History of Immigrant nations: What is it like to be American?

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,804
San Antonio, Tx
#31
So I have a few questions:

1. Is it a general thing for Americans to attach themselves to the history of their ancestral lands? Or is it only a small fraction of people?


I’m an immigrant, but I have been here for so long that I haven’t felt like one for decades. Here’s my take:

Most, if not all Americans, have some knowledge of their past/immigrant history. I know where I am from - Holland - but it is not a very important part of my worldview which is American.

2. For people unsure of their exact roots, do they just consider themselves by their continent of origin or skin colour, or is their surname generally enough?
Blacks in America have been here for a very long time, longer than most white Americans. But the Blacks have a problem because their family histories were not just ignored, they were wiped out. I believe it is correct that American blacks draw distinctions among themselves and blacks from other countries, such as Haiti, of Kenya, etc.

3. Is this common that African Americans, those descended from the slave trade, not to link to a specific cultural group in Africa?


Yes, for the reason enumerated above.

4. Are other black groups: Kenyan immigrants, Congolese immigrants, Nigerian immigrants, Jamaicans, etc... Are these people counted among the African American ethnic group, or are they considered something separate?
I believe they are considered to be outside of the American Slave experience.

5. Assuming #3 is a yes: Is Pan-Africanism popular among African Americans?
What does “Pan-Africanistm” even mean?

6. Do African Americans who do not know their background generally attach to American history and purely the American story? Or only from the time of slavery? If you are African American, what is your relationship with your own history?
Not being Black, the best persons to answer this are American Blacks.

7. For people who are descended from Europeans, but of multi-national background (and this includes part German, part Italian, part English, etc...) how do you identify yourselves? (e.g. European, white, literally a percentage of everything you know, or the most dominant culture - like Italian even if you are part Italian blood but have an Italian surname)
I’m a Dutch immigrant, but have been in North America for 67 years. I like my Dutch (and part Indonesian) heritage, but don’t spend much time thinking about it. I think of myself as American.

8. What about biracial people? Is Mariah's account (in the below video) accurate? That identifying as multiracial (as Mariah does) is controversial for partially black people to not to consider themselves black?
Most Black Americans have some white blood in them. You’d have to ask them what that means to them.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,804
San Antonio, Tx
#32
Thanks for the answers.

On the Jewish note, it's about the same in Europe. Jewish is considered a nationality unless they come from Israel, then they will identify as Israeli, though the Jewish part is generally implied. Although, the actual native Israeli Jewish, I believe, identify as Palestinian Jews... though the term is in dispute and I believe the differentiation is political (pro-Zionist or not).

There's a difference in Europe that may not occur in the US. Many (certainly not all) people here would hide their Jewish ancestry from the public due to fear of another deadly rise in anti-Semitism. It's to the point that some younger people are doing DNA tests and discovering they are as much as 100% Jewish.
Most American Jews identify as American Jews. There’s not much reason or advantage to not identify as being Jewish. A fair number of Jews in this country aren’t very religious, however, which may be true elsewhere as well.
 

royal744

Ad Honorem
Jul 2013
9,804
San Antonio, Tx
#33
Is the USA anymore of a 'melting pot' than Europe has been over time?
Yes. There’s an expectation in this country that “everyone here is someone from someplace else” which is literally true even if it was a couple of centuries ago. The subject often comes up in casual conversation when people bring up their heritage, but it’s not a big deal.
 

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