What Is African American Culture

African Americans

African Americans are one of the most numerous ethnic groups in the United States, and they constitute one of the largest. African Americans are mostly descended from African people, while many also have non-African forebears. Historically, African Americans are mostly descended from enslaved individuals who were forcibly transported from their African homelands to labour in the New World. Their rights were severely restricted, and they were denied for a long time the opportunity to participate fully in the economic, social, and political development of the United States.

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There were also higher concentrations of African Americans in the main cities, with more than 2 million residing in New York City and more than 1 million residing in Chicago.

Names and labels

They reevaluated their identities as they progressed through the many stages of their quest for equality in the United States of America. After being emancipated from slavery, they found the terms black and negro (Spanish for “black”) objectionable, therefore they used the euphemism colored to describe themselves. During the move to the North for manufacturing work, capitalized and negrobe became accepted terms. In order to express pride in their ancestral nation, civil rights advocates chose the term Afro-American, but Black — the emblem of power and revolution — proved to be more widely accepted.

When Jesse Jackson introduced African American in the late 1980s as a way to reestablish “cultural integrity,” it was a radical departure from other “baseless” color labels since it asserted connection with a historical land base.

The early history of Blacks in the Americas

Africans aided the Spanish and the Portuguese throughout their early discovery of the Americas, and they are still doing so today. In the 16th century, some Black explorers settled in the Mississippi valley and the lands that would become South Carolina and New Mexico, among other places. Estéban, a Black explorer who went across the Southwest in the 1530s, is the most well-known Black explorer of the Americas. The unbroken history of African-Americans in the United States started in 1619, when 20 Africans were brought to the English colony of Virginia by the British.

  • A substantial number of Africans were being carried to the English colonies by the 1660s, according to historical records.
  • An attempt to keep black servants beyond the customary length of their indenture ended in Blackchattelslavery being established in Virginia, which spread to all of the English colonies by 1750, and in all but one of the colonies by 1850.
  • Whites also found it easier to justify Black slavery as a result of the emergence of the concept that they were a “inferior” race with a “heathen” culture.
  • A total of over 10 million Africans were transported to the Americas during the slave trade, with approximately 430,000 arriving in the region that is now known as the United States.
  • On or around the African coast, the main kingdoms of Oyo, Ashanti, Benin, Dahomey, and the Congo had risen to prominence.
  • African cities such as Djenné and Timbuktu, which are now located in Mali, were once significant economic and educational centers, and they still are today.
  • Captured Africans were frequently marched in shackles to the shore and crammed into the holds of slave ships for the dreadedMiddle Passageacross the Atlantic Ocean, which took them mostly to the West Indies and back.

Survival in the West Indies required that the surviving be “seasoned,” meaning that they were taught the fundamentals of English and trained in the rituals and discipline of plantation life.

African American & African Diversity Cultural Information

Individuals of African descent account for around 14 percent of the population of the United States. While the termAfrican Americanrefers to those who are inhabitants of the United States of America, who were often reared here, and who are of African descent, the termBlackis more generic and may refer to anybody of African ancestry, including new immigrants, while


Many current African Americans had ancestors who were enslaved and transported to the Americas against their choice. Slavery was opposed by individuals such as Nat Turner, a preacher who led the most major slave insurrection in American history; Harriet Tubman, a notable leader of the underground railroad; and Harriet Beacher Stowe, author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, among others. Even after the ratification of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments, which prohibited slavery and granted African Americans citizenship in the United States, segregation laws (black codes, jim crow laws) and violent repression persisted, preventing African Americans from exercising their right to vote and participating fully in their country’s democratic institutions.

Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas.).

Washington, Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Notable Events

The month of February is Black History Month. The month of February has been designated as the month in which African Americans may commemorate their historical and cultural achievements. Kwanzaa. A unique African American holiday celebrated from December 26th to January 1st, Kwanzaa focuses on the ancient African ideals of family, community duty, business, and self-improvement while also encouraging people to give back to their communities.


