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The African-American Cultural Identity: Development Of Racial, Ethnic And Cultural Identity Leader

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Abstract

African-American culture has a conglomeration of variations due to the nature of it with regards to politics and history. The implications of African-American culture will be detailed throughout this paper to provide insight on today’s culture.

It is no secret that one’s heritage may determine one’s culture since one’s culture will more than likely be a sum of the practices and traditions that go hand in hand with said culture’s practices, beliefs, and values. Throughout the entirety of one’s life, one may be accustomed to the culture that is present in their immediate area. Depending on the monetary status of one’s family, one may not be able to venture into countless areas which will disable them from being able to be exposed to the lifestyles that are also present in the world.

Culture refers to information acquired from a group of people who have a shared context. The customs, arts, social institutions, and achievements of a nation, people, or other social group with regards to location, history, language, and more. Due to how vague these different generalizations and categories are, how we define culture (or cultures) are not only often unclear, but also change over time. Throughout this essay, I will share the implications of being a member of different cultures with the intent of informing the reader and/or audience, so they may better understand culture since I have gained a stronger idea of the essence of culture more than anything throughout the entirety of this course.

Different government beliefs harbor different economic beliefs. In the United States we practice a mixed-market economy. Also known as a dual economy, modern economies are mixed where the means of production are shared between private sectors and public sectors. On another hand, China harbors a command economy. A command economy is also known as a planned economy. This can be confusing because a planned economy can only be described as the type of economy that allows for private means of production. This type of economy is not to be confused with China as China harbors the kind of command economy that almost exclusively owns the means of production.

The United States’ racial and ethnic composition has astronomically changed over the last few decades which makes it even more important for one to understand the depth of inequality in our everyday society. Amongst these changes, I have researched two very major findings. Firstly, Americans are more likely to consider racism a big problem today than they were 20 years ago. One must realize that racism will never go away because it is natural for us as humans to point out differences, it is only when our racism has negative effects on our society that it becomes a problem. The law creates racial hierarchy and white supremacy because of the way those in power interpret it and use it. The percentage of people who see racism as a big problem is higher among racial and ethnic minorities than it is among whites – 66% of blacks and 64% of Hispanics call it a big problem, compared to 43% of whites. Secondly, African-Americans bear the bulk of the burden of incarceration in America. Most African-Americans say they or a close friend or family member have been incarcerated (55%), which is significantly higher than the share among whites (36%) or Hispanics (39%). How the government chooses to shape the policies with regards to public education stems from the ideologies they have in mind which is often filtered by the difference in culture that whites are rewarded with in comparison to blacks. The poignant truth is that most whites have been ignorant of the struggle that many blacks have faced due to the filtering of media and have only now begun to see the truth with the emergence of social media and the expansion of this Information Age. Because of the history that minorities in general are burdened with, a cycle of struggle that consists of social discrimination and injustice is inevitable.

For example, currently Georgia Code 20-3-66 was established for determining the status of residency for tuition or fees. This code granted residency and greater financial assistance to those who are not granted financial assistance through their parents which was especially helpful for the youth who were born to homeless situations and/or foster care. House bill 16; namely, Higher Education Access and Success for Homeless and Foster Youth Act bill, will serve to amend title 20 which will disallow many less fortunate students to access the same financial assistance.

The amendment of this bill is extremely problematic because it will decrease the likelihood of many students being able to receive higher education. This problem is not present in every community in Georgia, it is a problem that is only present amongst students in less-fortunate situations who may be homeless and/or under foster care. Nonetheless, according to the GPBI (Georgia Budget & Policy Institute), sixty-one percent of all students come from disadvantaged homes living at or near the poverty line. This amendment of this bill will not affect communities that receive monetary support from their parents as much as those who come from disadvantaged homes since they don’t receive much financial assistance from the government in the first place. According to FAFSA, most Pell grant money goes to students with a total family income below $20,000. The most logical reasoning behind the amendment of this bill would be to reduce spending which is questionable motive because educational spending is publicly perceived as an economic good. In opposition, states such as Colorado are increasing educational funding to address teacher shortage and make it easier for foster children to graduate from high school.

