Culture shapes a person’s identity by instilling certain values and influencing behavior. Members of a particular culture may share beliefs, behaviors, and norms that are shared from one generation to another (Cooke, 2016). There are different cultural diversities in the United States which include Asian, African-American, White, Hispanic, and Pacific Islanders. However, all cultures co-exist with one another due to a shared political, religion, economical, or social environment within a society. It is also important for community leaders to support the diverse cultures within society as this ensures inclusion of all groups in performing diverse responsibilities for the growth of the society (Cooke, 2016).
This paper describes the African-American culture from diverse perspectives. Basic Elements of the African-American Culture The African-American population is one of the largest ethnic minority groups in the United States with its origins from Africa where Africans were brought into the United States as slaves. Later on, the Whites married Africans leading to the African-American group (Logan, Hilton, Watson, & Kirkland-Holmes, 2018).
Though the Africans came from diverse cultures due to their geographical differences in Africa, they had a common way of life that is different from the Americans. Upon settling in European countries like America, these Africans had to do away with their own culture, and embrace European standards of life, beliefs, and culture (Logan et al., 2018). This change united them into one group rather than distinguishing them based on their initial tribal groups. This led to a new culture which is a combination of their past culture and the American culture. Despite the fact that slave trade hindered the Africans from practicing their original cultural traditions, a number of practices, beliefs, value systems and traditions still survived (Logan et al., 2018).
This includes their language, music, food, art works, literature, and religion. Since the African Americans were prohibited to undergo any formal education, they maintained a strong oral tradition that acted as a medium of passing knowledge from one generation to another (Logan et al., 2018). Practices such as story telling would be a medium to preserve morals, history, and cultural information apart from creating a room for educating one another.
How The Subculture Is Clearly Part of the Larger Culture, But Distinct From It in How the People within This Subculture Live Their Daily Lives
The African-American culture is part of the larger culture of the United States as this group is one of the largest ethnic minority populations. Due to its size, the African-American culture is distinct and influential in the United States through its social and cultural characteristics (Madison, 2017). These include fashion, language, religion, music, and art. Some of the African-American cultural elements have spread to the American culture through mass media. The African-American culture has influenced the American culture with certain parts of America such as the southern America adopting speech patterns, cuisine, and contemporary music and dancing from African-Americans (Madison, 2017).
Although African-Americans adopted new customs and practices after arriving in the United Sates, this was done in order to survive within America. Since the slaves raised children born from this intermarriage, this led to the transmission of cultural values and customs preserving the African culture. African-Americans have continuously laid claim to their identity with a history of their struggle to gain equality and recognition (Madison, 2017).
How the Relationship between Subculture and Culture Affects the Selected Population
African-Americans have continued to face discrimination across the United States since this population came into the country as slaves. This has negatively affected the population that has continued to fight for equality in diverse aspects (Jones, 2019). Since the dominant community is more superior and powerful compared to the African-American culture, this forces other minority groups to adopt their cultural practices in order to survive and gain access to important services. This has led to a negative perception by the dominant culture on some of the beliefs and cultural practices among African-Americans (Jones, 2019).
This is because some of their practices are rooted to the African culture which is different from the Americans’ culture. Since African-Americans adopted the American culture for survival. This population may be unwilling to continue practicing certain traditions rather fight for their own (Jones, 2019). Due to the current stereotypes surrounding the African-American culture by the dominant culture, this affects the relationship between the subculture and the dominant culture. African-Americans have continued to face prejudice within the community that has led to the culture to find new norms and values in the quest to achieve success and recognition within the society (Jones, 2019).
Due to the diverse cultural diversities within the United States, the dominant culture should be accommodating to other cultures from minority groups. This will create a rich community that can share diverse practices to help the society in its growth and address some of the challenges faced by ethnic minority cultures (Margolin, 2019). The African-American culture is a rich culture due to its roots from Africa. If the dominant culture adopts some of the cultural practices, this will prevent discrimination based on cultural identity and strengthen the community since there will be no division among the cultures. This is because different groups have different cultures that are deeply embedded in their lifestyles and practices and should be appreciated instead of discriminating a population due to their cultural identity (Margolin, 2019).
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