Being called 'African American' when you're from Sheffield and have never been to the States

Being called 'African American' when you're from Sheffield and have never been to the States


I think it was Idris Elba who was once called African American in an interview and he said something like "where I come from I'm just called *British*"


Idris is British Charlize Theron is African American


Yup, I've said that a couple of times, really breaks people's minds.


Richest African American is Elon Musk


Damn. Never thought about that.


I was going to ask if Musk really counts as an African-American only by being a US resident, but apparently his mother is Canadian as well.


I remember an Olympic athlete being interviewed as well a few years ago. Maybe during London 2012. He's like I'm not American. I'm English or something. But the reporter just kept saying African American.


I really hope “I’m English or something” is verbatim what he said.


Happened to Lewis Hamilton as well.


I can’t read that without hearing his voice.


One of the funniest things I've ever seen was a news anchor in the US talking about the riots in France and the French African Americans.


Years ago, I chuckled when I read an article about an upcoming TV series, "Star Trek Voyager" ... it described Tuvok as an "African American Vulcan"


Have you seen the Kris Akabusi interview with an American journalist who called him African American? It’s pretty excruciating.


Classic example


When did 'black' become a bad word? Edit: Jesus Christ people, it's a rhetorical question


When *Star Trek: Voyager* was released, the Vulcan character Tuvok, played by [Tim Russ](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Russ), was described as an "African-American Vulcan".


Tuvok was a full blooded vulcan on both sides iirc, which means this makes even less sense than say, a half Vulcan character. Neither side of him is African OR American, never mind a combination of the two. Still a great character tho.


Perhaps his family comes from Vulcan's equatorial region.


From what I remember from watching Enterprise, Vulcan is mostly a desert planet. I'm no expert on the adaptation of human biology to surrounding terrain, but I'd actually presume most Vulcans would be black due to the scorching sun.


You mean African American, right?


Sub-Saharan Vulcan, north of the Sahara the ancient Vulcans are a light brown and built pyramids….


Since you brought up pyramids, another thing that bugs me is when people say Cleopatra was black and she's been misrepresented. I dont mind the concept but unfortunately it is factually inaccurate. She was Greek. Probably looked Greek too. She decended from a line of Greeks that were put in power over Egypt during Alexander's conquest of the land and it is presumed that she was the first of her line to actually even bother learning Egyptian. As an aside to that, more of a fun fact, but her farming system was very socialistic where all crops were grown on government land, the proceeds all went to the government for dispersal.


The sunlight would still be coming down at an angle towards the poles, making the energy/square metre lessen as you move away from the equator so if Vulcans work like us with darker skin to combat sunlight, there would still be a darker --> lighter skin colour as you move equator --> poles.


this is hilarious




In the mouths of southern whites. But it is silly for us to let it be tainted by them really because then the implication almost seems to be that there’s something wrong with blackness. A lot of my colleagues are black, and if somebody is looking for them I say “oh he’s the black guy with glasses wearing a plaid shirt today” and people look horrified, but isn’t it weirder for me not to say???? I grew up in a 100% white country till I was 18 so maybe I don’t get it. But avoiding an innocent word like that seems almost to be worse than using it casually.


>wearing a plaid shirt today That'll be why they look horrified :)


“Black” is not a bad word? He would be consider Black and not African American. Most black people would prefer to be called Black than African American. The most problematic term is “Blacks” with the “s” because, when it is used, it is use to degrade. Just say “Black people”.


Ok as an adjective, not ok as a noun. He's black. -> ok. He's *a* black. -> super racist.


This scares me. English is not my first language and I make grammatical mistakes when I speak, at times. So I’m going to use #000000


If it's not your first language, Brits will give you a pass most of the time. You're fine pal.


Yeah the accent (if you have one, which is usually the case) will make it clear that English isn't your first language and can't be expected to know all the small nuances.


Just emphasise your Afrikaaner accent and you’ll be fine.




When I was at UCL, there was a poll on what to name a newly refurbished student union bar. This was pre Boaty McBoatface, so they let anyone submit names. The winning entry was "Kris Akabusi's Pleasure Lounge", but the spoilsports ended up just calling it "The Pleasure Lounge" which was terrible. Off-topic I know, but it's what I think of whenever I read Kris Akabusi.