African civilizations are represented in a wide range of artistic mediums, including music, dance, painting, and storytelling. Africa is a culturally diverse continent, with more than 1,000 languages spoken and a wide range of religions and tribes to choose from. Aspects of African American houses that stand out include their incredible diversity, with noteworthy variations throughout different areas of the United States. In addition to close and extended relatives, families frequently include members who have a group-oriented worldview and feel a strong sense of shared community.

Links The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is a civil rights organization that advocates for the advancement of colored people.

African American Resources for Educators is a resource for educators who are African Americans. African-American Music and Cultural Traditions The following is information on African Americans:

African American History and Culture in the United States

Carter G. Woodson arranged the first national Negro History Week in February 1926 to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass. Woodson was the first African-American to do so. As interest in and support for increasing the study of African American history rose, there was a growing desire to extend the study beyond a single week’s time. Students at Kent State University observed Black History Month from January to February of that year, and since 1976, every President of the United States has backed the designation of February as Black History Month across the country, with the exception of President Barack Obama.

In order to construct cross-disciplinary learning activities and projects, users will be able to make links between these materials and the materials offered in following parts of this Teacher’s Guide.

Slavery and the Early Republic

Abolition of Slavery and the Challenge of Armed Conflict in the Revolutionary Era: Using a series of texts, this lesson is intended to assist students in understanding the movement from nonviolent to armed resistance as well as the inconsistency in the Americans’ discourse regarding slavery throughout the Civil War. slavery and the founding of the United States of America: the “inconsistency that cannot be excused”: As a result of the compelling question “How did the American founders’ attitudes toward slave labor influence the formation of the republic?” this lesson challenges students to examine the attitudes of American founders toward slavery and to determine whether or not those attitudes reflect the founding principles of the American Revolution.

  • Following the American Revolution, the following occurred: African Americans who are free in the North: The experiences of African-Americans living in the northern states throughout the period between the American Revolution and the Civil War are explored in this article.
  • This lesson gives primary materials for students to review in order to assess the issues presented in this session.
  • In the Manor, the tale is told of the 23 enslaved Africans who were the sole year-round residents of the Manor and whose forced labor formed the backbone of the Philipse family’s international trade empire.
  • The Slave Narratives of Twelve Years a Slave: An Analysis: Was there a connection between slavery and social structures such as marriage and the family, as revealed by Solomon Northup’s narrative?
  • Investigate the primary sources that served as the inspiration for a big motion picture.
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Abolition and Reconstruction

During this lesson, students will get an understanding of the organizational structure of the Underground Railroad, as well as the history of one of its most renowned conductors, Harriet Tubman, as well as the legacy of the heroines and heroes who fought against slavery during the American Civil War. Myth of the Happy Slave by Frederick Douglass: In this lesson, students examine Douglass’s first-person narrative to see how he skillfully contrasts beliefs about slavery with the reality of life as a slave.

  1. Students will study how he contrasts reality with romanticism and use compelling imagery and rhetorical arguments to persuade the reader of slavery’s wickedness in this lesson series.
  2. I am not involved in the celebration of this wonderful anniversary!
  3. The blessings in which you are basking on this particular day are not shared by everyone.” —Frederick Douglass, in a speech “What does the Fourth of July mean to a slave?” Frederick Douglass was an American civil rights leader.
  4. David Walker vs.
  5. Two Nineteenth-Century Black Men Who Were Free: In his Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World, David Walker, a free African American, cited the Bible and the Declaration of Independence to call attention to the inequalities of American slavery in his own country (1829).
  6. John Day was also a free African American and a significant proponent of colonization.
  7. Mission US 2: Flight to Freedom (also known as “Mission US 2: Flight to Freedom” or “Mission US 2: Flight to Freedom”).
  8. After successfully navigating her escape and subsequent voyage to Ohio, they learn that life in the “free” North is perilous and tough.
  9. It also examines the long-term impact of these conditions on the national debate in the years following the Civil War.

