A friend of mine recently almost came to blows at his job with a co-worker from Qatar. The Qatari man was upset and wanting to fight because my feind, who is Puerto Rican, told him that he is African. The Qatari man, who is dark-skinned and about the color of say Barry Bonds with kinky hair, was livid that anyone would suggest that his roots are not Arab and they are African and wanted to fight my friend whom he told ” you are really a Mexican and you just want to be black that’s why you say you are Boricua.”
For a black man to deny his roots are from Africa is no different than George Bush or Denny Hastert denying their roots are from Europe ( which they would never do). This speaks to the fact that many black people have a negative image of Africa and blackness in their mind and I will give a few examples.
In middle school I once sat in a classroom full of kids, and it was a mostly black class, and the teacher asked us all to give our roots to the class and say where our ancestors came from and all of the black kids, except one, said they were Native American. Now in America it is common for a lot of people, black and white, to lie about some Indian grandma no one has ever seen, but when you have a room full of black kids say they are not African there is a problem.
Warith-deen Muhammad used to say that Fard Muhammad, when he brought up the concept of the “Asiatic Black Man” or the “Afro-Asiatic Black Man” he was doing this because he knew black people had a bad image of Africa. Indeed when I was a kid I saw many fights between black kids over being called some kind of “African booty-scratcher” or something of the like.
My next encounter with this was when the Somali immigrants began arriving in America in the 1990’s and I would talk to them and they would not only tell me they were not African and Somalia is not a part of Africa; but that they are not black. Of course this is rubbish; they may not be black in Africa but in the US they are right next to Leroy, Bubba and Skillet ( for those who get that).
Black Africans have been brought to the Arabian Peninsula for centuries as slaves and now they are free and most of them, in some places all of them; have become completely Arabized and they now can call the Arab culture there own since it is all they have ever known similar to the African-American; but their roots are still in Africa