By Ronald Court (nee, Courtemanche)
In just two days on September 11, 2010 I will observe the exact moment I realized I was an American and not a multi-hyphenated French-Canadian-American whose grandparents came down from Quebec in search of a living-any living.
It was 11:35am on that fateful day nine years ago in 2001. I had been teaching at Champlain College but as the planes stuck the towers, classes were cancelled. I drove home, but found myself turning off toward the local flag shop. As the realization of what happened set in, that America, our country… my country, me was attacked. I heard myself declare, “I am an American.” I am not French-Canadian. I am an American … of French-Canadian descent.
Today, it makes me ponder why some Americans descended from several generations of American-born ancestors still refer to themselves as African-Americans.
Sure, there’s an obvious answer. But can you tell me who the real African-American in this picture is?
(Hint: Actress Charleze Theron (above) was born in South Africa; Will Smith in Philadelphia.)