Why Do We Say “African American”?

From Origin Of Everything.

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Language is constantly changing and ethnonyms are no exception. From "Negro" to "Colored" and "African American" to "Black," the people and cultures of African origin living in the United States have had many names. Today Danielle looks at the etymology and reclamation surrounding Black history and identity.

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Created and Hosted by Danielle Bainbridge
Produced by Complexly for PBS Digital Studios


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Origin of Everything is a show about the undertold histories and cultural dialogues that make up our collective story. From the food we eat, to the trivia and fun facts we can’t seem to get out of our heads, to the social issues we can’t stop debating, everything around us has a history. Origin of Everything is here to explore it all. We like to think that no topic is too small or too challenging to get started.

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Johnson, E., 2020. KEYWORDS FOR AMERICAN CULTURAL STUDIES. 2nd ed. [S.l.]: NEW YORK UNIVERSITY PRESS, p.30.
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Number 2, Special Edition Winter/Spring 2020 – African American Studies Journal – CCSU Newsletter.
"Books Noted". Negro Digest: 52. June 1964.
New Leadership into the 21St Century By Yahya ibn Shabazz
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Encyclopedia Britannica. 2020. Black Panther Party | History, Ideology, & Facts.
Ben L. Martin. Political Science Quarterly. Vol. 106, No. 1 (Spring, 1991), pp. 83-107
Nytimes.com. 2020. A Debate Over Identity And Race Asks, Are African-Americans ‘Black’ Or ‘Black’?.
McWhorter, J., 2020. Is ‘Colored People’ A Slur?.