dimness.

Something is considered “dark” if it cannot be seen through. Since Primitive Africans evolved during the Ice Age and lived in a wide variety of climatic environments--some high in the mountains and some on the flat-lands, chances are their hair textures and skin color (brown to sort of yellow) varied. This fits the criteria for "Colored" People.

Besides, the Yoruba, Wolof, Mandingo, Hausa, Asante, Fante, Edo, Fulani, Serere, Luba, Angola, Congo, Ibo, Ibibio, Ijaw, and Sherbro who heavily populated the African American Slaves were quite mixed. In the Americas, when the involuntary first 20 West African "Negars" (as they were described on the ship's manifest) were sold in Virginia, there began interbreeding between all ethnic groups. The first significant mixing of Africans and Europeans (especially English, Scotch, and Irish) came in the 17th and 18th centuries among indentured servants, Slaves, and "Free Negroes." Meanwhile, racial mixing flourished with various ethnic groups of Whites and Amerindians (e.g. Creek, Cherokee, Muskogee, Choctaw, and Pawnee). In 1850 the USA census showed a Black population of 3,639,000 and 90% born in the USA. The mulatto count was 406,000. By 1910 that figure had jumped to 2,051,000 mulattoes, with a total Black population of 9,823,000. Obviously, miscegenation played an overwhelming role in transforming the various "races" out of their purity.

Whereas at least as early as 1836 "African American" was the preferred term for those born in Africa and located in the American South, terms also frequent during this time period were “coloured, darky, nigger, and Negro--most incorporating phrases like “work like a nigger” (1836) and “nigger in the woodpile” (1852). In the Americas and prior to emancipation in 1865 dark-skinned people were not considered Americans and therefore most saw themselves as Africans, Black, or "Colored" citizens, even though devoid of the rights of citizens. Part of the reason for such naming diversity was from the various European slave traders. After the Civil war, the ex-Slaves were generally called "Blacks"--or more politely "Coloreds" or Afro-Americans as the preferred labels. However, "Coloreds" dominated until the 1880s, when "negro" increasingly became the preferred term and reigned by 1900. Starting in the 1920’s but established by the 1960’s, “Black” (a symbol for racial pride) was spotlighted; then, in 1988, African American (a term failing to account for Black America diversity).

Whether admitted or not, practically all White and Black Americans having Ancestors dating back to slavery are mixtures of African, Amerindian, and European--and those ("Colored") mixtures are further mixing today with each other and with mixtures of additional ethnic groups (e.g. Asians). By extending beyond the collective or individual boundaries of any of a given individual's "racial" inputs, such genetic pool intermingling would seem to qualify all of us as "Colored" Americans --i.e. humans that become larger than "race." Yet, foolishly this does not happen because of unfounded social and personal insecurities and associated hostilities.

Website: www.jablifeskills.com