ELEMENTARY QUESTIONS REGARDING THE SUBJECT OF RACE!!!






We will begin our discussion with these two basic questions--then we can add more!!!!


The information below is the modern context relative to modern definitions of what is known as race.   These insights are now provided by what is TODAY, called science          



The modern meaning of the term race with reference to humans began to emerge in the 17th century. Since then it has had a variety of meanings in the languages of the Western world. What most definitions have in common is an attempt to categorize peoples primarily by their physical differences. In the United States, for example, the term race generally refers to a group of people who have in common some visible physical traits, such as skin colour, hair texture, facial features, and eye formation. Such distinctive features are associated with large, geographically separated populations, and these continental aggregates are also designated as races, as the “African race,” the “European race,” and the “Asian race.” Many people think of race as reflective of any visible physical (phenotypic) variations among human groups, regardless of the cultural context and even in the absence of fixed racial categories.

The term race has also been applied to linguistic groups (the “Arab race” or the “Latin race”), to religious groups (the “Jewish race”), and even to political, national, or ethnic groups with few or no physical traits that distinguish them from their neighbours (the “Irish race,” the “French race,” the “Spanish race,” the “Slavic race,” the “Chinese race”, etc.).

For much of the 20th century, scientists in the Western world attempted to identify, describe, and classify human races and to document their differences and the relationships between them. Some scientists used the term race for subspecies, subdivisions of the human species which were presumed sufficiently different biologically that they might later evolve into separate species.

At no point, from the first rudimentary attempts at classifying human populations in the 17th and 18th centuries to the present day, have scientists agreed on the number of races of humankind, the features to be used in the identification of races, or the meaning of race itself. Experts have suggested a range of different races varying from 3 to more than 60, based on what they have considered distinctive differences in physical characteristics alone (these include hair type, head shape, skin colour, height, and so on). The lack of concurrence on the meaning and identification of races continued into the 21st century, and contemporary scientists are no closer to agreement than their forebears. Thus, race has never in the history of its use had a precise meaning.

Although most people continue to think of races as physically distinct populations, scientific advances in the 20th century demonstrated that human physical variations do not fit a “racial” model. Instead, human physical variations tend to overlap. There are no genes that can identify distinct groups that accord with the conventional race categories. In fact, DNA analyses have proved that all humans have much more in common, genetically, than they have differences

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Comment by Clifford Black on September 11, 2012 at 3:11pm

Namaska Adisa, sometimes it takes going the long way, in order to get around the corner.  What you and a few others are starting to SEE, is, it is not there.


Comment by Adisa on September 11, 2012 at 1:23pm


  I was never asked for my definition of race or if it was even important enough to me to even be defined.  My worldview of the subject was given to me.  I was told I/we were called colored, negro, black, afro-american, african american.  I was confused by the constant change of who I/we were but never asked. 


     I did not have a part in creating the construct, however I played my part.  I accepted all the thoughts and ideas that came with playing my part and played within the determined rules of the game.  

Thinking about this brought me to the following questions:

If I were given the opportunity to identify MY-SELF to a total stranger how would I accomplish it?  Would I define my identity to just a few concepts and ideas?  Would I define my identify with obvious features and/or traits? How would I determine the important aspects of MY-SELF?  Would I even limit who I am to be defined with just a few concepts, ideas, features or traits?  Would the concepts, ideas, features or traits be of my creation?  Would I allow the stranger to determine who I am?  If I allowed the stranger to determine this for me would I then act according to that determination? 

Comment by Aaron (Al) Lewis on January 12, 2011 at 5:14pm

Doc, I will be there. I meant to write "connect the dots." That thought you projected about time running out and the morphing and mutation has captivated me. I am trying to develop the thought to the next progressive steps. It really is something unique and I thank you for being here to share it with me. One more piece of the puzzle coming into focus.



Comment by Clifford Black on January 12, 2011 at 3:09pm
@al---I spent over an hour responding to your request but for some reason the computer deleted my reply to you-IT happens-so, will try to address in class tonight--I think it is wise for all to see what you are asking---most are too afraid to look and so they assume that the damage is not there, but, in fact, it is all around us.
Comment by Lumumba Ali on January 12, 2011 at 11:47am
I have a very different recollection of this....bear with me while I gather my thoughts...
Comment by Aaron (Al) Lewis on January 12, 2011 at 8:18am

If you would could you point me to the other collateral damage you referred to. I'd like to collect the dots on that one.



Comment by Clifford Black on January 12, 2011 at 6:22am
very few will have the courage to look and most will leave the misery to their children and depend on everything to "all work out in the long run" and so the mark of the coward has been branded onto the soul and it is hard to hide---the attempt to hide has caused other colateral damage and this presents many more problems in this modern existence.  Part of the obituary of the late great negro. (B).
Comment by Aaron (Al) Lewis on January 11, 2011 at 9:56pm

Race Matrix, first off I'd have to start with Razza Mother or Matter or Group Mother. I know a bit about how this belief was incubated and who performed the final act of mid wifery and who or whom benefited from the illusion.

Personally, I believed I was colored, well Negro, but I was told I was black and should be proud of it, but many pressed me to remain a Negro, I was caught in the in between and finally I opted to be black. That felt good because it was kind of forbidden and I could see the fear and disdain of those who chose to remain Negro and the far. Later I accepted, reluctantly though the term African American after a short stint as an Afro American. It also frightened many so called white people and that was a plus at the time because negroes had demonstrated for years a kind of mass cowardice.

It had started to get real crazy. I used both terms, African American and Black, interchangeably and it never occurred to me there was a divide, a riff between the two groups, though in retrospect I do remember some argument about what label was proper. 


The origins of my world view initially were from teachers and parents and relatives and I still maintain it was confusing to say the least. I must also admit that deep inside I thought all of them were inferior labels because of the constant drive by all of them to have me prove myself. To this day no one has adequately explained why I needed to prove myself. 

It was a draining and tiring experience and one hell of an albatross for me to drag around most of my life.  I needed enlightenment and I sought it and that albatross is gone I must say.


The part I played was in believing, not checking for myself and perpetuating this damned lie about race. It was a seductive, enigmatic belief that sucked me deeper into the rabbit hole or the matrix you might say. 

Imagine my chagrin when it was suggested to me that if I just looked it was not there, that in fact it was some made up nonsense. It was almost too simple and plain to see and even harder to digest and integrate. 


The habit of being African American, no Afro American, no black, no Negro, no Colored, no Nigger was hard to break. It went against all the social mores, desires and needs of a people who suffered from a deep and gaping identity wound. Those were the very people who seduced and influenced me into believing that wearing a label would be the source of my liberation and ultimately my freedom or at least that is what their lexicon intimated and still does.  


However, I take full responsibility for my own "intellectual cowardice" and laziness for not seeking what was already there in my face. That is no one's fault but my own and I own up to that!

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