Do you recommend I declare myself African?

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afitouri
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Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby afitouri » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:02 pm

I am a Libyan. Many Libyans are black, and many are white. Personally, I am lighter skinned. I have been to Libya many times, and my father was born there. As an immigrant, we had to face the trials that many immigrants face. Long periods of unemployment, and a low-income household.

I consider myself rightfully African-American. I have a stronger connection to Africa than most black Americans do, being that I am only one generation removed and have personally traveled to Africa many times, and because the hardships my family has faced are economically similar to the hardships of any minority group. I have traveled to Tunisia and Egypt as well, and have encountered many native Ghanaians and Nigerians during my stays in Libya; I have established relationships with some Libyans who have emigrated from Niger. In other words, I have roots in sub Saharan Africa as well as North Africa.

My question is whether there is an overwhelming argument that should prevent me from filing as African American, just because I am a light-skinned Libyan rather than a dark-skinned one?

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NYCbound35
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby NYCbound35 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:08 pm

Via wikipedia

Caucasian - The term Caucasian race (also Caucasoid, Europid, or Europoid[1]) has been used to denote the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Asia, Central Asia and South Asia.

North Africa - North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes seven countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara.



You are Caucasian. Don't play games with the law schools, it won't work in the long run.

23402385985
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby 23402385985 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:14 pm

You ARE African American. But you aren't black.

One of my best friends is Egyptian and put African American on all of his applications. Never got any shit for it, but a few raised eyebrows at interviews for med school. I wouldn't put it just to avoid the hassle.
Last edited by 23402385985 on Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bceagles182
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby bceagles182 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:14 pm

NYCbound35 wrote:Via wikipedia

Caucasian - The term Caucasian race (also Caucasoid, Europid, or Europoid[1]) has been used to denote the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Asia, Central Asia and South Asia.

North Africa - North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes seven countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara.



You are Caucasian. Don't play games with the law schools, it won't work in the long run.


Sweet source. They're nothing wrong with saying you are African-American when you have strong African Ancestry. The fact that it's from Libya rather than from Nigeria is irrelevant, as is skin color.

Don't say you are black, but definitely say you are African American. You're more African American than the vast majority of the black population in this country.

afitouri
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby afitouri » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:15 pm

To the first reply:

If North Africans are Caucasian, then what about my black as night Libyan friends? Are they Caucasian too?

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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby 23402385985 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:16 pm

bceagles182 wrote:
NYCbound35 wrote:Via wikipedia

Caucasian - The term Caucasian race (also Caucasoid, Europid, or Europoid[1]) has been used to denote the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Asia, Central Asia and South Asia.

North Africa - North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, linked by the Sahara to Sub-Saharan Africa. Geopolitically, the United Nations definition of Northern Africa includes seven countries or territories; Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, and Western Sahara.



You are Caucasian. Don't play games with the law schools, it won't work in the long run.


Sweet source. They're nothing wrong with saying you are African-American when you have strong African Ancestry. The fact that it's from Libya rather than from Nigeria is irrelevant, as is skin color.

Don't say you are black, but definitely say you are African American.


It is true, though. Any Admissions person will tell you so. It's a bunch of bullshit, though, since it's so stupid how they phrase it. They are too afraid to put "black" to not offend anyone, yet they now exclude a whole group of people that the term technically applies to even though they aren't dark enough to actually benefit from it.

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bk1
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby bk1 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:18 pm

If you are only North African then you shouldn't represent yourself as Black/AA considering LSAC classifies you as White/Caucasian since it includes the following groups:

European Middle Eastern North African
Other Caucasian/White

If you have both North African and other African blood then yes you are Black/AA even if your skin is lighter.

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bk1
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby bk1 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:19 pm

afitouri wrote:To the first reply:

If North Africans are Caucasian, then what about my black as night Libyan friends? Are they Caucasian too?


They probably have African blood that is non-North African.

