African American Culture

African American Culture History

The African American culture is the unique cultural contributions of Americans of African descent. This can be either studied as a part of the American culture or as something different from the American culture. However, it is rooted in the history of the African-American people which has and proven itself to be an enormous influence to the American culture.

The African American Culture is a combined cultural result of the sub-Saharan African and Sahelean cultures. Though the practice of slavery dictated the Americans of African descent to curb their cultural traditions, many practices, values, and beliefs, they have evolved in a unique way after being modified or blended by the white culture. Accentuated by the slavery period, the African American culture has grown to a dynamic culture which has been even successful in having a profound impact on the American culture, and all the cultures across the globe.

For a long period of time, the African-American culture grew uniquely apart from the mainstream American culture, as, due to the persistence of slavery and racial discrimination, the so called ‘slaves’ became desperate to maintain their identity by clinging to their own traditions. Now, the African American culture, though a different cultural body, is a part and parcel of the American culture as a whole.

African American Culture Food

The African American foods reflect the history of the people who were deprived of eating better cuts of meat and the creative responses of the people towards them. The ‘soul food’ a term associated with African American cuisine shows how of inexpensive products procured through farming or hunting can be given a creative edge and turned to a delight of the taste-buds. Chitterlings, which are pig intestines boiled, and sometimes battered and fried are a typical African American cuisine. Even ham and neck bones are used as seasoning to soups in African American cuisines. Beans and boiled greens are a favorite of the African Americans, as well as fried chicken and fish, macaroni and cheese, cornbread and black-eyed peas and rice.

In parts of the rural south, even today, rabbit, possum, squirrel, and waterfowl are eaten.

African American Culture Clothing

The African American traditional style has a unique identity of its own. The Kente cloth is famously a African textile. They find their place now in Western style fashions proudly including in bow ties and cummerbunds.

The Black Arts Movement saw the traditional African clothing to become popular. Other characteristics of the African American clothing are the brightness of colors, mud cloth, trade beads and the use of Adinkrah motifs.

There is also a special dress for worship in the Black church.

The African American women mostly wear vibrant dresses and suits and ornate Sunday hats, sometimes known as "crowns”.

African American Culture  Traditions

When it comes to the religious traditions, there are a number of religions practiced among the African Americans. However, the most prominent is, Protestant Christianity. There are also a considerable number of Muslims in the United States and Canada who are black.

The religious institutions of the African Americans are known as the black church. Islam and Judaism are also practiced and there are also African Americans practicing Buddhism and a number of other religions. Nowadays, more and more African Americans are reviving their interests in African traditional religions, such as West African Vodun and Santeria or Ifá.

African American Culture Events

•Kwanzaa lasting from December 26 to January 1 to celebrate "good harvest, life and prosperity."
•Black History Month (February was regarded as the Black History Month in 1976).
•Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on the third Monday in January
•Juneteenth to commemorate the day on which the slaves were set free on June 19, 1865. It is also known as American Emancipation Day.

Some Other Typical African-American Holidays Celebrated Across the Country are:

•Black Love Day, on February 15
•Malcolm X Day, on the third Sunday every May
•African Liberation Day on May 25
•Caribbean Heritage Month in June
•Marcus Mosiah Garvey's Birthday (August 17)
•Harriet Tubman Day (March 10)
•Edward "Duke" Ellington Day (April 29).

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