The black pride movement began as a response to widespread racism in the United States. Many times, when people regard the cultural climate as wrong, they will develop a response to it. People had been belittled and oppressed because of the color of their skin, and many blacks would have happily changed their race had such an option actually existed. In fact at one time clubs existed which would not accept membership from any blacks darker than a brown paper bag. It is into this climate that a response, the black pride movement, was born. Black pride involved a fierce assertion of the equality (and in some cases, even superiority) of blackness. Since the descendents of slaves did not know the specific regions from which their ancestors came, the entire continent of Africa was embraced by the movement. This is why you will find people holding on to things associated with Africa, even if the relics originate from disparate cultures seperated by hundreds of miles. Afros came about as a part of the black pride movement. Previously, good black hair styles typically suppressed the natural attributes of the hair (black people's hair is kinky and tends to develop naps) with relaxers to make it wavy or straight. The afro is a hair style which is difficult for most non-blacks to have (unless you have very curly hair), and therefore was a fine choice for one looking to embrace his/her racial traits and ethnic heritage.

I was not brought up around people who were heavily into black pride, so I view the whole thing as an outsider. Indeed, I am not proud to be black, as there is nothing for me to be proud of. I was born this way. I am proud of many of the people I love, as I chose to be around them and support them. I am proud of some of my accomplishments, to be sure, but I have never thought of my race in terms of pride or shame. I am happy to be black, but I suspect I would be happy to be Asian or white just as well.