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Why do some people act like they're DIRECTLY from Africa even though they were US born?

I notice this, and was also watching a Beyonce documentary: Now, I'm not saying this implying any negative connotations, I'm literally just *curious*.

I saw Beyonce in a dance studio rehearsing an African inspired dance, after the number, she paused, closed her eyes and breathed in deeply, saying "It's like i close my eyes and we're all in Africa again!"

Or black Americans saying "i got through everything in life because of my tribal ancestors and the pain they went through!" as if it's directly because of them. It all seems very "cinematic" and theatrical.

I just can't imagine a white person hearing something like, "German polka" dance, and start whimsically going "My ancestors are calling out to me! It's like were all back in Germany again!"

Yes, I am white - - and for example, don't connect the fact my Jewish ancestors went to Hitler's concentration camps and their "strength that got them through it" with any tribulation I go through. I don't look up to the sky and go "the strength of my Jewish grandmother is what guided me through this money/relationship/ work problem, etc.

Can someone please explain that to me? I'd understand if the tribulation revolved around racism, but I'm more alluding to the "my tribal ancestors strength and they are calling out to me, etc"


All in all, as a white person, i don't directly relate the fact that my ancestors got through the Holocaust as a reason "I'm strong because my Jewish people empowered me!"

I can see why African Americans feel closely connected as something to *relate* to, as many people in the US are white, and black people would desire a certain cultural sense of belonging, somewhere to fit into the mold, but again, SOME of them act as if their feet have touched the soil of African land . . .

5 Answers

  • 2 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    For many African-Americans, the continent of Africa holds a special "cachet"...much as, say, "heaven" holds for some people. This cachet is based mostly on imagination, but its emotional power and reach are considerable, and quite real. You might feel little or no connection with your grandmother's suffering under the Nazis (not to say that you trivialize it...but rather that you haven't personalized it) so it bears little comparison with this "Africa" thing.

    Consider Superman, who was exiled to Earth when Krypton fell into its death throes. Might he not think back to his origins, and imagine how his life might have been as a normal, unremarkable citizen of Krypton? Might he not imagine that everything there was perfect (never having known the reality, and so being perfectly unfettered in his idealization of a place he'd never seen) ...and go on to imagine that, on Krypton, everything that was bad or nasty or ignorant on Earth was the exact opposite? Sure, he could. What do you think he was thinking about, all that time by himself in the Fortress of Solitude? Yeah, man - Krypton...Mother Krypton, where everything was perfect and right, before I got stuck in THIS sh ithole. Sometimes, when I've been yelled at all day by that bastard Perry White (no pun...that was really the editor's name), I could just close my eyes, feel that Kryptonian beat, and it's like we're all on Krypton again!"

    It's like that. It's an idealization equivalent to many people's idea of "paradise" or "heaven". Just because it's based on imagination doesn't mean it's not real. I mean, you COULD try to dissect a person's notion of where he will go after he dies, and expose all of the "nonsense" that's inherent in it - but what's the point? Real or imaginary actually makes zero difference, in this situation. For many African-Americans, there are TWO paradises: One is the afterlife, and the other is the alternate universe in which the slavery business never occurred. The emotional weight carried by each of these two is essentially the same.

    Perhaps there's an equivalent for some devout Jewish man bowing in front of the Wailing Wall, imagining how Israel might have been, if only it had been righteous enough to be spared the Babylonian conquest. There are probably hymns or psalms to that effect.

  • Robert
    Lv 6
    2 years ago


    Perhaps you might consider respecting anyone's right to cherish their heritage and ancestral culture.

    I hope this helps.


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  • 2 years ago

    Most people don't act like that because most people aren't from Africa

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  • Anonymous
    2 years ago

    These afro Americans thinks they African? Why? Why is because us Africans are better than they. We live real black life in black culture and know ours roots. These black USA Americans don't knows their roots and not are pure African. They are b a s t a r d s who have none of places to say is their own. They have no history and are not real African. I hate when peoples pretend to be from here.

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  • 2 years ago

    Why do you care?

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