A politically correct term for Americans of African descent. Usually refers only to people of sub-Saharan (black) ancestry, not to people of North African ancestry, who are usually considered Arabs. White Americans who were born in Africa, or descended from Europeans in Africa, as in the case of South Africa or Zimbabwe, are not referred to as "African Americans." Most black Americans in casual conversation use the term "black," instead of "African American." Yet liberal whites, and those afraid of offending blacks, will use the term "African American," often out of white guilt for discrimination. White people who feel comfortable with their whiteness, and who don't feel responsible for slavery because they weren't alive before the Civil War, usually hate the phrase "African American." On the other hand, many black Americans, who don't believe that black people can be racist, often call whites a variety of mean names. I suggest new terms for all American groups, such as: Celtic-American, Slavic-American, Anglo-Saxon-American, Nordic-American, Latin-American (as in French, Italian, etc.), Hispano-American (for Spanish-speaking countries), indigenous aboriginal American, Hebrew Semitic-American, Arab Semitic-American, mixed European Caucasian American, Asiatic-American, Indo-Hindustani American, etc.
I enjoy dining on traditional African American cuisine, including greens and sweet potato pie. My white Southern grandmother cooked the same food, but I feel racist when I eat it. If I call Southern cooking African American cuisine, it relieves my shame over being white.
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