Yup. If African Americans KNOW their country of origin they might be more likely to use it but it’s been stripped away and even THEN, because of common experience, having a common continental name is more logical
The origin of Asian-American was for activist reasons: to bind together in marches a diverse population in order to get recognition about a common set of issues as Americans of the loose grouping.
But that was the early 1970s. Now Asian-American as a vague category is becoming less useful as each grouping NOW has enough clout to fight for their own particular issues.
But they knew their origin countries so they can.
I do a lot of genealogy for myself as a hobby, following up from a far off uncle who was into it in the mid 90s and left his GEDCOM files from AOL everywhere for me to find. (not on purpose, just stumbled) and so I continued.
A few years ago, a black friend was super interested in what I was doing and I asked if he’s ever done it.
And real matter of factly said he could only get back a few generations before it stops dead.
Stupidly I was like, “But why? I can show you where to find records and things I’m really good at it”.
“Because they were slaves Ken. The paper trail stopped when they got off the boat”.
The notion of a total erasure of a family history rather than an accidental burnt down church building or something really surprised me. I thought I ‘got it’ but that’s when I got it.
It’s a definitely privileged position, whether or not one takes advantage of it.
Like, I can trace a lot of my ancestors back to Colonial America. In fact, I started recognizing a handful of names that I learned in 4th Grade in my “American History” classes.
And one day it REALLY really struck me: A lot of American history is a study of privileged families and if I was raised in a family that emphasized family history (I wasn’t: no one in my family cares at all about genealogy but me), what I learned in American History would be:
“Here is your family story”.
And that… really shifted just how biased American history learning in school REALLY is.
Like, imagine you’re a kid in late 19th century public school.
Public school in the late 1800s is not so terribly different than now. They followed the Horace Mann Prussian school model then as now.
You learn about American history.. which was shorter.
Some members of your class are more likely to have had family represented in American history class and some wouldn’t — and it’s likelu