Do you recommend I declare myself African?

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yngblkgifted
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby yngblkgifted » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:08 am

It's not a lie. He's from Africa and now he's coming to America; he's African American. Just because his African ancestors may have came to Africa from Europe many generations ago shouldn't make him any less African. This is about diversity after all, not merely judging people by the color of their skin.


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Blessedassurance
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby Blessedassurance » Sat Jul 09, 2011 2:59 am

It's not a lie. He's from Africa and now he's coming to America; he's African American. Just because his African ancestors may have came to Africa from Europe many generations ago shouldn't make him any less African. This is about diversity after all, not merely judging people by the color of their skin.


Actually OP was born in America. Major RC fail. You're confusing Gaddafi with Eddie Murphy.

afitouri
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby afitouri » Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:00 am

Can someone link to a thread about the Diversity Statement?

Additionally, I did not grow up with the middle class life that most whites are privy to. I grew up paying my own way through school and living in a 2 bedroom apartment with a single parent who was often unemployed.

Seeing as how I am literally African (I have an African citizenship) and literally American (I have an American citizenship) and how I speak the language of my African family, and that I can diversify any school with my insights about Africa, and that there is no significant European migrants to the nation that I hail from since the Vandals migrated to North Africa after the fall of Rome (in other words, that I am definitely African; unlike a Dutch Afrikaner), and because I faced the economic hardships of being African (in that my family's income was well below average) and the sociological hardships of being a minority (because I am Muslim and suffer from discrimination based on my name in airports, with police, and with neighbors) I feel that I am still more than justified in listing African American.

I was asking if there was overwhelming evidence. By this I meant either: have any schools addressed the issue of North African blacks specifically, or, are there any precedents people can refer to of Moroccans, Algerians, Tunisians, Libyans, Egyptians, or Sudanese listing African American on their applications and being told that this was an error on their part.

Thanks for the feedback guys.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:07 am

Bildungsroman wrote:
afitouri wrote:So there seems to be a bit of disagreement.

Basically, race is exclusively about skin color?

I have a Libyan citizenship, and Libya was the head of the African Union. Libyans consider themselves part of Africa, not part of the Middle East. They consider themselves African-Arabs, rather than Arabs, because they have a distaste for the Gulf nations.

I am inclined to mark AA and then explain that although I am AA I have light-skin in a statement. What are your thoughts on this?

Shut your honky complaint-hole and just check the box you know applies to you that you've been checking your whole life.


This is one of the most overtly racist things I've read on this board but I couldn't stop laughing.

midatl
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby midatl » Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:27 am

afitouri

On your law school application, it will ask whether you are black or African-American. I believe that it is clear that law schools only mean that box to include those who are black African, not whites who hail from South Africa etc. In addition, you will be offered the chance to describe the diversity you will bring to a school. Most of the factors you have described, (economic hardships, sociological hardships of being a Muslim, insights about Africa) would belong in that statement. If you write that statement honestly, explaining that you are light-skinned etc., then I'm not sure it will matter what box you check, although law schools might not appreciate the fact that you have checked the African-American box.

And if you're not sure, ask yourself a question. If you called up a law school and told them your story, what would they say to check off? I think that the only reason you wouldn't want to call up a school to ask the question, is because you're fairly certain that the answer would be that you shouldn't check that box.

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unc0mm0n1
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby unc0mm0n1 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:33 am

afitouri wrote:I am a Libyan. Many Libyans are black, and many are white. Personally, I am lighter skinned white. 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?


ftfy

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vanwinkle
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Jul 09, 2011 8:37 am

afitouri wrote:Additionally, I did not grow up with the middle class life that most whites are privy to. I grew up paying my own way through school and living in a 2 bedroom apartment with a single parent who was often unemployed.

Being poor doesn't make you black. The question doesn't ask for your economic background, it asks for your race. Read the question when you're filling out the apps.

You can put this info in a Diversity Statement. I don't have links right now, but just run a forum search. The DS is there to include details beyond just your race that show you increase diversity, without lying on your application.

afitouri wrote:I feel that I am still more than justified in listing African American.

Nothing you described justifies lying on your application. You can still do it, but it's not a great way to start a legal career.

The overwhelming evidence in this thread is that you are not black. Given that, you would be lying if you represented yourself as such to law schools. That's pretty much all there is to it.

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Emma.
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby Emma. » Sat Jul 09, 2011 9:56 am

vanwinkle wrote:
afitouri wrote:Additionally, I did not grow up with the middle class life that most whites are privy to. I grew up paying my own way through school and living in a 2 bedroom apartment with a single parent who was often unemployed.

