Flavors of the Universe

Do you find there to be a difference amongst the terms “African-American”, “Afro-Caribbean” and “African immigrant”?

Am I the only one who is annoyed by legitimate blanketed references, simply because a group share similar skin-tones?

I – especially – hate that the label “African-American” is used incorrectly; I know plenty of non-black humans (or people of “non-color”) who are from Africa!

To contradict myself (Mommy always called me, “Mary, Mary, quite contrary”), I’ll say that I prefer flavors for everyone’s ethnicities (as I’m sure you’ve figured out from this author’s self-description)– they’re more fun and sexy terms of endearment, by my standards (I do not claim to be correct in the accuracy of my nicknames:)

  • Vanilla = Caucasian
  • Chocolate = Black, Negro, Negroid (You may call me, “Negroida” {I’m sure, Cat Woman would have a superhero cousin, like me, named that.} By the way, have I mentioned how I long to be in alliance with “Xena: Warrior Princess“, Grace Jones and “La Femme Nikita” <My favorite part of LFN starts at 4:44.>? [Yes, I know– off topic– I digress…])
  • Cafe con Leche = Hispanic
  • Sake = Japanese (“Hot Sake”, if the lucky fool is my husband 😉 )
  • Ginseng = My blanketed (but insignificant in comparison to the above subject matter’s) version of other Asians (“Hot Dim-Sum” if one is sexy and Chinese)
  • Vodka = Russian or someone of a Slavic background
  • (a hot spread of) Tahini or Hummus = of Israeli/ Middle-Eastern decent
  • Bailey’s Cream = Irish
  • (“have the fever for the flavor of¹”) Curry = of Indian decent
  • Mocha~Latte = Mixed-up with a whole lotta good stuff!


I was updating my performer profile and decided to search the web to see whether or not it would be excessive to double-hyphenate my chosen ethnic description of being referred to as “Afro-Caribbean-American”. In the process, I encountered this topic and video on Afro-Europe International Blog‘s page.

Let me know how you feel… Keep it peaceful, please!


©2011 Heidi Rodney-Nakanishi and ChocolateGeisha Spills the Sake!™              All images are copyrighted by their respective authors.                              ¹™Pringles


7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. swandiver
    Sep 10, 2011 @ 01:51:38

    Black/White are the extremes of the spectrum so if you couple that with the very unique history of America and it’s legacy of racial oppression of black people, what ever happens between those two races kind of sets the tone for the racial discussion throughout the country.

    I, myself, am mulatto and would love nothing better than to think of race in terms of flavors with no consideration of the very real, and serious implications ignoring the importance of race here but I can’t. Even though my mother is white, I am not which means the way I have to navigate this world is decidedly different from my cousins.


    • Heidi Rodney-Nakanishi
      Sep 10, 2011 @ 02:56:42

      Thank you for your response. 🙂

      I understand your point-of-view, to a certain extent. One question though… it’s a nuisance to partake in an unlimited labeling process, but do you feel that you’re denying your mother’s heritage by not including it when you’re able to? Is she a native and/ or citizen of the United States, as well?

      One of my main points for this topic (that I may have not properly clarified) was about blanketed references to “black” people who are NOT American citizens, but are called “African Americans” out of the idea that it’s “politically correct” when it’s not. The people who have experienced the history that you’ve spoken of are -not- the same ones who may have arrived off of a plane, voluntarily, from Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, et al… instead of involuntarily off of a ship.

      My mother, case-in-point, is from Trinidad and chose to be a “resident alien” in the States for 30+ years before deciding to have dual-citizenship with both countries. It was always a pet-peeve of mine (and hers) to be called “African-American” when she technically wasn’t. Granted, everyone may come from Africa (an ongoing argument), originally, but those who are deserving of that “A-A” title are the ones with the legacy that you have mentioned.

      As for your being mulatto, I just remembered what a former colleague of mine (a black native of Trinidad) recently posted on Facebook about his own son who is mixed and was asked to confirm the race, he was assumed to be. The sophisticated eight-year-old responded (paraphrasing), “I’m not black or white, but I am an *Alexander (*the family’s sir name).” We all thought that was great! 🙂


  2. Heidi Rodney-Nakanishi
    Sep 10, 2011 @ 03:16:24

    Here’s another interesting link about the difference of being black in the UK vs. USA: http://afroeurope.blogspot.com/2011/07/lola-adesioye-about-difference-between.html


  3. Wendy
    Sep 10, 2011 @ 10:06:26

    I’m with you… it’s not nice to assume one does or does not come from Africa. Just like it’s not nice to assume one does or does not come from America (there IS Canada too, people!) My family is from Canada, so my vanilla and chocolate loves, there is more than one non-cutesy accent country where white people come from! I love and have always loved the “foodsy” words, having called my first boss in 1989 mocha for his creamy color as he was from the islands. It’s less offensive and quite a bit more tasty. Peace!


  4. Heidi Rodney-Nakanishi
    Sep 10, 2011 @ 14:48:50

    Thanks, Wendy! That brings up another pet-peeve of mine… “American” being used to describe people from the United States. It seems like everyone overlooks that there is a South America and Central America, as well… and that North Americans include those from Canada and Mexico. HELLO!!!?

    I’d add -North- American to myself description if I didn’t have so many adjectives already! Hahahaha…


  5. Marsha
    Sep 10, 2011 @ 16:32:15

    Now I know where the drink “Black Russian” originates. But I do have some Baileys in me and it was my favorite drink, in my drinking days, but to live up to family blood Scotch and water was ordered, as a rule. Then again, that spurt of French and German, gave me a love for wine. Always wished I had had some Italian thanks to the many flavors and need to ask my parents…when I see them again…WHY the vodka martinis and having a touch of English, I could not drink gin without hugging the commode all night. But you know what? We all originated with God and therefore, have a little bit of everything even when we no longer drink. I suppose there are other expressions of flavor, but because of my youth, I connected with the booze.


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