African-American culturealso known as Black American culturerefers to the contributions of African Americans to the culture of the United Stateseither as part of or distinct from mainstream American culture. The distinct identity of African-American culture is rooted in the historical experience of the African-American people, including the Middle Passage.
The culture is both distinct and enormously influential on American and global worldwide culture as a whole. African-American culture is primarily rooted in West and Central Africa. Understanding its identity within the culture of the United States it is, in the anthropological sense, conscious of its origins as largely a blend of West and Central African cultures. African-American identity was established during the slavery periodproducing a dynamic culture that has had and continues to have a profound impact on American culture as a whole, as well as that of the broader world.
Elaborate rituals and ceremonies were a significant part of African Americans' ancestral culture.
Many West African societies traditionally believed that spirits dwelled in their surrounding nature. From this disposition, they treated their environment with mindful care. They also generally believed that a spiritual life source existed after death, and that ancestors in this spiritual realm could then mediate between the supreme creator and the living.
Honor and prayer was displayed to these "ancient ones", the spirit of those past.
West Africans also believed in spiritual possession. In the beginning of the eighteenth century, Christianity began to spread across North Africa; this shift in religion began displacing traditional African spiritual practices.
The enslaved Africans brought this complex religious dynamic within their culture to America. This fusion of traditional African beliefs with Christianity provided a common place for those practicing religion in Africa and America.
After emancipationunique African-American traditions continued to flourish, as distinctive traditions or radical innovations in music, art, literature, religion, cuisine, and other fields.
For many years African-American culture developed separately from European-American culture, both because of slavery and the persistence of racial discrimination in Americaas well as African-American slave descendants' desire to create and maintain their own traditions.
Today, African-American African-american hookup rituals of the american has become a significant part of American culture and yet, at the same time, remains a distinct cultural body. From the earliest days of American slavery in the 17th century, slave owners sought to exercise control over their slaves by attempting to strip them of their African culture.
The physical isolation and societal marginalization of African slaves and, later, of their free progeny, however, facilitated the retention of significant elements of traditional culture among Africans in the New World generally, and in the United States in particular. Slave owners deliberately tried to repress independent political or cultural organization in order to deal with the many slave rebellions or acts of resistance that took place in the United States, BrazilHaitiand the Dutch Guyanas.
African cultures, slavery, slave rebellions, and the civil rights movement have shaped African-American religious, familial, political, and economic behaviors.
The imprint of Africa is evident in a myriad of ways: In turn, African-American culture has had a pervasive, transformative impact on many elements of mainstream American culture.
This process of mutual creative exchange is called creolization. Slaveholders limited or prohibited education of enslaved African Americans because they feared it might empower their chattel and inspire or enable emancipatory ambitions. In the United States, the legislation that denied slaves formal education likely contributed to their maintaining a strong oral tradition, a common feature of indigenous African cultures.
This was consistent with the griot practices of oral history in many African and other cultures that did not rely on the written word. Many of these cultural elements have been passed from generation to generation through storytelling.
The folktales provided African Americans the opportunity to inspire and educate one another. Examples of African-American folktales include trickster tales of Br'er Rabbit  and heroic tales such as that of John Henry.
The legacy of the African-American oral tradition manifests in African-american hookup rituals of the american forms. African-American preachers tend to perform rather than simply speak. The emotion of the subject is carried through the speaker's tone, volume, and cadence, which tend to mirror the rising action, climax, and descending action of the sermon.
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Often song, dance, verse, and structured pauses are placed throughout the sermon. Call and response is another pervasive element of the African-American oral tradition. It manifests in worship in what is commonly referred to as the "amen corner". In direct contrast to recent tradition in other American and Western cultures, it is an acceptable and common audience reaction to interrupt and affirm the speaker.
Hyperbolic and provocative, even incendiary, rhetoric is another aspect of African-American oral tradition often evident in the pulpit in a tradition sometimes referred to as "prophetic speech".