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bceagles182
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby bceagles182 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:22 pm

I don't care what LSAC says. There is a difference between black and African American. If they want to lump the two together that is their own ignorant folly.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:24 pm

NYCbound35 wrote:You are Caucasian. Don't play games with the law schools, it won't work in the long run.

This. They're asking about your race on those forms. You should indicate based on your race, not based on geography. Getting cute about the PC term now used to describe one race doesn't mean you are now a part of that race as well.

The Columbia app, for example, asks about "racial composition" (emphasis theirs!) to comply with federal reporting guidelines and then asks if you are "Black/African American". They clearly are not asking about caucasians who happened to be from Africa with that setup.

Also, OP, don't get cute about "light-skinned" or "dark-skinned". There are black people of various skin tones in this country. It sounds like you're not talking about the difference between being "light-skinned" or "dark-skinned", it sounds like you're talking about the difference between being racially black and being caucasian.

If you are white/caucasian, then there is an overwhelming argument for why you should not indicate that you are "African American". It is that you are not black, which is what "African American" refers to on racial identification forms. Don't lie on your applications.

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bk1
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby bk1 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:25 pm

bceagles182 wrote:I don't care what LSAC says. There is a difference between black and African American. If they want to lump the two together that is their own ignorant folly.


Well the reason it is like that is because white people in the US, having been racist as shit for centuries, tried to stop being so racist. One of the ways they tried to do this was to be politically correct and use the term AA instead of black. This has then led to people of North African descent (and some white South Africans) trying to claim that they are black/AA on a technicality.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:26 pm

bceagles182 wrote:Don't say you are black, but definitely say you are African American. You're more African American than the vast majority of the black population in this country.


You're inspiring him to fuck himself over. Stop it. A white man from South-Africa who's been sociologically disadvantaged (or thinks he has) and cites the fact that he's hung out with black people and Ghanaian itinerant workers on his visits back to South Africa is not an African-American.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_American

Wikipedia wrote:African Americans (also referred to as Black Americans or Afro-Americans, and formerly as American Negroes) are citizens or residents of the United States who have origins in any of the black populations of Africa.[3] In the United States, the terms are generally used for Americans with at least partial Sub-Saharan African ancestry. Most African Americans are the direct descendants of captive Africans who survived the slavery era within the boundaries of the present United States, although some are—or are descended from—immigrants from African, Caribbean, Central American or South American nations.[4] As an adjective, the term is usually written as African-American.[5]


To OP, you can address the things you talk about in a diversity statement but I wouldn't go checking that box. That's a lie and you know it. Feeling lucky?
Last edited by Blessedassurance on Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:28 pm

bceagles182 wrote:They're nothing wrong with saying you are African-American when you have strong African Ancestry. The fact that it's from Libya rather than from Nigeria is irrelevant, as is skin color.

Don't say you are black, but definitely say you are African American. You're more African American than the vast majority of the black population in this country.

There is something wrong with saying you are African American as an answer to a question if you are caucasian, the question is asking you to identify your race, and you know the asking party uses the phrase "African American" to refer to someone who is racially black. You are advocating that OP knowingly lie or misrepresent himself to law schools, which is not a good way to start a legal career.

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NYCbound35
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby NYCbound35 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:29 pm

afitouri wrote:To the first reply:

If North Africans are Caucasian, then what about my black as night Libyan friends? Are they Caucasian too?


Do you consider yourself Arab? Most Libyans identify more with Egypt/Syria/Jordan etc. than with Nigeria and Ghana. Of course Libya is not a completely homogeneous country and people fall into many categories that might be more accurately described as African than Arab (or something completely different even); but you do not seem like one of those people.

afitouri wrote:As an immigrant, we had to face the trials that many immigrants face. Long periods of unemployment, and a low-income household.

because the hardships my family has faced are economically similar to the hardships of any minority group. I have traveled to Tunisia and Egypt as well, and have encountered many native Ghanaians and Nigerians during my stays in Libya; I have established relationships with some Libyans who have emigrated from Niger. In other words, I have roots in sub Saharan Africa as well as North Africa.

