The very fact that you have to refer to the black man in America as a Negro shows you that right there something is wrong. An African doesn’t accept this term Negro and you find they teach us in the educational system of this country that Negro is a Spanish word that’s supposed to mean black, yet when you find the black people who live in Spanish-speaking countries of South and Central America, they don’t accept the word Negro to identify themselves. No one allows himself to be classified under word Negro but the black man here in America who is a descendant of the slaves and very seldom is it ever applied to anybody but the black man here in America who is the descendant of the slaves.
When you ask a man his identity he should use a word that connects him with a culture. If you ask him his nationality, it should connect him with a nation, like if I ask a man his nationality and he says German that connects him with Germany or even if he says German-American it still connects him with having originated, his family his history has originated in Germany. If he says he’s French-American, it connects him with France, but when you ask a black man in America and he tells you Negro, he doesn’t put any other country in front, he puts American Negro, or he’ll just say Negro. This doesn’t identify him and usually when you find a man who calls himself a Negro, he can’t tell you what language that he spoke before he came to this country, it’s of no consequence, no interest. He believes that prior to coming here he was a savage in the jungle and therefore he had no language and this justifies his lack of knowledge concerning that mother today, and the history as Mr. Baldwin pointed out, of the white man here in America and the black man here in America points out the fact that the Negro or the man who calls himself a Negro is just an ex-slave. If he is an ex-slave, I’d rather say he’s still a slave than but he’s wearing his slave master’s name, the name that was given to him during slavery, he’s speaking the language of the man who made him a slave, because he has no knowledge of his own tongue, he only knows the history, his own history as taught to him by his former slave master who purposely hid from him his own history to make him think that he was an inferior being before being brought here.