Sample Term Paper on African American Culture

African American Culture

The presence of people with African origin in the American hemisphere proves to be critical as it portrays the rich cultural heritage that Africans have placed in a foreign land. It does not matter how Africans arrived in the American hemisphere, but the emergence of the “New World” could not have occurred without them. Biological and cultural inadequacy of the subject led to formation of races. It is through the consciousness of people’s mind that individuals see each other and experience the world. The development of the current conceptualization of people’s diversity led to emergence of races, which occurred through the colonial context.

African American culture involves cultural input by Americans of African origin to the existing culture of the US. This culture is distinct due to its roots in the historical understanding of the African-American people. From the slavery era in the seventeenth century, slaves were not permitted to practice their home culture in their new settlement. However, marginalization of African slaves played a critical role in the sustenance of traditional African culture. African men who had arrived with their families had to teach their children the African culture in the foreign land. African-American men rebelled against their masters while others formed civil rights movements to pressure the leaders to abolish slavery.

The contemporary Western world brought the issue of color to mean that differences in color create important meaning to humans. The classification of people according to their race became a political ideology, where physical appearance was associated with culture, aptitude, and inequality (Hutchinson 147). Categorizing people according to their color filled the mind of those who did not share the same color with African-Americans. Racism was also widespread in churches, and this led to African-Americans form their own churches. It was through black religious churches that African Americans felt connected to their communities. Working as slaves made many Africans leave their traditional religious beliefs to join Christianity, which was a requirement from their masters. Slaves managed to form Christian worshipping groups secretly, where African rhythms, dancing, and singing were carried out. These practices ended up to become part of African-American worship.

The black women have suffered greatly without anyone to assist them, until the pressure to allow women to join politics gained momentum. Black women have undeniably been used in numerous ways to further the national dialogues involving sex and violence. Studies have shown that young women are likely to be sexually assaulted while it is unlikely that young black women would report such cases. Feminism has contributed in politicizing rape, where legislations, which include Violence Against Women Act of 1998, have addressed the issues of sexual abuse (Sharpley-Whiting 54). African American women felt their African pride when other races copied their dressing styles. The black women went to churches in vibrant dressing styles, which attracted other races to emulate their styles.

Practicing African culture of dressing, ceremonies, and music, assisted Africans to forget about their sufferings in the hands of the white people. African Americans managed to transform the American culture through music in the nineteenth century. The jazz era of the 1920s depicted the power of African American culture in creating a difference in American popular music. During slavery, African-Americans embraced the traditional European hymns. However, they merged their styles into the Western music to create their own spiritual music. Hip-hop culture originated from the African American musicians, but the white musicians embraced it due to its popularity. African-American musicians and authors used plays, rap, hip-hop music, and stories to pass message about change. They managed to bring on board other African-Americans, as well as the whites through entertainment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

Hutchinson, Janis F. The Coexistence of Race and Racism: Can They Become Extinct Together? Lanham, Md: University Press of America, 2005. Print.

Sharpley-Whiting, T. Denean. Pimps up, ho’s down : hip hop’s hold on young Black women. New York, NY: New York University Press, 2007. Print.

Smedley, Audrey. “” Race” and the Construction of Human Identity.” American Anthropologist 100.3 (1998): 690-702.