African American Culture

Published: 2018-11-27 06:26:49
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Harvey Mudd College
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African American Culture

 

During birth, a human being comes to the world naked regarding his physical appearance or culture. We develop instincts' which is a natural occurrence that occurs to all creatures without being taught about it. When a child is born, he or she comes to the world with some inherited traits such as the ability to grasp or suck a phenomenal called body reflexes. Humans rely on social experience to learn their culture, unlike other creature which relies on instinct to survive in the world. Culture is not part of the human DNA, but the way we are biologically made makes its possible for us to learn about a culture. Language and culture are not an inherited trait but rather a learned thing. A newborn baby does not have any language, morals or an idea about his or her religious inclination but learns about them over time.

A group of people or community's way of life is determined by the way they behave, their belief and what their values are. When one talks about the culture of a particular group of people, he/she is referring to the physical, moral and artistic way of life of those people. Culture can be defined as the total of what an individual learns while in a certain society. The things learned can be but not limited to; the way he lives, his thinking and behavior. Cultures help human being to express themselves while giving our surroundings meaning. It also helps us set the standard for what is good and what is but while expressing what is desirable or not in the community (Scott, 2017)

The values of a society

If one wants to learn the culture of a group of people, he/she should study their values and ideas. The values of a society can be determined by understanding what they prefer, their standards and understanding what is important to them. The values of a community act as the defining point of a culture. They serve as the standard by which social life can be measured. Every member of a society has their values that say who they are as a people.

The formation of a society is a human creation that is meant to help them navigate the challenges of life. A society can be referred to as a group of people who are united under some similar goals and beliefs and are in a particular geographical location. A society involves a network of members who share a similar belief and culture. In a country, such as the United States of America, there are different minority groups and this groups identify themselves with their race, language, and the nation of origin. An ethnic group can be referred as a class of people who share traits such as food and language (Scott, 2017).

During the slave trade, Africans from different regions were sold to the white merchants. In the later years, some African Americans came from the Caribbean while others from the south and central America. The cultures that they came from was different and diverse. However, the one thing that they had in common was the slavery, the oppression, and acculturation. The shared history gave them a bond that was used to form their culture and identity as African Americans. They have a rich, unique and distinctive culture. Culture is formed by an accumulation of a people's relics and their struggle for survival.

The psychological needs of a people

Culture helps to serve the psychological needs of a people and helps them with their identity. The way of life for the whites is different from the black Americans, and this is due to the history of the black Americans before they were shipped to the US. Culture does not necessarily have to be unique or different from other people's way of life. Culture shows how people dress, what they believe in, their language and custom. African Americans have they distinct pattern of speech, their music and dance. The different patterns of how they behave and live are as a result of their history which brought about this culture. It is hypocritical of the white supremacist to expect the blacks to abandon their culture and assimilate into the mainstream society (Scott, 2017)

African American culture is an assimilation of African and European culture. During slavery, these two cultures came into contact and what was formed was the African American culture. The first Black slaves differed in their language, religion, and culture. However, once in American the suffered the same problems and shared the same experience which was passed down to their kids. Since more than one generation suffered from slavery, there are certain values that remained in the African American culture which acted as their core values. The black Americans have struggled for nearly 400 years to become first class citizens. They can, therefore, be classified as Americans since that is their home

There is a misconception and wrongful use of the term race and ethnicity while referring to African Americans. Race should be defined regarding the physical appearance of a person. On the other hand, ethnicity refers to the culture of and individual. Some characteristics have to be fulfilled if people are to be classified in certain races. However, race is only used to classify people in a hierarchical manner as being better than others and is in no way a biological trait.

Scientific evidence

There is no scientific evidence to support the claim about some race being better than the others. African Americans have been the main targets of the discrimination that claims another race are better than them. They have faced discrimination and unequal treatment in the society. The definition of race and class has been very closely linked together especially in the United States that it is hard to separate the two. The values of some groups might be hard to assimilate into a particular group of people, unlike subculture which can carve its identity in a dominant culture. A group like that is referred by sociologist as a counterculture. Such a group does not adapt to the normal behavior but instead gives an alternative to the mainstreamed culture. The African Americans wanted to have their culture and participate more meaningfully in their lives.

African Americans did not want to fully assimilate into the American culture. They are however not hardcore separatist, and they can be classified as non-committal individuals. They want to challenge the traditional way of life so as to survive in a racist society. The African Americans desire to retain their cultural and ethnic identity, and they can be referred to as cultural pluralism. They take pride in being black Americans and having their culture that is different from the whites. The African Americans put an emphasis on the social arrangements that allow them to express the differences or uniqueness in the American institutions that belong to all (Scott, 2017)

References

Scott,, H. (2017).T The African American CultureT (1st ed.).

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