Being poor doesn't make you black. The question doesn't ask for your economic background, it asks for your race. Read the question when you're filling out the apps.

You can put this info in a Diversity Statement. I don't have links right now, but just run a forum search. The DS is there to include details beyond just your race that show you increase diversity, without lying on your application.

afitouri wrote:I feel that I am still more than justified in listing African American.

Nothing you described justifies lying on your application. You can still do it, but it's not a great way to start a legal career.

The overwhelming evidence in this thread is that you are not black. Given that, you would be lying if you represented yourself as such to law schools. That's pretty much all there is to it.


ITT: Vanwinkle tells it like it is.

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Grizz
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby Grizz » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:06 am

Lulz did OP try to imply that being poorer made one more African, and hence more African American?

lolololololololololololol

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jmjones
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby jmjones » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:09 am

You're Black.

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Emma.
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby Emma. » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:13 am

afitouri wrote:
I was asking if there was overwhelming evidence. By this I meant either: have any schools addressed the issue of North African blacks specifically, or, are there any precedents people can refer to of Moroccans, Algerians, Tunisians, Libyans, Egyptians, or Sudanese listing African American on their applications and being told that this was an error on their part.



If you apply as an African American and you are accepted, your name and contact details will be forwarded to the school's BLSA chapter. They'll be working hard to recruit actual AA students, and will likely have special events set up at ASW and the like. It isn't like you are going to check a box and then no one is ever going to know what you put on your application once you get into school. As plenty of people have mentioned, the AA box is intended for the descendants of people brought to this country as slaves. While, like any student org BLSA is inclusive and anyone can join, no one is going to be impressed by your explanation that you've met people from sub-saharan Africa, so you thought it made sense to check the box

The reason no one on this board is going to be able to point to other Caucasian North Africans who have done this and been told it is an error is that there are likely very few people who are willing to start their legal career by intentional disingenuousness on their law school applications. Remember, though, that the school is going to have to provide a report to C&F. It seems like you have your heart set on doing this. My strongest suggestion is talk to some school's admission offices. Hell, call a school you have no intention of applying to if you are worried, or do it anonymously. Be honest with them, rather than using terms like "lighter skinned". See what someone says when you tell them you are a Caucasian North African and you thought you could apply as an African American.

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Emma.
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby Emma. » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:15 am

rad law wrote:Lulz did OP try to imply that being poorer made one more African, and hence more African American?

lolololololololololololol


Well, either that or having met and formed relationships with people from Nigeria.

smittytron3k
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby smittytron3k » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:21 am

Writing a diversity statement is TCR, and I think that you will not run into problems regardless of which box you check if you do so. If you contextualize whatever choice you make with a statement, no one can really accuse you of lying, which is what admissions committees and bar examiners are concerned with. Lying in this context indicates an active effort to mislead the admissions committee about your race, not simply being "wrong."

That said, I don't see a problem with saying you are African-American. You are African-American under at least one plausible textual definition of African-American, and you seem to identify as African-American and believe in good faith that you are African-American. No admissions committee or state bar is going to accuse you of lying on your application--they are not in the business of policing whether people fit into racial categories, except at the extremes. Just imagine what they would have to say--"sorry, we're kicking you out of law school/not admitting you to the bar because we think you're not black enough."

I don't think these issues are nearly as black and white (no pun intended) as most posters seem to indicate. Racial questions are always bound up with questions of self-identity (whether they explicitly indicate it or not) and there is a difference between lying and believing in good faith that you fall into a racial group, even if most people would not believe that you belong to that group.

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Emma.
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby Emma. » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:29 am

smittytron3k wrote:Writing a diversity statement is TCR, and I think that you will not run into problems regardless of which box you check if you do so. If you contextualize whatever choice you make with a statement, no one can really accuse you of lying, which is what admissions committees and bar examiners are concerned with.

That said, I don't see a problem with saying you are African-American. You are African-American under at least one plausible textual definition of African-American, and you seem to identify as African-American and believe in good faith that you are African-American. No admissions committee or state bar is going to accuse you of lying on your application--they are not in the business of policing whether people fit into racial categories, except at the extremes. Just imagine what they would have to say--"sorry, we're kicking you out of law school/not admitting you to the bar because we think you're not black enough."


No.

OP does not believe in good faith that he is AA, except in the limited extent that there is, as you say, a plausible textual definition of AA that includes the OP. OP is completely aware that this definition is not the common usage of the term AA, and aware that he'll be misleading admissions staff in an attempt to gain an advantage in applications. If OP had a genuine good-faith belief he wouldn't have needed to ask the question on here.

