My culture identity, as I know it as is African American. My culture can be seen in food, literature, religion, language, the community, family structure, the individual, music, dance, art, and could be summed up as the symbolic level.
Symbolic, because faith plays a major role in our daily lives through song, prayer, praise and worship. When I’m happy I rely on my faith, same as when I’m sad, for I know things will get better as they have before. There are different disciplines within the humanities, but there is one that I feel that has influenced my cultural identity the most…music.I say music because from the start music told my culture’s history; informed others about deeds or events that had taken place, also, music was and continues to be important in comforting, healing, and during labor.
“African American music has evolved through various eras and styles; the powerful melodic lines and the rhythm (the all-important rhythm) remained prominent and influential” (Powell, 2007, p. 1). One way that I’ve celebrated and tried to connect with what I know as my culture is to attend Juneteenth Festival of the Carolinas.According to Welcome to Juneteenth, “this is an annual four day event celebrated in the month of June at Independence Park, in Charlotte, North Carolina, hosted by Pape Ndiaye, proprietor of the House of Africa located in Charlotte, NC since 1997” (Juneteenth, n.
d. ). This family event unifies Africans, African-American, and non-African people and is celebrated with drummers, dancers, faith communities, local talent, special guests, and vendors that sell clothing, jewelry, food, books, art, music, furniture, purses, and much more.One may say we already have a day set aside to celebrate freedom.
The Juneteenth website explains: This important American celebration reminds us that the price of freedom of slaves that ended with a Proclamation of Freedom that was read to the slaves of Galveston, Texas by General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865. June 19th was shortened to the name Juneteenth. Those slaves started the celebration that we know and continue today as the Juneteenth Celebration which is now celebrated all across America, and has now become the African American addendum to our national Independence Day.Now, this is what you call a celebration, each year is exciting more and more.
I’ve met a variety of people, from various parts of Africa, and from many cities in the United States. I would sum it [Juneteenth Festival] up as a huge family reunion in the park. Realizing we have more in common than not, when I meet new people, I look at them as individuals. I take into consideration the concrete, the behavioral and the symbolic for they all have their place in a person being who they are.
Yes, I wish others could see and gain understanding for other cultures through my eyes. For example, “it is possible to acquire a new culture by becoming disabled, moving to a new country or region, or by a change in our economic status. When we think of culture this broadly we realize we all belong to many cultures at once” (Community Tool Box, 2013). Who are the Lumbee? The largest, most prosperous, educated Indian tribe in North Carolina since the 1700s, whose name is from the Lumbee River is in Robeson County.
The Lumbee people have been recognized by the state of North Carolina since 1885 and at the same time established a separate school system that would benefit tribal members named Croatan Normal Indian School, which today is The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, n. d. ). I feel that the Lumbee culture has made an impression on the world, because they fought to keep their heritage which is still alive and well today.
My middle school’s mascot was a brave high school mascot was an Indian; both were Indians and have since been changed due to the civil rights issues, which the Native Americans fought for. The Lumbee had their trials and tribulations, but they did not “undergo the forced migrations that other Native American tribes suffered through, because of their mixed-race status and because the tribe enacted early agreements with various governmental bodies to avoid displacement and the grossest forms of injustice” (The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, n. . ).
“They [Lumbees] often did accept outsiders” (Whirty, 2007).Lumbees community and family ties are strong because the “elders makes the decisions for the family, intra-tribal marriages, and the annual week long homecoming celebration “(The Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina, n. d. ).
In closing, no matter what your culture is- embrace it and learn as much as you can. As you’ve learned, oppositions may come your way to attempt to make you lose your culture. You can lose it [your culture] or fight to keep it alive just as the Lumbee did.I am embracing what our country; The United States has become a melting pot of a multitude of cultures and many bi-racial families, which I so love, because at the end of the day have more in common than not.
As stated by the Community Tool Box, in 2013, “we all belong to many cultures at once. ” As a Registered Nurse, I promise to provide exceptional care to all patients no matter what culture they come from, for it does not matter. What matters is everybody is somebody and Christ is all.