Ancient Tribes of America
I will say this real quickly, then I'm out, because the project I'm working on, doesn't allow me to stay put on this site for very long, or any other site, for any length of time:
It's like this-if Hugo Chavez did indeed refer to himself as an "African" or black, then he is what he claims to be. That's if he claimed to be "African," or what have you. The reason why I emphasize the word "claim," is because in certain respects, racial identity in Latin America, is somewhat slightly different (not altogether) than it has been historically in North America, or the U.S. in particular.
You see, historically in this country folks who look like him, with all the european and amerindian blood that is in him, and in his phenotype, would still be considered a "black," just as long as he has one drop of black blood in him. (Just look at folks like Adam Clayton Powell, Thurgood Marshall, and Ralph or Walter White, who was the first black president of the NAACP, who had blue eyes and blond hair.) It's been this way, up until about 15 to 20 some odd years ago, when the biracial classifications came about. So what Hugo is doing, by referring to himself as an "African," is invoking the old school definition of what defines someones blackness, which only comes about, by having a drop of african/black blood in you.
For example, on my mother's side of the family, her relatives are light, bright, damn near white, with some having green to blue eyes, pale skin, and brownish to sandy colored, bone straight, or curly hair-BUT NEVERTHELESS, THEY REFER TO THEMSELVES IN THE MAIN, AS BEING BLACK! In other words, they're louisiana creoles, who evidently by their features, have european and amerindian in them, but they also have black in them, thus they refer to themselves as black.
Not only that, I have relatives in my family that are way paler than Hugo, and those that resemble Hugo, in regards to ethnic features, but nevertheless, they are referred to, or more importantly, they refer to themselves as being black.
That's why, posting up a picture to determine if someone is "black", in regards to how that definition of black has been applied within the americas, is somewhat futile, because in the end, being black on this land mass, didn't necessarily mean pure black, or someone that was "black" looking (anti-miscegenated features). This again, is a new phenomenom, within the last 15 to 20 years, within this country, where black folks ethnicity is judged by physical features only, as opposed to racial admixture.
And truth be told, this standard really only applies harshly to black folks, and not those of any other race, for the most part. You see, if someone looked white, or was part white, with amerindian, or latino ancestry, this person wouldn't be all too ostracized, if at all, if they decided to refer to themselves as an amerindian, or latino. Why? Because the mindset of most latinos and amerindians would be-IF YOU'RE PART US, AND CLAIM US, OR EVEN CLAIM US SOLELY, THEN YOU ARE RACIALLY ONE OF US, DESPITE YOUR RACIAL ADMIXTURE. Furthermore, it really doesn't matter how white you look, or how dark you are, you are still apart of the amerindian, or latino family...
However, really look at the flip side of this argument. Many latinos and amerindians, as well as other folks, which include black folks, will have no problem with amerindians saying this, in regards to whom they have under the umbrella of amerindian and latino, and will wholeheartedly accept their criterion, but now, let that be black folks, doing the same thing with a Tiger Woods, Alicia Keyes, or a Halle Berry, then folks, both black and white, brown and yellow, and so forth, will come out of the woodworks, and argue scientifically, logically, in order to prove on the most minor of technicalities-WHY THESE FOOLS AREN'T BLACK, EVEN IF THEY CLAIM TO BE BLACK!
And some folks will become so outrageous in their proclamations that these fools aren't black, by trying to psychologically phugg with black folks minds, by claiming that those who are black, that try to attach blackness onto these folks, are only doing so, because they are so ashamed of being black, to where they need these other than black folks accomplishments, or stamp of legitimacy-by claiming to be black. (However, one thing these folks who make such accusations against black folks, seem to forget, and that is, that some of these "biracial" folks, do indeed want to refer to themselves as being black, and apart of the black family, to where I have to question the motivations and the nerves, of those who aren't black, making these accusations, seeing as how many of them, or all of them, wouldn't use the same criteria to affirm someone else's racial identity, as they do black folks, especially if the person and the race in question was either "latino" or amerindian. In other words, these folks have a right to identify with whatever group they choose to, as long as they have the dna to prove it.) But this same standard, reasoning, or diluted logic, or arguments, are never put forth, when, again, folks who are white and chinese, white and latino, white and amerindian, white and arab, etc., decide to identify with the "darker" race they are mixed with- only when it comes to "biracial" folks, identifying with black folks.
I myself have been accused of being a blaxican, or a black mexican, or someone with a lot of amerindian in me, simply because I do have strong amerindian features, do have amerindian in my bloodline heavily, and have straight long hair, but I don't consider myself anything other than black, similar to my mother, and her side of the family, as well as my father, who was a black latino.
In the end, I can go further with dealing with the reasons why such double standards occur, when it comes to blacks and their racial identity, but if needs be, I'll respond to a possible rebuttal next week, because today, and this weekend, I'll be busy with other matters; but I felt that this issue, more so than any other issue in this particular forum, needed to be addressed.
Just the facts!