Friday, June 13, 2008

Why "Blacks" on Saipan?

When we say "Blacks" (with a capital "B") on Saipan, we're not referring to a color so much as a diverse cultural identity. Because of the unique history of Blacks throughout the world as a result of forced and voluntary migration from the African continent, many Blacks now identify culturally and ethnically with countries and regions other than the motherland. As a result of the identity-robbing effects of slavery, many Blacks can no longer trace their origins to any specific country in Africa. As a result, when people within the transplanted Black community worldwide refer to themselves as "Black," it is with the tacit understanding that it is more than just a color, but a nod to an often-times lost African cultural origin, diluted as it may be through years of migration and mixing. 

Therefore, when you see someone who appears "Black" on Saipan, they may well be from one of any number of countries on the African continent--Ghana, Kenya--the Caribbean-- Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados--South America (Brazil) or the US mainland.  

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