Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Little History Lesson: Afro-American

The origin of Afro-American is NOT based on the hairstyle. I've "seen" many blacks on the net have issues with the term Afro-American because they said they didn't want to be named after a "hairstyle". Now, Afro-American is a passe term for most for whatever reason, but don't get offended because you believe it's a name derived from a hairstyle rather the opposite can be surmised.

In the year 1890, Afro-American was the term of choice in the African-American publication Advance, which advocated "obtaining for the Afro-American an equal chance."

Afro-American was prominent along with related terms such as Afro-American studies (1970), Afroism (1971), the hair style known as the Afro (1968), and music known as Afro-beat (1974) and Afro-rock (1977).

Afro-American was first used as an adjective in 1853 in a publication in Windsor, Ontario, Voice of the Fugitive. The OED2 lists examples of Afro-American and Aframerican from 1890, 1898, 1910, 1934, 1939, and 1944, the last being a use of Aframerican from an article by H.L. Mencken.

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