Trevor Noah: African American – Coming Home to the Motherland


I’ve been doing shows around the
country. Around the world really. I’ve been blessed. And I remember
one day I’m in L.A. and I’m doing a show and
we’re sitting backstage and this comedian comes in
to the backstage area and he’s got a list of all
the guys that are performing. And so, he looks around
and he looks at the darkest guy in the corner,
just the blackest guy he could find. And he goes [comedically]
hey, yo. You the dude from Africa? [laughter] And the guy looks
up and he’s like [comedically]
nah man, I’m from Detroit. [laughter] He’s like [comedically]
a’ight, my bad. My bad. My bad. Uh, a’ight, uh, yo. OK, Detroit. Yeah, yeah. You–oh, a’ight, OK cool. L.A. OK, cool. Cool. Cool. [normal speaking voice]
And then he looks at me for a second, does a
quick calculation. And he’s like oh, a’ight,
a’ight, um, yeah. [laughter] And then he
looks and he goes [comedically]
yo, where you from man? [normal voice] I said
I’m from South Africa. He’s like [comedically]
oh, oh, oh. You the dude? [laughter] Oh damn, man. Damn. A’ight. Yo, I didn’t even
know they got–yo, you the dude from Africa? [laughter] Man, didn’t
even know they got light-skinned [bleep]
out there, man. [laughter] Damn. A’ight. Yo. Yo. That’s the
motherland, man. That’s the motherland. [normal voice] And all of
a sudden he just started giving me this speech. He’s like [comedically] man, you know,
yo man, that’s–yo man, that’s where we
gotta be, man. That’s, you know– [laughter] –that’s the motherland
out there, man. Yeah. I gots to get
out there, man. I gots to. Yo, I gots to
go home, man. [laughter] You heard? I gots to go home. Man, you tell them. A’ight? You tell ’em. You tell them I’m
coming home, a’ight? [laughter] [normal speaking voice]
And I was like [laughs] we’re not waiting. [laughter] ‘Cause I’m just–I’m
fascinate–I think
that’s come–that
whole identity has come
from the term
African-American
. This is something that’s
fascinated me. You know, it’s the
very loose term. African-American. ‘Cause half of the time
you use it for people that aren’t even African. You know? Just use it long
as you’re black. They go African-American. But it’s–what if people
aren’t from Africa? They still
African-American? Those people from the Caribbean,
from Haiti, from Jamaica. You know? They call– [comedically] yeah,
African-America. Guys like [Jamaican accent] no man,
I come from Jamaica. I no’ from Africa. [laughter] I ain’t never
been there ‘fore, man. [comedically] He’s
like you wanna stay? [Jamaican accent]
African-American, man. Hey. [laughter, applause] [normal voice] The prefix
to American has become as important as American itself. I thought it was just
American but it’s not. No, no, no. It’s very important
you have the prefix. You know, you have
African-American. African-American. You have others
like Latin- or Mexican-American. You have Asian-American. You have–the most
interesting for me was Indian-American which I learned
about during Thanksgiving. Indian-American. And then I was told I’m no
longer allowed to say this. Said I now have to
say Native American. Which is redundant,
is it not? [laughter] Because if somebody’s
a native of the land they’re still in should
you not then just call them American? [laughter] How does that work?

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