There is an African proverb that says, “I am because we are, and, because we are, therefore, I am.” One aspect of this blended perspective is that one's identity is tied to a larger body than the self. This proverb not only characterizes the wisdom and philosophy of African people, it serves as a point of reference in how one might begin to understand the self and one's distinct group identity or consciousness (Cross, 1995; Jackson, 2001; Kambon, 1992). In this lies the dilemma, unfortunately, of oppressed people whose identity have been racialized and suppressed by derogatory epithets, who have been labeled and called by a variety of racial and cultural categorizations – notoriously branded as Negro, nigger, Colored, Black, African, Afro-American, African American, etc. (Jackson, 2001; Kennedy, 2002).
Johnson, J.L. and Cuyjet, M.J. (2009), "Enhancing identity development and sense of community among African American males in higher education", Frierson, H.T., Wyche, J.H. and Pearson, W. (Ed.) Black American Males in Higher Education: Research, Programs and Academe (Diversity in Higher Education, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 57-78. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-3644(2009)0000007007Download as .RIS
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