Ironically, Magic Johnson and other commentators mentioned that the racist comments made by Donald Sterling, owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was a “black eye” on the league. His statement underscores the reality that even in his and their mind “black” has negative connotations in particular instances. How do they distinguish between the seemingly higher and lower self of “black”? Or do they distinguish? Also the use of “black” as a noun rather than an adjective is problematic for many reasons, i.e., “those blacks” as opposed to ” those black people”.
Human beings are more appropriately known by their nationality not colors. A particular nation of people may run the gamut of skin color and ethnicity. The term, for “black” Americans is as an adjective scientifically inaccurate regardless of how emotionally attached “black” people are to the term “black”. Very few, if any, “African-Americans” are literally black…though some of their forefathers and mothers may have been.
I’m reminded of the light olive complexioned “black” couple (light-skinned black is oxymoronic) who were Black Studies professors that retired to West Africa. Their feelings were very much hurt that the people in that part of West Africa didn’t consider them “black” and referred to them by an indigenous term that equated to “white”.
Being that most “black” people, particularly in America are not literally black, when they refer to themselves as such what are they really saying? They seem to be saying that we are those that identify with those of our ancestors that were literally black-skinned and we are therefore black too by default…but they also are saying we are those that have shared the dehumanizing “black” experience in America.