He came to my school when i was like 8 in a partnership thing with fyffes bananas to try and get kids to excercise more. He told a story about audibly farting out of nervousness whilst waiting for the starter pistol and made all the kids laugh. I remember him being cool.


I met him at a motivational course for the pharmacy I was an apprentice with at the time. He showed us videos of him competing in the 1991 olympics relay race and got us to do a ton of activities. We had to make a poster with an inspirational quote - most of the others chose ‘YOLO’ and I wrote a quote from Anne Frank lmao. He was a real sound guy though.


Once at school we all agreed to write Kris Akabusi into an essay about the unification of Italy. To her credit, the teacher just marked the essays without making a single comment. Happy days.


One of my friends some how managed to get Kris Akabusi phone number and we used to prank call him in the pub.


That’s wild. We also had Kris Akabusi’s number and used to send him texts wishing him well at Christmas. He often text back too and was a total gent.


Ah man. All I had was George Galloway's number, and whenever I tried to prank him he'd just have someone else answer and say he was busy


Akabusi is a cracking surname....


And he's a cracking guy to boot


I remember that story - we made a sign for our PhD office in uni calling it the Kris Akabusi Pleasure Lounge after UCL wouldn't take it up.


these are the types of comments i come to reddit for.


Not seen that, i can imagine Kris Akabusi looking really baffled though.


\*soft whisper\* Awooga \*pat pat\*


Man I miss Kris Akabusi now. My brothers and I loved him as kids.


I read Kris Akabusi described as the happiest man in the world decades ago and it's stuck with me as accurate ever since.


I had the pleasure of spending half a day doing some filming with him in the early 90s and everything you read is correct, the guy is a just a massive, hyperactive bundle of positive energy.


He occasionally pops up on A League Of Their Own if you're having serious withdrawals


‘British African American’








One of my black friends was asked where he came from on a night out. He said "the Black Country". "Oh, Africa?" she replied.


Almost as bad as the time a mate of mine referred to the people of the black country as "Blackies" without thinking. That mate was me. Absolutely mortified.


They're called Yam Yams. They don't call themselves that mind, but Brummies can't figure out what they're saying and assume it's just "yam yam, y'am yam am?"


I’d say they’ve adopted it now tbh, plenty do call themselves a yam yam from what I’ve seen


Nah we call ourselves yam yams. Especially the younger uns. Me dads from gornal. He's 52 and calls himself a yam yam.


My mates parents are from Jamaica, but he was born in England, see himself as English but has a affinity to Jamaica. Ask him and he will say he’s English. PC manager at work called him African American, pissed him right off, was calm and tried to explain he’s neither American nor African and not to call him that, he’s English, or if he wants to refer to race he’s black. PC manager complained to HR, and my mate had to take nearly a hour to explain to four grown adults how Jamaica isn’t African and he’s fucking English. It’s just horrible ignorance from people sometimes.


> my mate had to take nearly a hour to explain to four grown adults how Jamaica isn’t African and he’s fucking English. There's something really fucked up about someone trying to be politically correct and effectively telling your mate that his ideas about who he is are wrong.


Yup, was fuming afterwards. Talked about taking it further but he felt he finally got through to them and hoped it would never be repeated. We both fucked off no long after.


I would had reported to HR about the incident. Oh wait


He got ragged into hr for making clear he's not African American? He should've took that to employment tribunal, deffo woulda been a few faces like smacked arses and a payout if he did.


I said for him to take it further, but he felt he got through to them. He got dragged into HR as the manager couldn’t fathom why he’s not African American, he couldn’t understand someone is simply black, or English/ British and thought my mate was just being difficult.


Americans probably realise the diversity we have in Yorkshire. I mean there's the South, North and Doncaster.


West is Best. We have the correct number of fingers and toes too.


Four of one six of the other?


OY! East has beautiful coastline, historic Beverley and, erm, *interesting* Bridlington!


