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St. Patrick’s Day Double Standard?

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Maybe it’s just my social media timeline, but I’ve noticed quite a few fellow African-Americans proudly talking up their “Irish” heritage in honor of St. Patrick’s Day.

I’ve seen everything from folks noting their Irish surnames to pointing out features (red hair? freckles?) that justify their green pride.

And while I am all about embracing diversity in this melting pot that is America, I have to ask…

Did any of your non-Black friends talk about their African ancestors during Black History month which was just…well… last month?

Did they wear shirts celebrating Marcus Garvey or hats that said: Kiss Me, I’m Nigerian?

I am not judging.  Personally, I have always eschewed making mention of Native American ancestry unlike many of my peers.  I have no idea what my racial makeup is other than being brown and until I learn the details, I’ll just bet on Black.  I do, however, think it’s unfortunate when people attribute so-called attractive features to something else they are mixed with… for example, high cheekbones or straighter curl patterns can only lead to “Indian” roots.  (And who the heck is calling people “Indians” these days anyway?)

Further complicating this issue: I realize it’s a lot more difficult for Black people to trace their heritage due to the ravages of slavery, though there are certainly new ways to achieve that via today’s technology and resources.  We even offered guidance on how to do it HERE.

It may be easier to lay claim onto other cultures, especially one that is loudly and proudly celebrated every March, but it would be absolutely amazing for all of us to be as enthusiastic and interested in our collective connections to the African diaspora.

Your turn: Is excitement about St. Patrick’s Day one-sided or do we collectively celebrate all cultures? Please share your thoughts and I’ll be sure to respond.