Africans in America: WHY do they Call African Americans “Akata”?

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In this scene from the classic film, “Sugar Hill”, you get a glimpse of what many, but not all, REAL Africans think about their so-called “African American” counterpart whom they call the “Akata“, the “black” American, the “cotton picker”.

Anyone who has seen the above scene and identifies or at one time identified themselves as being “black”, can remember the emotions it invoked. How shocking it must’ve been to the so-called “African” American community that the people they admired and looked to for answers about their identity and history, looked upon them as uncultured, lacking in certain principals that would deem one to be relegated into “uncivilized” peoples box, and thusly treated as such; uncivilized. I know how it made me feel, especially as a young boy having some level of consciousness that would allow me to identify with being “African”. In my emotional and immature 11-year-old mind, I said: “Fuck them African niggas!” That scene from the Sugar Hill movie allowed me to see that I have so-called “brothers and sister” who unfortunately do not identify with me as I identify with them. It angered me. Of course, as a grown man, I’m reasonable enough to now know that not all Africans from the continent of Africa see so-called African Americans as uncivilized or uncultured. Even still this “akata” issue must be addressed, as this particular blog post was inspired by some rather disturbing public posts made by Africans in America that I came across on social media.


My research has shown me that the word “akata” is a Yoruba word, and though used in a derogatory manner for African Americans by many Africans both in and outside of Africa, it is alledgedly not a derogatory term at all. The very beautiful sista below further expounds on this subject.
Hey! Welcome to this video. I will attempt to explain the meaning of Akata. Due to misinformation from all sides, ignorant ways the word has and is used, ignorance spread thanks to movies like Sugar Hill, this word has come to be a source of tension for Black people in Diaspora. If you are watching on Mobile, you probably can’t see the Note in the video that says “Undomesticated Cat symbolize Cats that don’t live at home. -Cats Symbolize African. -The Yoruba word Ologbo or Ologinni, also meant Cats that lived at home (Africans that resided in Africa.)” Hopefully this helps clarify some questions you have about that word, Akata. Whoop, Whoop! Enjoy.

It means a cat that doesn’t live at home like a wild non domesticated cat, this is used to reference mostly African Americans as they are considered Africans by all Africans but the fact that they don’t live in Africa make them akata while those of us who live at home can be considered as Ologbo (cat). It is no different from an African American calling his buddies “cat”, it is just that the Yorubas recognize the fact that this is a cat that isn’t at home.

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Chief Content Creator and Trustee for Put It Out There TV. A creative with many ideas, looking to bring them into fruition.

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