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Ok now I've read everyone's responses.

I've already stated that I consider myself black and it's pretty obvious to anyone that sees me. However my husband is white, of Irish & Puerto Rican descent. Because of my actual ethnic make-up (blond, gray-eyed, Irish grandfather) there is a fair chance that our children will look more like him, than me. And I'm sure most of us knows a black person who doesn't "look" black, and the trials they've gone through.

For this reason I find African-American to be a more inclusive term. One that identifies an ethnic and cultural connection and commonality. When I hear someone descibe themselves as black I generaly expect to see dark skin. Not someone like my best-friend whose mother is black. And because like most families the mother influence is stronger she is black. Yet she looks exactly like her Chinese father. When I hear African-American I still expect someone of color, but I'm not as surprised at it's lack. I do expect someone that knows a family member that was affected by "Whites only" fountains,bathrooms & entrances. Someone whose family has been here for at least 80yrs. Most can tell you of a family member that was a slave and are aware that slavery and it's influence on our people are not that far in the past.

I only have to go back 4 generations to my Great-grandfather who was born and raised a slave. This was the man who raised my grandmother and help raised my mother. My still living, grandmother helped raise us and my brother's 2 daughters. So the living legacy and knowledge of slavery is still very much with my family even here in 2002.

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