"If we think about the importation of Africans into the New World as a whole, rather than strictly into the United States, the most apparent difference that can be seen is that Africans throughout the rest of the Americas were much slower to become Westernized and “acculturated.” All over the New World there are still examples of pure African traditions that have survived three hundred years of slavery and four hundred years of removal from their source. “Africanisms” are still part of the lives of Negroes throughout the New World, in varying degrees, in places like Haiti, Brazil, Cuba, Guiana. Of course, attitudes and customs of the non-continental Negroes were lost or assumed other less apparent forms, but still the amount of pure Africanisms that have been retained is amazing. However, in the United States, Africanisms in American Negroes are not now readily discernible, although they certainly do exist. It was in the United States only that the slaves were, after a few generations, unable to retain any of the more obvious of African traditions. Any that were retained were usually submerged, however powerful their influence, in less recognizable manifestations. So after only a few generations in the United States an almost completely different individual could be born and be rightly called an American Negro."
Amiri Baraka (Blues People: Negro Music in White America)
So after only a few generations in the United States an almost completely different individual could be born and be rightly called an American Negro.
That last sentence is so key to me. It also one of the primary reasons why I get so heated by Black Americans’ appropriation of any and all African cultures in addition to constantly steeping on and other Africans and what they should do in their own countries because they believe all opinions about anything happening in the continent are equal because they belong to the African Diaspora.
It’s also why while I would never pretend that I’m not part of the African Diaspora, I never classify myself as African. I say this as someone who has an entire half of his family from the Caribbean (and I mean that like my father and his sisters were the first to be born in the US) and maintains a lot of the aforementioned Africanisms.