OP: Write a diversity statement. Explain everything you have explained here. Check a box for North African if there is one available on apps. You will certainly add to the diversity of the school, and as a result admissions committees will be interested. But do not start your legal career by trying to game the system with a "plausible textual definition of African-American."

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bk1
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby bk1 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:35 am

1. Make thread to solicit others' opinions.
2. Ignore what everyone has to say and do what you wanted to anyways in spite of being told it's stupid.
3. ?????
4. Profit.

smittytron3k
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby smittytron3k » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:42 am

Emma. wrote:
smittytron3k wrote:Writing a diversity statement is TCR, and I think that you will not run into problems regardless of which box you check if you do so. If you contextualize whatever choice you make with a statement, no one can really accuse you of lying, which is what admissions committees and bar examiners are concerned with.

That said, I don't see a problem with saying you are African-American. You are African-American under at least one plausible textual definition of African-American, and you seem to identify as African-American and believe in good faith that you are African-American. No admissions committee or state bar is going to accuse you of lying on your application--they are not in the business of policing whether people fit into racial categories, except at the extremes. Just imagine what they would have to say--"sorry, we're kicking you out of law school/not admitting you to the bar because we think you're not black enough."


No.

OP does not believe in good faith that he is AA, except in the limited extent that there is, as you say, a plausible textual definition of AA that includes the OP. OP is completely aware that this definition is not the common usage of the term AA, and aware that he'll be misleading admissions staff in an attempt to gain an advantage in applications. If OP had a genuine good-faith belief he wouldn't have needed to ask the question on here.

OP: Write a diversity statement. Explain everything you have explained here. Check a box for North African if there is one available on apps. You will certainly add to the diversity of the school, and as a result admissions committees will be interested. But do not start your legal career by trying to game the system with a "plausible textual definition of African-American."


He believes he's African-American, just not in the way the term is typically used. As you, VW, and a bunch of others have pointed out, the practice of law is largely about conforming to commonly-held understandings of terms, but I am not confident that is the case here, because racial checkboxes are as much about self-identity as they are about established understandings of racial categories. I have heard multiple admissions officers say "if you are concerned, choose the category that you identify with." And again, it's not misleading if he explains his choice to select AA in a diversity statement, which is the one thing I think everyone in this thread agrees he should do. There is a difference between nakedly checking the box (which I probably don't think he should do) and checking the box and explaining why he thinks it is appropriate to label himself African-American in light of his racial/social location.

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Emma.
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby Emma. » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:48 am

smittytron3k wrote:
Emma. wrote:
smittytron3k wrote:Writing a diversity statement is TCR, and I think that you will not run into problems regardless of which box you check if you do so. If you contextualize whatever choice you make with a statement, no one can really accuse you of lying, which is what admissions committees and bar examiners are concerned with.

That said, I don't see a problem with saying you are African-American. You are African-American under at least one plausible textual definition of African-American, and you seem to identify as African-American and believe in good faith that you are African-American. No admissions committee or state bar is going to accuse you of lying on your application--they are not in the business of policing whether people fit into racial categories, except at the extremes. Just imagine what they would have to say--"sorry, we're kicking you out of law school/not admitting you to the bar because we think you're not black enough."


No.

OP does not believe in good faith that he is AA, except in the limited extent that there is, as you say, a plausible textual definition of AA that includes the OP. OP is completely aware that this definition is not the common usage of the term AA, and aware that he'll be misleading admissions staff in an attempt to gain an advantage in applications. If OP had a genuine good-faith belief he wouldn't have needed to ask the question on here.

OP: Write a diversity statement. Explain everything you have explained here. Check a box for North African if there is one available on apps. You will certainly add to the diversity of the school, and as a result admissions committees will be interested. But do not start your legal career by trying to game the system with a "plausible textual definition of African-American."


He believes he's African-American, just not in the way the term is typically used. As you, VW, and a bunch of others have pointed out, the practice of law is largely about conforming to commonly-held understandings of terms, but I am not confident that is the case here, because racial checkboxes are as much about self-identity as they are about established understandings of racial categories. I have heard multiple admissions officers say "if you are concerned, choose the category that you identify with." And again, it's not misleading if he explains his choice to select AA in a diversity statement, which is the one thing I think everyone in this thread agrees he should do. There is a difference between nakedly checking the box (which I probably don't think he should do) and checking the box and explaining why he thinks it is appropriate to label himself African-American in light of his racial/social location.


