African American culture

8 August 2016

African American Culture The African American culture is one of the more diverse cultures out there. Many of these people practice different beliefs. African Americans live in all parts of the world and just like other cultures African Americans have people that live in what is considered poverty some that are considered middle class and some considered upper class. African Americans come with a lot of interesting thing like the language they speak which is called Ebonics and all the different stereotypes with black American some being negative and some positive.

There are three main religions practiced in the black American culture. The first is the most common and that is Christianity, Which is known as the black church. Christianity started back in the slavery days. Many slaves that were brought over were stripped of the African belief system and denied free religious practice; this forced them to become Christians. However slaves managed to hold onto some practices by putting them into Christian worship in secret meetings that were held. These practices include dancing, shouts and African rhythms and enthusiastic singing.

African American culture Essay Example

Another religion practice in the black culture is Islam. Islam was founded in Detroit Michigan in the 1930’s by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad. Many blacks converted to Islam because they believed that Christianity was what the white slave owners used to control the minds of blacks. Today Islam in the black community is made up of black Americans that come from various backgrounds. The last most common religious practice is Judaism. There are a little over 150,000 African Americans that practice Judaism today. Some of these are members to mainstream Jewish groups like the reform, conservative, or orthodox branches of Judaism.

Others belong to non-mainstream Jewish groups like black Hebrew Israelites. The socioeconomic status in black American is a lot different from other status in the American culture, somewhat to the lower end. The median of income in the African American families is just over 34,218, the lowest of any racial group. One out of every five black families lives in poverty. Black men in America hold the highest rate for unemployment, nearly doubling for Caucasian men. Black men that are employed have the second highest median earnings of any other minority group. Single black women with children median income is 29,958.

Nearly one out of every three black households is headed by a single woman, highest in female-headed households. Forty percent of the black single mothers are considered poor. African Americans make up 12. 9 percent of the United States population. They are the second largest minority population, following Hispanics. Majority of the blacks live in the south totaling up 55. 6 percent of the black population. The top three states being Mississippi, Louisiana and Georgia. The state that has the highest population of African Americans is New York. The African American culture is much bigger than a micro culture.

This is because a micro-culture is a small group of people who share the same values, beliefs, and behaviors. The reason why the African American culture is not a micro culture is because there are all types of black Americans of all different types just like any other race. For example you have African Americans the practice different religions. You also have black Americans that come from all over the United States in different cities and neighborhoods with different ways of living and growing up. There are a few concepts in the text that are relevant to the African American culture.

The first concept is one of the biggest and that is stereotyping. The systematic study of racial and ethnic stereotypes began in the United States in the 1930s with a study conducted by David Katz and Kenneth Braly. They presented college students with a list of 84 adjectives (lazy, ignorant, and stupid. ) and the traits that came up for black Americans were superstitious, lazy, happy go luck, ignorant, musical, religious. They found out all those traits came up consistently on each students list. Since then there has been a number of different researchers that have replicated Katz and Braly work.

In today’s world you find and still here a lot of the stereotypes such as blacks are more athletic, their very loud, they all live in bad neighborhoods, they don’t work. There are a lot of different explanations and ideas why stereotypes on African Americans seem to dominate people’s way of thinking. For example stereotypes are well established in children’s memories well before they acquire the intellectual ability to question or evaluate them. By seeing how parents act and talk about the black community. We also get stereotype ideas by what is on the television and movies now days.

The movies and shows always seem to try to make the “stereotypical” black man or woman. Another Concept that is relevant to the black American culture is the Black English dialect, and Ebonics. A primary way in which members of culture group define themselves and establish in-group and out-group identities is through verbal language. African American differs in their use of language, which is labeled as “Black language”, “Black Dialect”. The term Ebonics was first brought up in 1973 and refers to a grammatically complex African American speech pattern.

Ebonics or Black language is a unique language created by the slaves. According to John Rickford an Ebonics scholar. He explains Ebonic pronunciations include the omission of the final consonant in words like pas (past) or han (hand) and the pronouncement of the vowel in words like my ride (mah rahd). Overall the African American speech acts are more animated, lively, and forceful than a lot of other cultures speeches. The last relevant concept that will be discussed is the culture and cognition. Culture and cognition refers to people from different areas and backgrounds and how they view and see things.

This comes into play with African Americans that grow up in poverty or live with a single parent. Even though this can be associated with any race and culture its more likely with black Americans. With watching an interview on real sports with Bryan Gumble there was a black American on there and he explained the difference between black children growing up and every other culture you had to focus on only one thing to get out of poverty, his reference was “the hood”. He explained that growing up the only thing that could get black children out of the hood was sports.

It wasn’t good grades and doing well in school because that was just a bonus. He said good grades wouldn’t pay for college but a football or basketball scholarship would. By all that he didn’t think a lot of other cultures had to worry about those things, that’s what made African American think and act different in different situations. In conclusion, the African American culture has many different religions they practice; they stay in all parts of the United States and just like multiple other cultures, people seem to stereotype. All in all the African American culture is one of the more diverse cultures out there.

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