Modernity and migration of black communities to the North has had a history of placing strain on the retention of black cultural practices and African-american hookup rituals of the american. The urban and radically different spaces in which black culture was being produced raised fears in anthropologists and sociologists that the southern black folk aspect of black popular culture were at risk of being lost in history. The study over the fear of losing black popular cultural roots from the South have a topic of interest to many anthropologists, who among them include Zora Neale Hurston.
Through her extensive studies of Southern folklore and cultural practices, Hurston has claimed that the popular Southern folklore traditions and practices are not dying off.
Instead they are evolving, developing, and re-creating themselves in different regions.
Other aspects of African-American oral tradition include the dozenssignifyingtrash talkrhyming, semantic inversion and word play, many of which have found their way into mainstream American popular culture and become international phenomena. Spoken word artistry is another example of African-american hookup rituals of the american the African-American oral tradition has influenced modern popular culture. Spoken word artists employ the same techniques as African-American preachers including movement, rhythm, and audience participation.
The first major public recognition of African-American culture occurred during the Harlem Renaissance pioneered by Alain Locke. In the s and s, African-American music, literature, and art gained wide notice.
Jazzswingblues and other musical forms entered American popular music. African-American artists such as William H. Johnson and Palmer Hayden created unique works of art featuring African Americans. The Harlem Renaissance was also a time of increased political involvement for African Americans. Among the notable African-American political movements founded in the early 20th century are the Universal Negro Improvement Association and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The Nation of Islama notable quasi- Islamic religious movement, also began in the early s.
The Black Power movement of the s and s followed in the wake of the non-violent Civil Rights Movement. The movement promoted racial pride and ethnic cohesion in contrast to the focus on integration of the Civil Rights Movement, and adopted a more militant posture in the face of racism.
The works of popular recording artists such as Nina Simone " Young, Gifted and Black " and The Impressions " Keep On Pushing "African-american hookup rituals of the american well as the poetry, fine arts, and literature of the time, shaped and reflected the growing racial and political consciousness. During this time, there was a resurgence of interest in, and an embrace of, elements of African culture within African-American culture that had been suppressed or devalued to conform to Eurocentric America.
Natural hairstylessuch as the afroand African clothing, such as the dashikigained popularity.
More importantly, the African-American aesthetic encouraged personal pride and political awareness among African Americans. African-American music is rooted in the typically polyrhythmic music of the ethnic groups of Africa, specifically those in the WesternSaheleanand Sub-Saharan regions.
African oral traditions, nurtured in slavery, encouraged the use of music to pass on history, teach lessons, ease suffering, and relay messages.
The African pedigree of African-American music is evident in some common elements: Written by James Weldon Johnson and John Rosamond Johnson in to be performed for the birthday of Abraham Lincolnthe song was, and continues to be, a popular way for African Americans to recall past struggles and express ethnic solidarity, faith, and hope for the future.
In the 19th century, as the result of the blackface minstrel showAfrican-American music entered mainstream American society.
By the early 20th century, several musical forms with origins in the African-American community had transformed American popular music.
Aided by the technological innovations of radio and phonograph records, ragtimejazzbluesand swing also became popular overseas, and the s became known as the Jazz Age. The early 20th century also saw the creation of the first African-American Broadway showsfilms such as King Vidor 's Hallelujah!
These genres became very popular in white audiences and were influences for other genres such as surf. During the s, the dozensan urban African-American tradition of using rhyming slang to put down one's enemies or friendsand the West Indian tradition of toasting developed African-american hookup rituals of the american a new form of music.
In the South Bronx the half speaking, half singing rhythmic street talk of "rapping" grew into the hugely successful cultural force known as hip hop. Hip hop would become a multicultural movement, however, it still remained important to many African Americans.
The African-American Cultural Movement of the s and s also fueled the growth of funk and later hip-hop forms such as raphip housenew jack swingand go-go.