Jim Crow and War

When it comes to the NAACP and the Balancing of Rights, it’s important to understand why they were so adamant about it being shown. Students are asked to examine the NAACP’s activities as well as the choice not to censor the film in this lesson, which may be found here. This lesson series introduces students to the extremely serious concerns of Jim Crow and lynching in the United States during the interwar period. Student research on the 92nd and 93rd Divisions of the United States Army during World War I is combined with firsthand experiences to build a hypothesis analyzing contradictory comments regarding the performance of the 92nd Infantry Division during World War I.

African Americans and the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) during the New Deal: Students examine sources that portray the CCC from the perspective of black volunteers in order to assess the influence of this New Deal program on race relations in the United States.

Civil Rights and Now

The Green Book: African American Experiences of Travel and Place in the U.S.:How have the intersections of race and place impacted U.S. history and culture? A combination of individual investigations and whole- or small-group analysis of primary sources and visual media are used in this inquiry-based lesson. Civil Rights and the Cold War: This lesson plan aims to dismantle the artificial distinction between domestic and international affairs in the postwar period in order to demonstrate to students how we choose to discuss history with each other and with historical figures.

  • Malcolm X: A Radical Vision for Civil Rights: This article discusses the different points of view regarding how best to promote the civil rights movement in the U.S.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Black Separatism and the Beloved Community: Malcolm X: This lesson will examine the various objectives and tactics of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • JFK, Freedom Riders, and the Civil Rights Movement: Resources provided in this lesson support student analysis of the critical role of activists in pushing the Kennedy Administration to face the contradiction between its ideals and the realities of federal politics.
  • Revolution 67: Protest WhyHow?: The objective of this lesson sequence is to assist students appreciate and explain the changes in how the people of Newark, New Jersey saw government and how those views influenced political change in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • Let Freedom Ring: The Life and Legacy of Dr.
  • by listening to a brief biography, viewing photographs of the March on Washington, and reading a portion of King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

The Election of Barack Obama: This lesson focuses on the relationship between the Civil Rights Movement and Obama’s election, but it also asks students why they think Barack Obama’s election is “historic.”

5 things to know about black culture now

  • The director of the satirical film “Dear White People” outlines five things that white people should know about African culture. Many black people yearn for a sense of belonging that is founded in black culture, according to the author. The author says that we don’t frequently see ourselves represented in mainstream “Black Culture.”

During the course of my satirical film “Dear White People,” there is a scene in which social misfit Lionel Higgins is invited to write an article about black culture by the editor of the college newspaper, which is staffed primarily by white people. Lionel agrees to the mission, although he is apprehensive about it. Despite the fact that he is black, with a huge Afro and everything, he feels underqualified since he has yet to locate a pocket of culture that he connects with at the fictitious Winchester University where he is studying.

  1. The fact that blacks are rarely represented in mainstream culture, let alone popular “Black Culture,” has put us in a state of virtual no-land.
  2. It is a fluid and diverse phenomenon that is frequently conflicting.
  3. It is possible that the “cool factor” is what causes kids to stand in line for hours in order to get brand new Michael Jordan sneakers with their last dollar.
  4. It is based on preconceived notions about black people and how they should speak, live, and behave.
  5. However, when “Black Culture” is taken for commercial purposes, there is a danger of confusing it with true cultural EXPERIENCE.
  6. 2 “Black Culture” is frequently associated with, but is not always defined by, real black people of color.
  7. Though not necessarily malevolent, this is something to take into consideration.

White label executives shape the image of up-and-coming black hip hop musicians so that they appeal to a broad audience.

When I go back to college, a white roommate swore he was “blacker” than I was by demonstrating his ability to “crip walk,” I remember being taken aback.

But, despite the fact that I was the only true black person in the room, I was made to question if I was “black” enough in that moment.

The black experience in the mainstream may be so concretely defined that it can feel oppressive at times.


Black culture relies on a diverse range of influences that have emerged both within and outside of black communities.

Being black in America entails a process of transitioning through and adopting from a variety of cultural backgrounds.


When rapper MacklemoreRyan Lewis beat over Kendrick Lamar to win the Grammy for greatest rap album, many people were surprised and disappointed.

However, this is not a new phenomenon.

There is a Dave Brubeck for every Dizzy Gillespie in the world.

