The question of whether blacks should be called Black Americans or African-Americans has brought to the fore the issue of identity for Black-Americans. Should blacks identity with Africa, or should blacks retain their American identity? Obviously, both identities have their pros and cons, and the solution is the combination of the advantageous aspects of each.
In determining the best solution for blacks, it is necessary to outline the reasons for a change in thought. The major reason for this change is black people's want of a sense of heritage. Most blacks know very little, if anything, about their ancestry before the slave ships, due to the tactics of the slave traders who would separate families to prevent any story-telling or other activity that might promote racial pride and cohesion. In addition, a greater knowledge of African heritage may give rise to an increase in the practice of African customs. However, this could lead to another problem, namely, a loss of black culture. A third reason is the quality of life among blacks around the world. Some suffer from famine and oppression while others suffer from poverty and racism.
The solution is not found in only one of these identities, but in the summation of the advantageous aspects of each. The problem of heritage is solved by the recognition of African
identity which requires the study and acknowledgement of Africans contributions to society. The question of customs is solved by both identities, for the American identity acknowledges the presence of a black culture, while the African identity contributes useful customs. The question will not arise as long as African customs are not used to replace those of Black America, but are combined to better the culture. And finally, in dealing with the problems of blacks around the world, the American identity yields the best solution, for blacks in America cannot better the world until they take care of themselves...