And the jewel of Yorkshire: Hull




I once met a girl from a country in Africa who told a similar story. She got called an African American at the airport (why this happened so casually is a terrible and dumb faux pas and I still can’t figure out how it was appropriate). Well, she completely confused the lady by responding with “No, I’m African African.”


Imagine how easy it must be applying for residency or citizenship when you already have American on your form.




The audacity!


The cheek, the nerve, the gall and the gumption!


excellent tayce reference


Just to get it stuck in your heads. BING BANG BONG, SING SANG SONG!


UK hun?


~~You forgot the audacity.~~ EDIT: Didn’t see what this one was replying to. I R Idiot.


The Lion, The Witch and the audacity of this bitch.


Harry Potter and the Audacity of this Bitch.


So Im Swedish but I've been living in the UK and Ireland for the past five years, and so I have a very strange accent. It's like a mix of Swedish, Irish, and American (thank you American television..) and I talked to my teacher that I've had for the past year. We were talking about my art (i go to art school) and he was talking about his associations when looking at my paintings and said "maybe im just drawing those conclusions because I know you're American". I was actually quite a bit offended and I wonder how many people just assume I am American...


I used to live with a Luxembourger at uni with an American accent, he hated it so we started correcting and mocking him lol was gone within a few years. So all you need is a couple of dick head British friends who will mock and berate you for 3 years and you'll be fine! Haha.


Yeah, im doing my best to try and fix my accent!


I can second this, my bloke games with a Belgian, who learnt English through films and YouTube. They game in a group with 2 Scots and my half Irish bloke, he soon lost his accent and can swear like a true Brit, they are so proud 😁


I never understood why they don’t just say black? Is it seen as rude? White Americans are just called white, not ‘European-American’.


I think it's due mainly to US history such as the civil rights and black power movement in the US creating pride for having African roots. There's also the idea of pan-Africanism. It's led to the term 'African American' being favoured over other terms. But if anyone knows better, please comment on this! It's really complex.


I get that, but it just seems like they’re trying so hard to not be racist that it ends up being racist for other reasons. Using African-American for everyone who is black is likely to offend a non-black African or a black person who is not American. I guess skin colour is a much larger issue in America than in other parts of the world.


It’s interesting because the term African American or Asian American seems to mix the concept of ethnicity, background and nationality.


This is true. I'm black, and American. Haitians, native Africans, Jamaicans etc do not like being called African American... because they aren't.


And offend those who aren’t African-American. My friend is Jamaican and takes great offence to being called African - rightly so as he’s not!


Isn’t Elon musk per definition an African-American?


Yes. As is Charlize Theron.


we have to start that, that is fantastic, and just leave the name american to you know the ones who have lived there the longest.


I think that's an issue in England as well. My mum and dad were raised in a generation where they were told calling people Black was rude and that the correct term was coloured.


Yeah same with my parents. I think even when I was growing up black was considered rude. My mum gets very confused now as she doesn’t want to offend anyone.


We were just drilled in school to say African American, or at least we were when I was in elementary school. I still struggle to call black people black, because it feels offensive to me. I was taught that it was. I remember being hesitant to say the word black when referring to the color as a child. Had some wires crossed there, or something. It’s was also a pretty rare thing in school to ever talk about black people who were not either African or African American. It would have been correct to describe a black person from Africa as African, when referring to their race or skin color. But it was a very rare thing to ever be talking about black people from anywhere else. Anyhow, I have made this mistake myself a few times. It’s pretty embarrassing. Thankfully it’s becoming more correct to just say ‘black’.


Same. When I was a kid (in Texas) we were always taught that "African American" is the non-offensive way to say "Black". And you're also not really taught that there are Caribs who aren't Hispanic? Imagine my shock the first time I met a Haitian! ETA: now I'm married to a (English) woman whose family is from French Caribbean and for the first year or so after meeting her I kept having to catch myself because her family is neither African nor American...




I had a black friend at uni from south London. It was a while ago but I think his parents were Ghanaian. He would refer to himself as Anglo Blaxon.


That's a good one.


When I was in the US I lived with a Jamaican guy who was offended every time he was called African American.