It’s especially heartbreaking when a culture that we feel a sense of ownership over achieves new heights of success in more mainstream, or whiter, hands.

(For example, Miley Cyrus.) In terms of music, I personally appreciate both Kendrick Lamar and Macklemore – Brubeck and Gillespie, as well as a couple of HallOates jams every now and again.

When faced with an openly defined and constrained image of what being black implies, I become even more enraged.

Commercials for OrMcRibs.

5.Black culture serves as a beginning point for discussion.

However, at a certain point, having a cultural identity that is too firmly defined prevents us from developing.

The boundaries of “Black Culture” seemed to indicate that if a black movie wasn’t wildly comic, historical epic tragedy, or a street drama, there would be no audience for it when I first started attempting to have my picture made.

After millions of views on YouTube for the teaser and numerous sold-out screenings at Sundance, my amusing reflection on race and identity has garnered overwhelmingly positive responses from viewers and critics of all backgrounds.

And it is basically the origin of every culture: the idea that anything exists. Individuals and groups that have the bravery to try something new and unexpected are ultimately responsible for its creation. Be themselves, for example.


Several years ago, when I was ten years old, my family and I went to Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, New York, for an unplanned Sunday evening performance. It was 1980, and the Sugarhill Gang, pioneers of rap music, were the featured performers. Earlier in the year, their smash song “Rapper’s Delight” had reached number one on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart (it was also the first rap single ever to be a Top 40 hit). However, it wasn’t the music or the dancing that made me feel like I was part of the Kool and the Gang that night.

  • At least, that was the impression I received of the United States after rewatching the miniseries “Roots” in the spring of that year — something I could recognize but couldn’t define at the time.
  • It is part of what the late civil rights leader John Lewis referred to as “good difficulty” that we find joy in our blackness.
  • It is true, of course, that African Americans have undergone and resisted decades of tyranny, from kidnapping and enslavement to rape, lynching, and debt peonage, among other things.
  • When it comes to blackness in America, the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts.
  • One cannot properly comprehend Blackness and the achievements that Black people have achieved in the United States until one first comprehends the joy that Black people receive from their identity as Black.
  • Some of them preached spiritual liberation and equality for enslaved people, even as they rationalized real-world injustice in their own communities.
  • Black adaption was also involved in the embrace of Protestant Christianity.
  • The Jews heard this from Nehemiah after he helped restore Jerusalem in Nehemiah 8:10, when he thanked them for their assistance in the rebuilding of the city.
  • When the people heard such remarks, they sobbed.
  • Despite its disgrace, he endured the cross for the joy that was set before him and sat down at the right hand of God’s right hand.” Neither of these passages exemplifies the conventional concept of happiness.
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As the late historian Sterling Stuckey demonstrated years ago in his seminal book “Slave Culture,” the Christianity that enslaved Africans adopted was a fusion of white religion’s emphasis on salvation in the afterlife with West African understandings of life and afterlife, of calling on gods and ancestors for blessings and wisdom, of the interpretation of signs and omens.

  1. It showed itself in two ways: through the praise house and the ring yell, respectively.
  2. The ring shout, a circular call-and-response group dance that was performed in the praise house, was an important part of the worship experience.
  3. The ability to bring joy into reality through resistance enabled the shards of Ga-Dangbe, Igbo, Yoruba, Kongo, and Wolof traditions to survive the apocalypse of abduction, the Middle Passage, and Western Hemisphere chattel slavery.
  4. What we now identify as the larger American culture was grown out of the embers of Africanness that were kept alive via subversion and resistance through song, dance, and religion.
  5. It was during the nineteenth century that the earliest spirituals evolved into gospel, which merged with Anglo- and Irish-American folk tunes to generate nineteenth-century popular music in the United States.
  6. For the most part, there is no American joy, no American culture, and certainly no Black joy, if there isn’t also Black anguish and struggle against and against American racism and exploitation as well.
  7. However, it has also gifted us with the subtext of subversion: the joy of resistance as well as the joy of resisting via Black life, both of which are uplifting.
  8. It was over three years ago, in September 2017, that I participated in the March for Black Women in Washington, D.C., that I had my last communal experience of Black joy.
  9. Shame!

