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Thread: Mixed Africans in American Society

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    Left 4evr Adolescent09's Avatar
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    Mixed Africans in American Society

    It is important to firstly say that I am black. The following points and ideas are based solely on my own views which many people might deem false. This is also a practice essay and points may not be based entirely on fact.

    African Americans: Cultural Identity or Debasement?
    It has been constantly insinuated in one way or another that mankind and the lowly beasts over whom we are superior have had a proclivity to seek cultural separation. In animalistic terms, tigers prefer to hunt solo while lionesses often hunt in packs. In primitive terms, pastoral societies built fences to mark their territory in an effort to effectually seclude themselves from adversaries. In contemporary terms, cultural separation has been defined on a vast scale of human differences ranging from genres in the entertainment media to fashion in the clothing industry. We seek definitive options from pop culture music to wearing small torso attire and ripped denim jeans to set ourselves as a part of an individualistic society of narrowminded people, constantly keeping at a safe distance or even ostracizing those who don’t physically or mentally comply with our preferences. This, often overlooked form of bigotry and marginal thinking has plagued American society for many years and ensues without showing signs of abatement or change. Many people deduce that bigotry is an effect of cultural diversity. But it is bigotry that has caused cultural diversity.
    This is why the mixed African population of America has been capriciously defining and redefining a culture they vainly strive to make exist. The truth is, their culture was expunged years ago, whether they are willing to acknowledge it or not. Slavery, oppression and radical violence have contributed to the promotion of this downward, spiraling effect. Is it just to accost the contemporaneous Caucasian populace of America for these acts of injustice? One needn’t be an astronomer to reason that the answer is “no”. Nevertheless the fact that African Americans are constantly seeking and endeavoring to supplement a culture which never existed is the sole reason for their adversity and downfall on a majority level in American society. African Americans have embarked on a daunting methodology to initiate a starting ground of cultural liftoff by drastically altering the English language into starkly erroneous, yet favorable terms of usage. Hence, with the corrupt version of the English language (commonly alluded to as ebonics) as their starting ground they have “progressed” towards establishing a genre of music condoning the erroneous language they improvise, and proliferating a morally wrong message of self indulgence for this new “gangster” way of life. Sprouting from here, like stems and leaves from a tree trunk, the African American community has developed clothing lines, t.v. programs and typical anecdotes (Yo Brotha, What it do man?, Sup, ni**a, and Oh, fa sho’) to promote bad ideologies. What has led to this derogatory sense of victory? Cultural eradication. What has led to cultural eradication? Over two-hundred years of slavery and oppression. What has been the cause of two-hundred years of slavery and oppression? Bigotry.
    So it is, that in forming a new culture based on all the principles which downgrade society, African Americans (on a majority level) have been brought twenty yards behind the starting line and are running a race for cultural identity which has a nonexistent finish line.
    My hide hides the heart inside

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    I think your choice of words and terms lead to the passage being stilted. It is as if you are trying too hard to use terminology which you would not use in any other form - main example being "accost the contemporaneous Caucasian populace of America" this is one my many small annoyances, which I see too often. The purpose of language is to make yourself understood, using terms like this makes you sound like you are talking past the reader instead of to him/her.

    On another note, the parts which are your opinion and not based on fact should be easily recognisable as such: terms such as "I believe" or "in my opinion" should be used in all these circumstances. Also even if it is opinion you should back it up in some way.
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    dreamer genoveva's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adolescent09 View Post
    Many people deduce that bigotry is an effect of cultural diversity. But it is bigotry that has caused cultural diversity.
    I disagree with your opinion that bigotry has caused cultural diversity. In fact, I think that statement is plainly incorrect. There have been diverse cultures for ages. When two cultures don't understand each other, conflict or "bigotry" can be a result.