I've been called African American despite the fact I'm from Devon and my background is actually the Caribbean. People often forget black people exist outside of Africa. EDIT: hey if you guys could stop with the "well actually ALL people come from Africa so shut up and deal with it" secondary school wanking, that'd be ideal. EDIT 2: "Aren't the Black people in the Caribbean just the slaves from Africa?" - do you guys say the same thing to white Australians or white Americans? Or is it just a black thing? Does culture and history mean nothing if you're not white?


Caribbean AND Devon? So what you’re saying is you’re actually a pirate?


Bring him that horizon!


Yo ho, and a bottle of rum.


Caribbean Devonian sounds pretty badass


I believe that was the geologic period when the mighty Reggaesaurus Rex walked the earth, with its tiny arms and massive dreadlocks.


You know not all people from the Caribbean have tiny arms, right?


This is the best sentence I've read all day. I know it's early... But still


I am imagining Captain Jack Sparrow played by Idris Elba...


Sounds like some sort of religious sect. (Edited for spelling.)


Or a period of time. "Ahh yes the Caribbean Devonian period, where giant bats roamed the petty hills of pre-Yorkshire, preying on what remained of the Dinosaurs"


As Bryce rose a hero from the waters, every vein glowing like lightning catching the full moon of a starry Caribbean night, it was then they knew - he was a true Devonian. \[some "**action-slow-mo-blur-shots-of-10-foot-steel-flashy-whooshy-swords-locked-in-duels"** later\] \[Credits\]


Exactly the same for a friend of mine. Got called African American despite never having set foot in America and his family coming from Trinidad. It's funny, but also not.


Yes! It's like calling all Asian people 'Chinese'


Or 'Asian American.'


We are all Anglo-American on this blessed day.


Speak for yourself


> People often forget black people exist outside of Africa Or that white people exist within Africa. A 5th generation Afrikaner isn't going to take kindly to being told they aren't African..... nor are north African Arabs.


Technically Elon musk and Charleze Theron are African Americans being that they are both from South Africa and have American citizenship.


Tbh I think people from outside of Devon have a messed up view of Devon and the people who live there. I had someone argue the toss about me saying I was born and raised in Devon because I didn’t sound like a wurzel... there from bloody Somerset!


I love how people from outside the south-west think everyone from Gloucester to Penzance speaks with an identical accent. Probably explains all of the terrible Mummerset accents you get in programmes like Poldark.


If that makes you cringe never play Pokemon Sword or Shield. There newest region “Galar” is Britain, it’s like they’ve got a mix desk with sound bites from cockney and Prince William, everyone’s voices are just different blends of the two 🤦


Haha the lines that are just text are bad enough, something about people typing out accents and non British writers spamming "mate" every sentence makes my skin crawl


Hah, my husband had the same when a guy argued that he wasn’t Devonian because he didn’t spell cider - “cyder”.


Ah yes the logic that we’re so rural no ones told us it’s not the 1800s anymore and language has evolved 😂


My US Congresswoman said that all black people, worldwide, are African-American. An elected official.


I cringe when Oprah refers to Americans as African Americans but some great person from Sheffield being referred to this is an abomination, take this further OP we are all behind you


The other day the BBC had a headline like "first African American woman wins X". Made me wonder if they would do the same for the first black woman of every nationality to win that prize


First South African African wins..


I simply cringe when Oprah


I used to have a pub in a rural town and one of my barmen was a black fella. Most Yorkshire person you could ever meet. You know every black guy stereotype you see on yank TV? He was the opposite of that. I remember one night we had some nasty alcoholic bitch at the bar and she started giving him shit, ending with her telling him to 'go back to where he came from' His response was "What, Leeds?" I was still chuckling as I kicked her out and told her she was now not only barred from my pub but every single pub in town (gotta love pubwatch). Have fun drinking cans in your living room Dawn!


Same thing happened to my sister. "go back where you came from" "Birmingham? No thanks"




I was on a train in London and got talking to the guy opposite me. He was black, british, and owed a pub. Told me how this American couple came in one day and were chatting to him. He said something along the lines of "Well being a black guy..." and they tried to correct him "No your not black your African American". He said there was a bit if back and forth where he kept insisting he was not African American and they kept insisting he was. Apprently they left quite annoyed with him. Madness.