An enveloping darkness of ecstasy shrouded in hardship. If the horrors of slavery and Jim Crow could not rob Black people of their pleasure, then the coronavirus epidemic, bare dictatorial government, and corporate dominance of America’s democracy have little chance.

Constitutional Rights Foundation

Beginning in the mid-1500s, European seamen began transporting black Africans to the New World as slaves. This forced migration was unprecedented in the history of the United States. However, the slave trade was not a new phenomenon in either Europe or Africa. The seventh century saw the introduction of Moorish merchants who traded persons as commodity throughout the Mediterranean region. Aside from that, several West African peoples were slave owners. For the most part, West African slaves were either prisoners of war or criminals, or they were the lowest-ranking members of caste systems.

An engraving depicting the 1840 convention of the Anti-Slavery Society, held in London. People attended from around the world, including from the U.S. (Wikimedia Commons)

It was cruel and frequently fatal to acquire and sell Africans for the American slave markets, yet the capture and sale of Africans were commonplace. Two out of every five West African prisoners perished along the journey to the Atlantic seacoast, where they were sold to European slavers for a price. Under decks, they were shackled in coffin-sized racks on board the slave ships that transported them. An estimated one-third of these unlucky souls perished at sea, according to estimates. In the United States, they were auctioned off to landowners who wanted them largely to serve as plantation laborers.

  1. They might disintegrate families by selling off members of the family.
  2. On plantations, all adults were responsible for the well-being of all youngsters.
  3. When they were introduced to Christianity, they established their own forms of worship to complement it.
  4. Slaves regularly changed the words of spirituals in order to convey the hope of liberation or to commemorate acts of struggle against oppression.
  5. In Christian hymns and European marches, African beats made their way into the mix.
  6. The blues is nothing more than a fusion of African and European musical scales, which is what gives the blues its distinctive sound.

Abolition and Civil War

A small number of African-Americans achieved freedom, acquired property, and integrated into American culture throughout the 17th and 18th centuries. Many people relocated to the North, where slavery, while still legal, was less prevalent than in the South. The economic and infrastructure contributions made by African Americans, both slave and free, were considerable. They worked on roads, canals, and the development of cities, among other things, The abolition of slavery became a popular cause among whites and free blacks in the Northern states as early as the 18th century.

Douglass was able to flee to Massachusetts in 1838, where he rose to prominence as a prominent writer, editor, and lecturer for the rising abolitionist movement there.

The slave-based agriculture of the South was essential to the economic development of the industrial North.

His question was, “Are the fundamental ideas of political freedom and natural justice, as articulated in the Declaration of Independence, extended to us?” “How does your Fourth of July look like to an American slave?” When the American Civil War broke out, a large number of Northern blacks enlisted to fight for the Union cause.

Some folks were taken aback by the ferocity with which black soldiers battled. However, black troops were fighting for more than just the restoration of the Union throughout their time in the army. They were battling for the liberation of their people.

Reconstruction and Reaction

Following the collapse of the Confederacy, Northern forces stayed in the South to protect the emancipation of the slaves who had recently gained their freedom. Blacks established their own churches and schools, acquired land, and elected themselves to positions of leadership in their communities. By 1870, African Americans had sent a total of 22 representatives to the United States Congress.

Marcus Garvey, a proponent of racial separation. (Wikimedia Commons)

However, many Southerners were quick to react to black liberation. Terrorist raids and lynchings were coordinated by members of the Ku Klux Klan with the support of the remaining white power structure. They set fire to residences, schools, and churches. When the Northern forces withdrew in 1877, the white power structure re-established itself. Within a couple of decades, this power structure had succeeded in entirely repressing blacks in the United States. African Americans were barred from participating in the voting process.

Black people were always on the verge of being killed.

The Great Migration North

Beginning in the 1890s, a large number of black people began to migrate north. During World War I, a large number of manufacturing jobs were available. In the 1920s, tough new immigration regulations significantly reduced European immigration. The decrease in immigration produced a demand for industrial employees in the northern cities as a result of the decrease in immigration. Southern blacks, who were still subjected to segregation, began to travel northward in greater numbers as the decade progressed.