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In American society, the system has been designated to control others such as African-American women, Native Americans, poor white people, Muslims, but—most of all they are focused on controlling African-American men with daily interactions heavily influenced by fear and anxiety. According to Butler (2017) “The Chokehold is a way of describing law and social practices designed to respond to African-American men.” It works by legally and socially constructing black men as criminals then by reinforcing that constructed belief with policies that support the notion to contain African-American men. The Chokehold falsely assumes that every black male is a criminal. Ironically enough, the implicit bias does not stem from the truth. In most cases, the chokehold stems from negative stereotypes that were socially constructed by propaganda and misinformation as opposed to fact. In fact, most black men have never committed a violent crime. They are only treated as such because of the overgeneralization of black men being interpreted as violent beings due to the stereotypical societal construction of the “thug.” Due to beliefs such as the ape thesis (dehumanization thesis) and irrational discrimination, police are often allowed to get away with shooting unarmed black people although these beliefs do not foundationally apply to African-Americans since much of these theses are not true. Nonetheless, it impacts the everyday life of black people especially in the criminal justice system as blacks are more than 305% likely than whites to have a gun pointed at them by police and 217% more likely than whites to be handcuffed.

The way we will flourish will be dependent upon the mindsets of the majority in the future. With my own ideologies in mind, the characteristics of liberalism convey my personal beliefs more than realism does. According to realism, states work to increase power, since their mindset is geared towards the preservation of power (military power to be exact). In comparison, Liberalism states work to increase power; however, they’re completely aware of the fact that military power is not the only form of power. Liberalism is practically an updated version of realism. It was developed primarily because times have changed. Military power will not secure food, cure world hunger, or rectify poverty.

Today, African-American culture has strong moral, social, religious, and political values, but due to America essentially being a cluster of culture; there are an indefinite amount of variations even if it’s just with regards to African-Americans who only reside in America. Geographically, the culture of African-Americans varies from state to state, as every state is subject to its own laws and rules which allows the culture for those who reside in them to be different. For example, in California and Colorado the usage of marijuana is legal; however, in most states it is illegal which has led many people to be criminalized. This is especially true in the African-American community as there are countless people subject to the system that have less political power because of the different perceptions each state holds. Politically and idealistically, movements such as the civil rights movement and the black lives matter movement have come to define our contemporary culture, but if I were to sum it all up, I would refer to African-American culture as a culture filled with unjustness and triumph for rights such as freedom.

Discrimination by skin color is something that has plagued the foundation of the United States since its colonization. Although, with time the severity of maltreatment within the United States has declined, it is still very apparent that the lives of those who are a minority are perceived to be of a lesser value. The Black Lives matter movement is the epitome of all movements concerning those facing unfair discrimination due to their skin color.

According to the Black Lives Matter’s official web page, the Black Lives Matter organization was formed by Alice Garza and two other women she claimed to be her “sisters,” Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors, in response to the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman. However, the BlackLivesMatter movement didn’t escalate until after a major rally was done in response to the shooting of 18-year-old Mike Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson.

In response to the BlackLivesMatter movement, other organizations were created with the use of BlackLivesMatter as an inspiration to encourage other groups to gain a louder voice such as the Native Lives Matter movement which focuses on the treatment of Native Americans. Other groups, however, used the popularity of BlackLivesMatter to form their own movement(s) in order to create a mimic, the movement in a negative light––An example of this is the Police Lives Matter movement which tries to give plausible evidence for the killing of minorities. The most prominent of these movements that try to mimic Black Lives Matter in a negative light, however, is the All Lives Matter movement. Although there are many concerns and challenges attributed to every race, with all of the police brutality and discrimination that has been targeting black people for centuries, there needs to be a focus on black people since we have finally gained the courage and ability to have a voice for ourselves and for our culture.

