The term “hyphenated American” commonly used in the early 1900s is now outdated, and its need within American culture is scarce. Eric Liu, author of “A Chinaman’s Chance,” explains why he chooses not to use the hyphen when describing himself: “American is the noun, Chinese the adjective. Or, rather, Chinese is one adjective. I am many kinds of American.”
Similarly to Liu, E.W. Jackson, founder of Staying True To America’s National Destiny (STAND), says labeling ourselves as “African-American” or “Irish-American” only further excludes. “It is about uniting a diverse group of people with a common love for freedom, democracy and the ideals of our nation,” says Jackson.
How one decides to define their citizenship is a personal choice; however, “if we restrict ourselves to our ethnic enclaves and ethnic identities, we deprive ourselves of the great benefits of the American experiment,” he adds.
No matter how you define it, America will continue to grow in its diversity and unite cultures in more ways than one.
Danielle Harkness, Creative Department