African American Culture

Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, encompassing language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts. African Americans celebrate life events such the birth of a baby, weddings, graduation, funerals and major holidays. A tradition the we do during the wedding ceremony or reception is called jumping the broom. Jumping the broom signifies a couples entrance into a new life or new family. Funeral traditions are based on religion but the important part of death and dying is the gathering of family

and friends. Funerals are celebrations of one’s life and having family and friends there helps to provide spiritual and emotional support. Religion is a major part of African American culture. Like most cultures we have different forms of religion. African-American churches have served to provide African-American people with leadership positions and opportunities to organize that were denied in mainstream American society. The African-American church focuses on the message of equality and hopes for a better future, which was needed during the time of segregation.

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Holidays like most cultures is celebrated based off religion. In my family we love to celebrate holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas. Holidays is when most of all my family comes together at my grandparent to fellowship with one another. Life events and holidays that we love to share with each other wouldn’t be anything with the food. Food in African American culture is known as soul food. Soul food includes, fried chicken, mac and cheese, greens, yams, and the list just goes on and on. African Americans love music and dancing. Although gospel, rap, hip hop and r&b are the most influential in our culture, most of us love all genres of music.

The question was asked can you choose your culture, or does your culture choose you? I feel that this question can go both way. I believe that your culture is chosen for you from birth until you are about 13 or 14 years. I feel that your culture is chosen for you at birth through your early childhood but as you get older you have the choice to change that. As you reach high school you start to learn and experience different cultures you have the right to change and choose how your culture affects you.

Many cultures we are faced with being stereotyped on a daily basis. Some of the stereotypes that I don’t like including that we only eat fried chicken and watermelon, we are welfare queens, the women are angry, and the only thing are males are good at is being athletic. This is not true for all of us. I do hate that many only see us what they choose to but is up to us to educate them. I would ask them how they would feel if someone judges them based the stereotypes their cultures faces. Sitting down and explaining your feels to them and educate them on how these stereotypes affect our culture.

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African American Culture. (2021, May 22). Retrieved from