Probably just trying to be polite mixed with a little stupidity. It would properly annoy me if I was black. Yanks seems to have this fear of that word as if it is the n word lite or something. However I am the whitest person on earth. People ask me to stop wearing shorts in summer because my legs are blinding them white. I am frankly amazed I am not a ginger. I am THAT white.


It’s always fucking Dawn!


I’m from the US and the only truly African American people I personally know are my buddy and his brother, both white, both born in South Africa.


I hate this too, they called all the black kids in school African American. I understand why they do it though, cause they think "black" is offensive. People can be very insecure about skin colour. I can't tell you how many times my friend got called "tanned" when he's brown (half Caribbean half white) and every time he's like "it's not a tan!".


This just reminds me of when Rashida Jones got asked how she was so tanned and if she’d been on a holiday to which she replied…‘I’m black’ (OWTTE) and clearly the journalist hadn’t realised this (despite her dad being Quincy Jones)


My Nan referred to Marcus Rashford as "that lovely foreign gentleman" the other day... When we said he isn't foreign her response was "well I can't say darkie any more". At least she's trying I guess.


I'm not sure which idiots are reporting this, but please stop, just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's not valid. Edit: You can report this comment all you like, IDGAF.


What are they using as the reasons in their reports?!


Misinformation, promoting hate based on vulnerability, and two more that I've muted and cba to unmute to see.


Hahaha misinformation, that’s fucking rich. All black people are Americans, what a take




I’m not sure. I think we need a commission of white men to study the issue.


Wait, are people getting offended that OP's not American?


Someone also reported my post for self harm and suicide... the lengths some people will go to, honestly


They did the same to my comment, just report the abuse to the reddit admins and they get IP blocked. I'm going to go ahead and lock your post now, its getting a bit out of hand to moderate.


He talks of San Francisco, he’s from Hunter’s Bar / I don’t quite know the distance / But I’m sure that’s far / Yeah, I’m sure it’s pretty far


'I'm black, you wanker.'


Is that some kind of well-meaning but totally mis-judged attempt at avoiding saying 'black'?


I worked in Afghanistan on a NATO base. One day the gate guards saw a black civilian contractor walk out of the gate and get snatched up by the Afghan Security Forces. The (American) security forces put out a call to everyone on base “Check your people, an African American man just got swept up and we need to know who it is”. Four hours pass with no response and then the British unit on base reported that one of their contractors hasn’t come back from lunch. The Americans said “why didn’t you respond to our urgent call???” To which the Brits obviously said “….. you said it was an African American.”


I once had an argument with an American who absolutely insisted that Cleopatra (yes, that one) was African American. It's like no, dude, she was just African. The USA hadn't even been thought of while she was alive.


Don’t forget Jesus, he was also an American, a totally white American.


And blonde and blue eyed. And he just loved shooting his AR-15.


Fun fact, Cleopatra was Greek, not African.


Wasn’t Cleopatra Greek/Persian? But still, imagine calling her American!


I don't remember anything about her being Persian. If I remember correctly her ancestry was very inbred Greek.


Reggie Yates did a show where he went to Russia and they kept calling him African American and he kept trying to explain hes british and they just couldn't wrap their heads around it.


The Russians, famously known for their racial sensitivities.


These were actual Neo-Nazi's if I remember correctly. One of them actually got curious of the correction and changed to refering to him as British...


I don't get why it is so difficult to understand. American is a whole nationality on its own. A black person from Britain cannot be African American, because he is in no way at all AMERICAN. I don't get why that is so hard to wrap their heads around.


African Anglo Saxon?




Sounds like the title of an amazing mid seventies German funk album


If you haven't seen [this](https://youtu.be/dI38GtWFihY), I really recommend it 😁


Nice. I was expecting [this one](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJtvA3jdzPc) 😁


I'm from Sheffield and this never happens to me? I am white and ginger though.


you Irish are getting a little uppity I see.


