Difference Between Black and African American

Key Difference – Black vs African American
 

The two terms Black American and African American are generally used to refer to people of color. For many years these words, Black American and African American, have been used interchangeably to refer to those who have black skin, ignoring any differences that could exist between the words. Hence, this article attempts to clarify the difference between Black American and African American. First, let us define Black American and African American. Black American refers to those who are immigrants from Africa, Caribbean, and South and Latin America. African American refers to those of African descent. The key difference is that although all African Americans are black, it does not suggest that all Black Americans are of African descent.

Who is a Black American?

Black American is a term used to refer to those who are immigrants from Africa, Caribbean, and South and Latin America. Of the American population, a large number are blacks. These individuals have a culture of their own. This includes black literature, music, etc. These people cannot be considered as African American because most Black Americans have not only been born in America but there previous generations have also lived in America.

When focusing on the lives of people, in comparison to the past, the conditions of black Americans have improved for the better, where they also enjoy equal rights. There are cases where the black population is still discriminated due to their color. For instance, the association of blacks to crimes highlights that there are instances of stereotyping even today.

Key Difference - Black vs African American

Who is an African American?

According to scholars, African American is a term that has been widely used since the late 1980s. This term is used to refer to those of African descent. African Americans mainly refer to individuals who descended from African slaves. During the 17th and 18th centuries, slavery was a legal institution in American colonies.The first African slaves were brought to North America in 1619 to help in the production of crops. Over the years, a very large number of African slaves were shipped to many colonies where they were used for plantation work. This resulted in the death of millions of slaves who were often ill-treated. This era of slavery can be considered as a period where inhuman treatment was given to African slaves. These practices were finally abolished in 1865 when slavery was completely eradicated by the United States President Abraham Lincoln.

Key Difference - Black vs African American

What is the difference between Black and African American?

Definitions of Black and African American:

Black American: Black American refers to those who are immigrants from Africa, Caribbean, and South and Latin America.

African American: African American refers to those of African descent.

Characteristics of Black and African American:

Popularity of the Term:

Black American: The term becomes popular in the 1960s.

African American: The term becomes popular in the 1980s.

African Descent:

Black American: Black Americans are not of African descent.

African American: African Americans are of African descent.

 

Image Courtesy:

1. Black People- Historical African-American figures By 1) Not listed 2) Library of Congress 3) Nobel Foundation 4) Library of Congress [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

2. Slave dance to banjo By Anonymous, [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons

  • JeffDeWitt

    “African American” is really a nonsense term popularized by noted rabble-rouser Jesse Jackson. I know a guy who is an American citizen but immigrated from Africa. He was born if Africa, as were his parents, grand parents and great grandparents, so by any reasonable definition he’s an African American. His last name is Van Demeter, and he is as white as they come.

  • Charlie Bailey

    You’re absolutely wrong in saying that all African Americans are black as there are many, many people with white skin from South Africa and they have been there for many generations.