    I also think it is sad that you feel like you do not have or belong to any culture. This is what I got from your essay. You do have a culture. Everyone does. Do you really know what culture means? It seems like your essay reflects on many negative aspects of your African-American culture. It is good for us to acknowledge what we do not like about our culture, but is is really important for you to also reflect on what is positive and what you do like about your culture!
    "I have so often dreamed of you that you become unreal." ~ Robert Desnos

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    semper eadem
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    Quote Originally Posted by genoveva View Post
    I disagree with your opinion that bigotry has caused cultural diversity. In fact, I think that statement is plainly incorrect. There have been diverse cultures for ages. When two cultures don't understand each other, conflict or "bigotry" can be a result.
    I think this is a bit too simple. Groups often form their self-identity by defining themselves AGAINST others. By doing so, they would overlook their likeness to the other group but emphasise and further develop what they perceive as difference. This can lead to bigotry which, in turn, leads to further separation i.e. to a higher degree of cultural diversity until, in the end, you have two or more cultures who only have a few things in common. So you have a two-way process and it would be difficult to separate cause from effect especially when you look at a particular process which did not start in prehistoric times but evolved from a basis where culture had already been an issue. However, there are also many examples in history where different cultures amalgamated into one relatively unified culture. This too has not been without conflict. The Normans "refined" Anglo-Saxon culture (obviously by the sword) but were relatively quick in adopting their insular mentality and identity. Both sides, a good 200 years later, had ceased to see themselves as either Norman (i.e. French) or Anglo-Saxon. They were now all "English" and continued to develop not in diversity but in unity even in their language which still contains a lot of Saxon as well as Roman (i.e. Norman) words.

    I don't know much about black Americans, not from first hand experience at least. But I would think that if old roots are lost new ones must be found. I wouldn't go as far as saying that ANY culture is a good culture but sometimes it may be important to set oneself apart in order to find out who one really is. The main problem with this is that if you do it in a strong and non-inclusive culture it will be pretty difficult to return into this overall culture once you sorted out your identity. It may also be that you don't want to return to the overall culture as a contributor at all because you are now completely alienated from its values. If there are enough people who feel this way and no power that would be able and willing to hold everything together by force or economic necessity you will have devolution, I think. Who says that the social, political or cultural construct you live in will always be the same?
    It's life, Jim, but not as we know it.

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    Left 4evr Adolescent09's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by genoveva View Post
    I disagree with your opinion that bigotry has caused cultural diversity. In fact, I think that statement is plainly incorrect. There have been diverse cultures for ages. When two cultures don't understand each other, conflict or "bigotry" can be a result.

    I also think it is sad that you feel like you do not have or belong to any culture. This is what I got from your essay. You do have a culture. Everyone does. Do you really know what culture means? It seems like your essay reflects on many negative aspects of your African-American culture. It is good for us to acknowledge what we do not like about our culture, but is is really important for you to also reflect on what is positive and what you do like about your culture!
    Two cultures not understand each other is a factor that leads to bigotry; that is correct.

    My whole essay is about a culture that doesn't exist and how the people of that culture try to make it seem as if it does. For instance, I asked a resident of my black ghetto why he thought it necessary to like hip hop music and he replied by saying "It's a black thing, man. All black people are supposed like hip hop". A culture is a term used to identify people of a certain degree, categorized by their arts, customs and manifested principles. I exemplify African Americans in this essay to purposely bring up a point of controversy, because to me, they are trying to start and continue a trend of culture that never existed.. Bad dicton, for example. The African American community avidly stipulates that it is alright to grammatically alter the English language into "African American" terms because we are "defining" the language of our culture. Of course bad diction and erroneous grammatical usage has been present for over two hundred years in the African American community but isn't it time for change? If, as a culture we condone bad speaking habits isn't the African American community (as a majority) lowering itself?

    The African American community advocates that we, as black people who have been incessantly oppressed and degraded, band together as "brothers" because we've got no one else to support us. The majority of the African American community indulges on grounds that it is ok for black people to use the "N****" word to call each other but unappropriate for other races.

    As I said, this is a controversial point and may apply only to the African Americans in my neighborhood, but it is pretty evident that the culture we support isn't a culture at all.
    Last edited by Adolescent09; 02-27-2007 at 05:32 PM.
    My hide hides the heart inside

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