  1. The lives of black employees in Northern cities have clearly improved as a result of their efforts.
  2. They were also confronted with discrimination.
  3. Musicians from New Orleans, like as Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, and King Oliver, took their music to the United States.
  4. Black pride, racial segregation, and a return to Africa were among the messages espoused by Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican immigrant.
  5. Harlem, a district in uptown New York City, was a magnet for black migrants from the South.
  6. Following World War I, a community of black authors, artists, and intellectuals congregated in the city to discuss their experiences.
  7. They, on the other hand, had no desire to return to Africa, unlike Garvey.
  8. The Harlem Renaissance was the name given to this assembly of black artists, philosophers, and intellectuals.
  9. Great jazz composers like Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson performed in Harlem’s prestigious nightclubs, such as the Cotton Club, where jazz continued to grow as a distinctly American art form.

Their music attracted whites from uptown to Harlem, where they could partake in the excitement of the Jazz Age. Zora Neale Hurston coupled her literary abilities with her studies of anthropology to create entertaining stories out of oral histories and rural black folk tales.

Many black and white people came together for the first time during the Great Depression. In the cities, a half-million African Americans joined labor unions that were dominated by white workers. Farmers’ unions were formed in the South by poor black and white farmers who banded together. “We black folk, our past, and our current existence, are a reflection of all the many experiences of America,” stated African-American novelist Richard Wright in 1941. What America is is defined by what we seek, what we symbolize, and what we suffer.

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“The shared path of hope that we have all traveled has united us in a greater bond than any words, laws, or legal claims could have brought us.” Today, African-Americans make important contributions to every aspect of American culture, including business, the arts and entertainment, science, literature, politics, and the legal system, among others.

For Discussion and Writing

  1. Describe some of the difficulties that African Americans have encountered in the United States. Name a few African cultural elements that have been assimilated into contemporary American culture. Which do you believe to be the most important? Why

Continue reading this article if you want to learn more about it. Stephen V. Ash’s The Black Experience in the Civil War South is available online (Reflections on the Civil War Era). Praeger Publishing Company, Santa Barbara, 2010. Eric Foner is the author of this work. Forever Free: The Story of Emancipation and Reconstruction is a book on the history of emancipation and reconstruction in the United States. Random House Publishing Company, New York, 2005. Back to the main page for Black History Month.

A Changing America

Through stories concerning African Americans’ social, economic, political, and cultural experiences, A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond examines contemporary black life today. The scope of the coverage ranges from the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. until the second election of Barack Obama. Visitor paths are marked with large-scale visuals and original artifacts that take them from the Black Arts Movement to Hip Hop, the Black Panthers to “Yes We Can,” and Black is Beautiful to #BlackLivesMatter.

Main Messages

  • Follow up on the historical investigation of African American activism and the search for justice and equality that was started in the exhibitions on slavery and segregation. Exhibit how African American contributions and challenges are essential to modern American culture and politics. Educate visitors on how they can contribute to making America a more just and equitable place by providing historical context for open and honest discussions about race and social justice

177 A dress made by Tracy Reese and worn by the First Lady in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, from 2013 to 2015.

Exhibition Experience

The year 1968 was a watershed moment in the history of the African American liberation movement. After realising that just removing Jim Crow segregation would not result in equality and justice for African Americans, the fight for African American freedom took on new dimensions.

As time went on, the movement came to see itself as part of a broader global struggle for freedom, which included anti-colonial upheavals in African countries as well as counter-cultural movements spearheaded by young people in Europe and the Americas.

The Movement Marches On

Through government persecution, internal strife, a conservative backlash, and indications of some progress toward equality, the Black Power Movement had lost much of its vigor and impetus by the mid-1970s. Although this signaled the end of action, African Americans continued to mobilize in support of equal access and opportunity in the workplace. More than that, the black liberation movement served as an inspiration and catalyst for the formation of social justice groups led by Latinos, Asian Americans, American Indians, women, gay men, and people who identified with a combination of these identities.

