The world used to be more orderly and peaceful. We all knew our roles and place in the world. Guided by our parents, pastors, and teachers, we knew how high we should reach and set our goals, so that one day we successfully reach our niche in life. We studied as children and then as adults fulfilled our occupations and professions to the best of our abilities, or at least satisfactorily and responsibly. We strove to reach our métier in life, so we would not end up as a disillusioned and unemployed “poets manqué.”
There was a time until the early 1960s when the terms to describe those of African decent, like me — African-American or Black or Afro-American — were almost unheard of.
I remember a distinct conversation with a friend discussing descriptive terms for ourselves in 1963 or ’64. The term “black” was just coming into vogue and he didn’t like it one bit. “Call me a Negro,” he said, “but don’t call me black.”
Miguel A. Faria Jr. is the author of "Medical Warrior" and "Vandals at the Gates of Medicine," and editor in chief of the Medical Sentinel, the journal of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. His most recent book is "Cuba in Revolution: Escape from a Lost Paradise." All of his books are available through www.haciendapub.com. A retired neurosurgeon, Dr. Faria lives in Macon, Ga.