New Criticals

The way in which African Americans collectivize themselves today is, almost exclusively, seen through their use of rhetoric. The term black is an accepted rhetoric that has been used to describe African Americans even though it lacks as a descriptor of a persons skin color. Author Jorge Klor de Alva, in a joint interview with philosopher Cornel West for Harper Magazine, made a profound statement on the use of the word black when asked if he’d refer to West as a black man. “Cornel is only black within a certain reductionist context. And that context, where color is made to represent not so much the hue of one's skin as a set of denigrated experiences--and where these experiences are applied to everyone who ever had an African ancestor--is one I consider to be extremely negative.” The word holds in it many painful experiences as de Alva alludes to. Certainly, the word should be seen as a misnomer as its context is no longer applicable yet it’s still a preferred term when referring to those of African descent.