My question is whether there is an overwhelming argument that should prevent me from filing as African American, just because I am a light-skinned Libyan rather than a dark-skinned one?


The above does not make you African American. As to your first statement; this is a hardship that many Eastern European/Arab/South Asian and Asian immigrants have to deal with. They do not get a boost from it.

Your second statement makes no sense either. I have a lot of black friends; do I get a boost?


Check white and write a diversity statement; hopefully it helps.

LoyalRebel
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby LoyalRebel » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:30 pm

I personally don't think it's accurate to say you're African American if you're white and you were born in the USA. If you were born in Libya, that would be a different story, however.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:31 pm

afitouri wrote:To the first reply:

If North Africans are Caucasian, then what about my black as night Libyan friends? Are they Caucasian too?

It's a question about race. If they're black, and you know they're black, they should indicate whatever represents them as racially black. Here in the US, that often means checking "African American". If you are white/caucasian, and you know you're white/caucasian, you should avoid checking "African American" because you know it means a race other than yours.

ohyouknow
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby ohyouknow » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:32 pm

I think you can say African American. If I were you though I would call the admissions people to double check.

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bk1
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby bk1 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:32 pm

LoyalRebel wrote:I personally don't think it's accurate to say you're African American if you're white and you were born in the USA. If you were born in Libya, that would be a different story, however.


If you were white and born in Libya it still wouldn't be okay.

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Blessedassurance
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby Blessedassurance » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:33 pm

afitouri wrote:To the first reply:

If North Africans are Caucasian, then what about my black as night Libyan friends? Are they Caucasian too?


Are you a black-as-night Libyan?

23402385985
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby 23402385985 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:33 pm

LoyalRebel wrote:I personally don't think it's accurate to say you're African American if you're white and you were born in the USA. If you were born in Libya, that would be a different story, however.


It's absolutely right if he has African blood in him.

The whole "African American" thing is just stupid, anyway. It encompasses everyone from Africa or it's just a stupid, pointless term. Can't be both ways. I was just having this discussion with my friend who lives in our rental house (black guy). Had a good laugh about the idiocy of the term itself.

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bk1
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby bk1 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:33 pm

ohyouknow wrote:If I were you though I would call the admissions people to double check.


iirc, admissions offices tend to be very vague about this sort of thing. They don't want to tell people what their race is (and I don't blame them) but in this instance checking black/AA is clearly a purposeful misrepresentation.

23402385985
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby 23402385985 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:34 pm

ohyouknow wrote:I think you can say African American. If I were you though I would call the admissions people to double check.


No. He absolutely should not mark the AA box. I don't think admissions would enjoy people checking that just to challenge the nature of what an African American actually is. Makes more work for them.

berkeleykel06
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby berkeleykel06 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:34 pm

LoyalRebel wrote:If you were born in Libya, that would be a different story, however.

I think the answer would still be the same. Geography does not equal race.

White North African claiming to be African American = white Russian claiming to be Asian.

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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby 23402385985 » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:35 pm

berkeleykel06 wrote:
LoyalRebel wrote:If you were born in Libya, that would be a different story, however.

I think the answer would still be the same. Geography does not equal race.

White North African claiming to be African American = white Russian claiming to be Asian.


Is African American actually a real race, though? Because then you are saying they are a different race than African Africans.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby vanwinkle » Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:37 pm

joncrooshal wrote:I was just having this discussion with my friend who lives in our rental house (black guy). Had a good laugh about the idiocy of the term itself.

It is a pretty stupid term, since it invokes geography but is used to represent race. However, the poor choice of language doesn't excuse OP from actually answering the question truthfully, and if the question is asking about racial identity, the fact that the term is stupid doesn't change the fact that he's misrepresenting his race by checking black when he's white.




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