The proper name for someone such as yourself - as I'm sure we all know - is >!"British."!<


One of the best sentences I ever came across while grading ancient history essays for my mother: "The Romans enslaved the African-Americans, but Martin Luther set them free." I've always been rather blessed with a certain facility and felicity in all things verbal, but I don't think I could manage to be wrong *so many ways* in a single sentence if I worked at it for years.


I have a friend who is half Carribbean, half Swiss, but born and raised in the UK. She went to the US and got referred to as African American, and when she corrected them that she was neither African nor American they apparently got very angry at her and told her she was "denying her heritage". Smh.


some Americans really do think they're the only country in the world. have you seen that tiktok where the American person struggles to comprehend that they're are black Scottish and Irish people because they have never seem a black person with those accents before?


cant find it but i saw a video of someone who is American who does omegal videos. Came across a black person who had an English flag up in their room (because it was football season, i cant remember if euros or world cup) at the time of them recording the video. 'why would an affrican American have the British flag up in their bedroom?' i hope they were trolling but i clicked off the video because they said so many dumb statements and it was borderline impossible to tell if it was satire or not.


Unfortunately probably not.


> never seem a black person with those accents before Their head would probably explode when they find out much of Africa is french speaking.


I wonder what they'd think about someone for Equatorial Guinea (only Spanish speaking country in Africa). African-American-Mexican?


Italian Americans can’t seem to fathom there’s Italian Italians. They seem to think they’re maestros at pasta etc, so I imagine they’d get btfo by actual Italian chefs.


[Appropriate Chris Jones routine!](https://youtu.be/dI38GtWFihY)


*Chris James.


We were in Vegas being served by a waitress, who was black, and she said “do you guys have black folks in Scotland?”. She was genuinely shocked when we said aye! Have to add though, almost everyone we interacted with on the holiday (including this waitress, and every time we go to the states) were really nice!


Charlize Theron is African-American.


> African-American The fact that anyone still uses this term to refer to Americans with pigmented skin is fucking silly. Thankfully there's a trend to move away from it.


So is Elon Musk


I, as a american black person, hate those labels. I was born in America 42 years ago. Why can’t I just be an American? White people aren’t called European Americans. I’ve never even been to Africa and can’t tell you what region my ancestors from Africa come from. My family history, as far as I can trace, are all American born citizens. Doesn’t that just makes me American? I’ve never heard British American, Spanish American, or anything like that. I even hate the term Native American because I’m sure American wasn’t a thing when they first arrived there. If you’re born in America, just be American!


So much bad, made up information in this thread. Almost every black person I know hates being called African American and prefer to be called black. This really isn't a thing outside of applying for jobs and television. The only people who use the term African American in my area are television personalities.


This happened to me when I was studying abroad half a decade ago. There was a welcome party for all the international students and I was talking to a girl from the US. We were discussed cool and cosmopolitan it was there and then she said "I mean it's so cool to see so many African Americans like yourself here" I'm from Essex.


Am I the only one who thinks this is a bit racist? Sort of insinuating they aren’t proper Americans but AFRICAN Americans?


To be fair, people from Sheffield aren't proper Americans


I’ll give you that one


The important thing is the historical context. "Hyphenated nationality" is the norm in the USA and a big part of many peoples identities. The term was created by Black Americans to fit with this but also to try and more accurately reflect the fact that most of them are ultimately in the US due to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. Most of them can't call themselves "Nigerian American" or "Senegalese American" or something like that as the legacy of the slave trade means that people have been denied that knowledge of and connection with their heritage.


Haha. I encountered this when I was trying to translate “Black Lives Matter” into Yiddish (long story!) There’s a guy in the states who had done the same, but his translation basically meant “African American Lives Matter,” because in colloquial Yiddish, if you describe a person as “black” (Schwartz) that’s basically the same as the N word. And you can’t even say “African British,” because a lot of Caribbean people do not identify with the African community at all! So in the end we invented a whole new term “Afro-British” and translated that. ‎ ‎האָבן אַ װערט ‎ לעבנס ‎אפֿראָבריטישער ‏


Shefflican American.


American ignorance is just astonishing