I just disagree that OP genuinely believes he is African American. OP believes he is an American of Libyan descent. Do you think OP would have checked AA on the census? He is manipulating the definition of the term in the hopes of gaining an advantage in the application process. OP should have a great story to tell, and he can obtain what ever legitimate advantage he deserves without checking the AA box.

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kapachino
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby kapachino » Sat Jul 09, 2011 10:50 am

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. You're more African American than the vast majority of the black population in this country.



DUDE.

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TIKITEMBO
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby TIKITEMBO » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:54 am

OP, this thread is now just people running around in circles stating the same ever-increasingly erratic arguments. The label of race is a pretty fluid one and rather than listening to any non-adcom response in this thread just send an email to get something in writing from each college you want to go to. Don't leave it to a wikipedia thread. The school is the final answer.

Also, seriously it sounds like you might be in the same situation many light skinned hispanics from Mexico or Puerto Rican ancestry are in when they have both (by definition) Spanish and Native American ancenstry and now some of those people consider themselves white (hence why we probably started changing it on the census). "White" and "Black" are ever changing labels (especially in this country) and your best bet is to get a direct answer from the schools. I have met many people who would be considered white in one county when there is no way they would be considered white in the U.S. and I'm guessing quite a few people in this thread just aren't familiar with that concept.

Edited because I wanted to point out that the wikipedia sources are from a book a guy wrote (written in 1939 folks!) and the Oxford English Dictionary which I'm thinking some law schools might have left from the consultation before making their URM requirements.
:roll:
Last edited by TIKITEMBO on Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:06 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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bk1
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby bk1 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 11:59 am

TIKITEMBO wrote:The label of race is a pretty fluid one and rather than listening to any non-adcom response in this thread just send an email to get something in writing from each college you want to go to. Don't leave it to a wikipedia thread. The school is the final answer.


This is a pretty useless thing to do and I really don't understand why anybody is recommending it.

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TIKITEMBO
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby TIKITEMBO » Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:05 pm

Really? Well maybe OP should listen to a bunch of people not connected with his admissions then who have absolutely no say in what a school can or can not accept. He will have a much better outcome listening to people throw the same non-binding ideas back and forth.

Good point.

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bk1
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby bk1 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:07 pm

TIKITEMBO wrote:Really? Well maybe OP should listen to a bunch of people not connected with his admissions then who have absolutely no say in what a school can or can not accept. He will have a much better outcome listening to people throw the same non-binding ideas back and forth.

Good point.


Yes because calling an admissions officer and asking them is a brilliant idea when they obviously will not give a definitive answer because it is not their place to advise someone how to answer the question.

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Helicio
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby Helicio » Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:08 pm

Just one correction to the people who say that North African caucasians are Europeans...

They aren't. Many North Africans naturally have olive-colored skin, just as other Mediterranean people do too (Lebanese, Greeks, Italians, Spaniards). To say that they came from Europe is inaccurate in many, if not most, cases. North Africans have "naturally" lighter skin than Sub-Saharan Africans; geographically, they are still African, obviously.

"Black" people=Sub-Saharan Africa.

When humans immigrated north of the Sahara, the climate/angle of the sun got so that skin lightened in order to allow for more UV to penetrate the skin and therefore more Vitamin D (and therefore no Vitamin D deficiency).

*As for what I think about the OP, I think you should mark Caucasian. I'm from around the Mediterranean, albeit not Libya, and I'm sure my skin and your skin are around the same olive color. In the United States, African-American refers to race.

I know it is absolutely retarded that a black Libyan from a similar economic level as you will recieve an advantage over you in law school admissions simply because of his or her skin color, but that is just the way things are. Don't game the system.

Good luck.

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vanwinkle
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby vanwinkle » Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:08 pm

smittytron3k wrote:Lying in this context indicates an active effort to mislead the admissions committee about your race, not simply being "wrong."

At this point, OP has been made abundantly aware of what law schools are asking for and what answer they are seeking. If he indicates otherwise, knowing what they expect, then it is clearly lying to answer otherwise, and deliberate lying at that.

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bk1
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Re: Do you recommend I declare myself African?

Postby bk1 » Sat Jul 09, 2011 12:11 pm

vanwinkle wrote:
smittytron3k wrote:Lying in this context indicates an active effort to mislead the admissions committee about your race, not simply being "wrong."

At this point, OP has been made abundantly aware of what law schools are asking for and what answer they are seeking. If he indicates otherwise, knowing what they expect, then it is clearly lying to answer otherwise, and deliberate lying at that.


I think OP knew it prior to even asking the question (seriously, trying to use the fact that they have been to Africa as a justification?) and was trying to find some defense of their argument but instead got 99% of the responses saying "lolno."




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