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Blackness: A Multifaceted Identity

Black identities are built from many different cultures and heritages, including pan-African, European and Black cultural regional traditions.


Due to the enslavement of African peoples, there was an erasing and mixing of individual African ethnicities and identities. This led to a cultural blending and evolution into modern Black culture and pan-Africanism.

Although African lineage and European colonialism have largely influenced and constructed Black culture, Blackness has evolved into its individualistic and authentic culture, on its terms.

If we only view Blackness as a product of slavery and European oppression, then we are limiting ourselves to what European society and enslavement determines for us. Race is a construct, but the impact of Blackness and Black culture is undoubtedly real.

Black people prove that despite white supremacy, we built a culture that is thriving and influencing the world,” Ronald Collins, writer for the International Strategy Center, said.


Blackness and Black culture are forms of resistance and one of the greatest threats to white supremacy. The multiple intersections inside Blackness, representative of sexual orientation, gender, lineage, language and socioeconomic status, stand firmly in the history and importance of the flourishing of all Black people.

Black identity and power promote consciousness of race and culture while denying racists ideologies. The multi-dimensions of Blackness is powerful. Black culture is rooted in its limitless impact and legitimized by its continuity and authenticity.


Sources:

“Blackness: An Exploration of Cultural Identity in the African Diaspora” by Ronald Collins

“The Ideology of Blackness: African-American Style” by T. J. LeMelle

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture