Autobiography Of African Americans

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The Merriam Webster dictionary defines “African American,” as an American who has African and especially black African ancestry. Being born in the United States and being American I have always been classified as African American, because my skin was dark, my hair was tightly coiled and because my parents were black. As a black child growing up here believed I was African American because my parent were African. I knew Africa from the Lion King and National Geography. I knew of the music because it played on a loop in our Georgia home, when I was trying to watch Disney or Nickelodeon. I knew of the food, because I was made to eat it instead of McDonalds. So to me, Africa and Africans where distant, it belonged in the world of fairytales.
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She asked if the name Fa is popular in America, like the name Awa is in Gambia, I said no, she was surprise that I did not know anyone with the same name as me. I explained to her that Fa was short for Fatou. With this revelation, Awa jumped up and hugged me and said that I was Gambia like her, just born in America. I was confused, I tried to explain that I was just American, and in America I was African American because my parents are from Gambia but not me. She went quiet for a minute and then she shook her head, and said that I did not understand, she asked if I spoke Wolof, I said yes, she asked if I liked the game Acara, I said yes, she asked what my favorite food was, I answered Benachin, and then she asked like Bisap (the hibiscus tea), I said yes. She conclude that since I answered yes to all her questions then I am Gambian too. What she said may not have seem much at the moment, but for the first time since arriving in Gambia, I felt like I belonged. From then on, the term African American meant something completely different to me. I embraced it fully, because to me it meant that I am African because I have lived and had significant life experiences in Africa. I understand and embody many African values, as well as the American values that I was born with.
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