The Black Studies Movement and The Black Museum Movement

The establishment of Black Studies departments on college and university campuses marked the beginning of widespread institutional support for the study of African American history on a large scale. By 1975, there were more than 200 university programs in Black or Africana studies to choose from across the United States. At the same time, organizations formed and maintained by African Americans began collecting, preserving, and displaying to the public physical evidence of African American culture and accomplishments.

Shifting Landscapes: Cities and Suburbs

Manufacturing occupations have traditionally been the primary source of income for urban black households. As corporations relocated factories out of the city or out of the country, those positions became obsolete. When African-American candidates for municipal office began to gain traction, city governments found it increasingly difficult to provide enough housing and public services such as schools, roads, police, health care, and garbage collection. In response to pressing needs, activists and community organizations developed initiatives to fulfill them while also protesting laws that harmed minorities and the poor.

Major urban regions have transformed as a result of the influx of African and Latino immigrants from Africa and the Americas.

Decades of Paradox and Promise (1970-2015)

A cautious optimism prevailed among African Americans as the twentieth century came to a close, owing to the strides achieved over the preceding generation of African Americans. The election and re-election of Barack H. Obama to the position of 44th President of the United States were a symbol of these transformations. However, as a result of the emergence of the black economic elite, a distinct and seemingly insurmountable divide emerged between the black middle and tiny upper classes and those who were forced to live in poverty.

Although African Americans had a significant effect on American cultural and political issues throughout this period, racial fairness and social justice remained aspirational rather than achievable goals.

Since the passage of the Immigration Reform Act of 1965, the immigration of hundreds of thousands of Africans and Afro-Caribbeans has transformed the face of black America.

The poster for presidential candidate Shirley Chisholm was created in 1972. Ellen Brooks has given me a gift of pride. From 1971 to 1972, a Vietnam tour jacket with black power embroidery was worn. In the 1989 film Do the Right Thing, Radio Raheem is seen with a boombox in his possession.

A New African-American Culture [ushistory.org]

Known as the “Festival of Nations,” Kwanzaa is an African American and Pan-African festival that honors the finest of African history, ideas, and culture. When immigrants arrive in a new country, their old customs are hard to shake off. In the case of most immigrant groups to the New World, this has been the case. The language, practices, values, religious beliefs, and creative forms that they bring with them over the Atlantic are altered by the new realities of America and, as a result, become a part of the country’s cultural fabric.

When it comes to determining which African traditions have persisted in the New World, there is a great deal of debate and disagreement.

When it was feasible, Africans used their culinary preferences to their advantage.

Folk arts, like as basket making, were influenced by African traditions.

Phillis Wheatly’s poetry, written on the eve of the American Revolution, reflects the reality of slavery in the United States.

On the African continent, folk stories passed down through the years were delivered in a similar manner to African American communities.

Phillis Wheatley, poet and slave, is currently being researched.

Many religious British colonists saw the conversion of slaves to Christianity as a divine obligation on their part.

Slave Christians practiced Christianity in a way that was distinct from white Christians.

Voodoo was created when the religious beliefs of several African tribes were combined with parts of Christianity to develop a new religion.

Despite the existence of regulations governing slave literacy, African Americans were forced to acquire many aspects of the English language out of need.

This type of reciprocal interaction has been characteristic of cultural fusion throughout American history.

Developed by the Schomberg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library, this exceptional site provides an in-depth study at the individuals and events that created African-American culture in the early twentieth century.

Kwanzaa is a holiday that celebrates family, community, and culture.

This website is the creation of The Organization Us and its founder and chairman, Dr.


Consider this while you explore this incredibly rich and intriguing site.

Soundscapes from the Deep South The Center for the Study of the America South at the University of North Carolina has compiled an encyclopedia of southern music, ranging from Black Gospel through Zydeco.

Please report a broken link.

If you don’t speak Swahili, you may look up the English translation on this website, which also contains a wealth of information on Kwanzaa. Find out more. Please report a broken link.

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