Despite all of this, the All Lives Matter movement continues to criticize the Black Lives Matter movement labeling it as an anti-white, racist movement which masks the true intentions behind movements such as black lives matter that are fighting for a genuine cause. Consequently, On the Black lives Matter Herstory page to the supporters and members of All Lives Matter movements were subtly responded to: “And, to keep it real–it is appropriate and necessary to have strategy and action centered around Blackness without other non-Black communities of color, or White folks for that matter, needing to find a place and a way to center themselves within it. It is appropriate and necessary for us to acknowledge the critical role that Black lives and struggles for Black liberation have played in inspiring and anchoring, through practice and theory, social movements for the liberation of all people. The women’s movement, the Chicano liberation movement, queer movements, and much more have adopted the strategies, tactics, and theory of the Black liberation movement. And if we are committed to a world where all lives matter, we are called to support the very movement that inspired and activated so much more. That means supporting and acknowledging Black lives…. And, perhaps more importantly, when Black people cry out in defense of our lives, which are systematically and savagely targeted by the state, we are asking you, our family, to stand with us in affirming Black lives. Not just all lives. Black lives. Please do not change the conversation by talking about how your life matters, too. It does, but we need less watered-down unity and more active solidarities with us, Black people, unwaveringly, in defense of our humanity. Our collective futures depend on it.”

Many say non-democracy represents the political face of a range of irritating prejudice at the worldwide level, including bad feelings between the East and the West (Said, 1978), between civilization and violence (Jahoda, 1999), or between the Christian and Muslim world (Yilmaz & Ayka, 2011). These stereotype pairs be overlapping events of worldwide value perceptions spread around by Western powers. They connect positive and negative value to social categories spread out over the whole world. However, an extremely important difference sets the worldwide influence of democratic and nondemocratic contexts aside from other intergroup (systems where things or people are in separate levels of importance). When judging organized groups people do not only have a (prejudiced mental picture) of a group in mind but also think of the organizational structure of these groups. Applied to judgments of countries, people think of different ways of politically organizing all good people in the world as a function of the roles attributed to national groups of people/animals/things and governments. That is, they think of issues of social order and political truth. One can also suggest that this perceived polarity between a democratic and a non-democratic ideal-type of social order has become a powerful organizing way of thinking. So, democratic countries represent the normative ideal of social order in which a population that harbors clear and sensible and equal people who lawfully live in a country in a sudden and unplanned way organizes into a neat well-organized community of people that altogether decides by whom it wishes to be ruled.

Works Cited

  1. Ainsworth, James. ‘Ethnic Identity.’ Notes on General Concepts Related to Ethnic Identity. Lecture.
  2. Altman, Alex, Maya Rhodan, and Sam Frizell. ‘Black Lives Matter.’ Time 186.25/26 (2015): 116-25. Academic Search Complete.
  3. Garza, Alicia. ‘A Herstory of the #BlackLivesMatter Movement by Alicia Garza – The Feminist Wire.’ The Feminist Wire. The Feminist Wire,
  4. Altman, Alex, Maya Rhodan, and Sam Frizell. ‘Black Lives Matter.’ Time 186.25/26 (2015): 116-25. Academic Search Complete.
  5. García, Jennifer Jee-Lyn, and Mienah Zulfacar Sharif. ‘Black Lives Matter: A Commentary on Racism and Public Health.’ American Journal of Public Health 105.8 (2015): E27-30. Academic Search Complete.
  6. “The Amendment Disappears.” Andrew Carnegie Wealth June 1889 < 1876-1900 < Documents < American History From Revolution To Reconstruction and Beyond, www.let.rug.nl/usa/essays/general/the-missing-13th-amendment/the-amendment-disappears.php.

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The African-American Cultural Identity: Development Of Racial, Ethnic And Cultural Identity Leader. (2021, September 06). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 3, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-african-american-cultural-identity-development-of-racial-ethnic-and-cultural-identity-leader/
“The African-American Cultural Identity: Development Of Racial, Ethnic And Cultural Identity Leader.” Edubirdie, 06 Sept. 2021, edubirdie.com/examples/the-african-american-cultural-identity-development-of-racial-ethnic-and-cultural-identity-leader/
The African-American Cultural Identity: Development Of Racial, Ethnic And Cultural Identity Leader. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-african-american-cultural-identity-development-of-racial-ethnic-and-cultural-identity-leader/> [Accessed 3 Feb. 2023].
The African-American Cultural Identity: Development Of Racial, Ethnic And Cultural Identity Leader [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2021 Sept 06 [cited 2023 Feb 3]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/the-african-american-cultural-identity-development-of-racial-ethnic-and-cultural-identity-leader/
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