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Akátá is a word derived from the Yoruba people of West Africa and it simply means wild animal. It is thought to be widely used loosely by some African immigrants to the United States to describe African Americans and their descendants, and over time it has come to have derogatory connotations due to perceived tensions between some African immigrants and African Americans.
Its geographical origin is Nigeria of West Africa.
It may also be used to describe a cat that does not live at home, whereas the cat that lives at home is called Ologbo or Ologinni; akata may, by metaphorical implication, suggest that African Americans are blacks that do not reside on the African continent. The term is closely translated to mean jackal, a wild animal. The term was popularized in Hollywood by the movie Sugar Hill featuring Wesley Snipes and Michael Wright. In the film, Nigerian drug dealers referred to the pair as akatas, American cotton pickers. Because of this, it often used to describe any African living outside of Africa, though Yorubas tend not to use it in a derogatory manner. It is generally used by many Nigerians living in the United States, as well as other Africans.. The word can also be used to describe the popularized media version of African American culture, which is usually associated with rap and hip-hop.