Re: Language
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Mon, 19 Nov 2012 17:50:29 -0800 (PST)
On Nov 19, 2012, at 8:19 PM, Eris Weaver <eris [at]> wrote:

> I have a friend who quips about the phrase African American...she has two
> friends who actually grew up in Africa and are now Americans

In DC we also have a large population of people from all over Africa who are 
connected to Embassies. Their culture is very different from African Americans 
who are descended from slaves. Even if you say these designations aren't about 
race but about culture, that doesn't work either. Then there is the African 
Caribbean American community which is very tight and "above" the other African 
American communities.

A neighbor who is from the Old Washington African American community in DC 
which forms an elite class once sent his building manager to ask me how many 
Black people we had in our community. I didn't know how to count. It would have 
taken a whole conversation about who from his perspective was Black. The very 
dark skinned Indian child? The several who are "mixed"? The woman from Colombia 
who is convinced she is half-black? The woman who was born in England and whose 
family is Jamaican? The African American from Texas who is very European in 
cultural identification?

We only have one resident who is "black like him" in the sense of Old 
Washington African American.

Maybe someday we will be like Cuba where I understand everyone is Cubano. No 

Which raises the question of whether cohousing should be worrying about 
diversity and what it really is beyond being open to anyone who shows up.

Sharon Villines
Takoma Village Cohousing, Washington DC

  • Re: Language, (continued)

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