Monday, December 17, 2012

I'm not African

I was chatting with someone a few weeks ago, when I made reference to the politics of various ethnic groups in Trinidad and Tobago. When I used the word "black" to describe the group to which I ostensibly belong, she stopped me and - ever so politely - corrected me to "African."

I paused for a second, but I gave in. I did this for two reasons:
  1. We were talking about something else and didn't want to get side-tracked in the little bit of time that we had.
  2. I didn't think an explanation of why I don't identify as "African" would be appropriate at the time and in that setting. 
I've noticed that people who do identify as African tend to become offended by that revelation. So, just this once, I went a long to get along. Always with the intention of correcting the misconception at a later date. I haven't had the chance to do so yet, though, and it's crossed my mind a few times since, so I figured I'd write it out.

So, here are the four reasons that I don't identify as African: