Let's analyze another aspect of African American culture. Our traditional values and lessons were normally narrated to us by our elders.
They used to do this vividly through riddles, folklore, stories, and songs. Our elders took pride in our culture and were often enthusiastic when narrating critical aspects of our culture. It also had a spiritual connotation, which we were taught to hold with much awe. This was our link to our indigenous African culture and was the identifying mark of our roots. Our cultural language arose due to some circumstances, which were unique to us.
As mentioned earlier, most of our people initially came to America as slaves. This brings in the aspect of slave owners. Since it was important to have a clear language of communication amongst the slaves, their owners forced African Americans to devise a language that would enable them to interact with one another. This led to the development of Creole languages amongst early African Americans.
Surprisingly, there are still some traces of this semantics to date amongst some of our people. However, some of the early African Americans never got the chance to learn how to read and write. This was mostly because their owners thought that this would enlighten them and make them devise ways of buying out their freedom.
In matters of food and nutrition, our choice in the past was mostly inexpensive. Since we had little or no disposable income, we tended to purchase cheap foods such as chicken livers, yams, black-eyed peas, or even ham hocks.
This was commonly known as soul food. Even though cheap, the nutritional value was quite okay according to some standard. Another key cultural facet of the African Americans was art and craft, basket making, textiles, music, iron smelting, stone carvings, wood carvings, etc. These activities comprised the key source of livelihood for most African Americans.
Most of them were performed communally. Thus, they contributed to the overall cultural unity and heritage. Also, it also had a bearing on the overall ethnic integration.
Some of the artifacts that were made had significance either socially or spiritually and represented the simplicity and uniqueness of art. A key example is the coiled grass baskets which are common in Carolina Low Country. Concerning music, it is mainly rooted in the ethnic groups of Africa. The development of the music was mostly nurtured during periods of slavery. It was an outlet for the African Americans to relay their feelings, oppression, messages and also history.
The song was written by the famous James Weldon and his counterpart John Johnson. As time went by, African music began to enter the mainstream media and got the same audience as the mainstream American society. Most notable was the development of jazz, blues, and ragtime which were the trademarks of African Americans. This is the last section of your essay. As Robert Bierstadt writes culture or the money of human race. It becomes difficult for us to imagine what society would be like without this accumulation of culture what lives would be without it.
Culture, in its development has revealed tendency to be consistent. For example the value system of a society, a society is closely connected with its other aspects such as morality, religion, customs, traditions, beliefs and so on.
Though culture is relatively stable it is not altogether static. It is subject to slow but constant change. Change and growth are latent in culture. We find amazing growth in the present Indian culture when we compare it with the culture of the Vedic time. Hence culture is dynamic. Culture is responsive to the changing conditions of the physical world. It also intervenes in the natural environment and helps man in his process of adjustment.
Just as our house shelters us from the storm, so also does our culture help us from natural dangers and assist us to survive. Few of us indeed could survive without culture. Culture provides proper opportunities and prescribes means for the satisfaction of our needs and desires.
These needs may be biological or social in nature. Our need for food, shelter and clothing and our desire for status, name, fame and money etc. Culture determines and guides the varied activities of man. In fact culture is defined as the process through which human beings satisfy their wants. Every society has a culture of its own. It differs from society to society. Culture of every society in unique to itself. Cultures are not uniform. Cultural elements such as customs, traditions, morals, ideals, values, ideologies, beliefs in practices, philosophies institutions, etc.
Ways of eating, speaking, greeting, dressing, entertaining, living etc. Culture varies from time to time also. No culture ever remains constant or changeless. If Manu were to come back to see the Indian society today he would be bewildered to witness the vast changes that have taken place in our culture. Culture is sometimes called the super organic. By super organic Herbert Spencer meant that culture is neither organic nor inorganic in nature but above these two.
The term implies the social meaning of physical objectives and physiological acts. The social meaning may be independent of physiological and physical, properties and characteristics. For example, the social meaning of a national flag is not just a piece of coloured cloth.
The components for the non-material culture include symbols, languages, values, and norms. For instance, the activities a society part takes like cricket in India, social institutions such as churches, schools, family, and so forth. The use of language, the patterns of behaviour and beliefs, and values to it shape the direction of a society over time. Language in its influence on perception, values guiding what the society should be and norms forming the customs of the society.
Language in itself is the combination of symbols expressing ideas enabling people to think and communicate amongst each other, either verbally or nonverbally. Language helps in the description of reality, share experiences, feelings, and knowledge with other people.
The use of language enables the creation of visual images, distinction from outsiders thus maintaining societal solidarity and boundaries. It also serves as a unique tool in manipulation of symbols for the expression of abstract concepts and rules therefore creating and transmitting culture between generations. The aboriginals for instance in their use of language confine to their society describing relationships rather than judging or evaluate. To them language shapes the reality in perception and experience indeed fronting the thought of neglecting some aspects of world traditionally viewed as important.
Most of the aboriginal languages do not abhor the use of personal pronouns used to describe gender like he or she, with some amused by the western debate over whether God is a He or a She. For this, language is impact less on the world and reflects at the traditional acceptance of a certain region on the world map.
Language through preconceived ideas may reinforce perceptions about race and ethnicity in advancing the superiority of one a people against another.
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