Brandi L. Robinson Soc 200 Telecourse July 3,2000
Culture is the totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought typical of a population or community at a given times. (Webster?s II New College Dictionary pg. 274)Culture is also the modes of thought, behavior, and production that are handed down from one generation to the next by means of communication interaction-through speech, gestures, writing, building, and all other communication among humans ? rather by genetic transmission of heredity. (The Sociological Imagination pg.6) Although I am part of the American culture, I consider my cultural heritage to be with that of the African American society. Black culture is a phenomenal subject representing the life style, imagination and accomplishments of my people. The most outstanding and unique characteristic that makes my culture one of a kind is our music, language and gestures, and writings.
The four most popular and unique categories of Black music are Rhythm and Blues, Blues, Jazz, and Gospel. Rhythm and Blues is a combination of the swinging rhythm of jazz and other ?race? music with the lyrical content, sonic gestures, and format of the blues. Blues is an African American music that transverses a wide range of emotions and musical styles. ?Feeling blue? is expressed in songs whose verse laments injustice or express longing for a better life and lost loves, jobs, and money, the blues also is a raucous dance music that celebrates pleasure and success. Gospel music refers to African American Protestant vocal music that celebrates Christine Doctrine in emotive. Jazz is a music that consists of musical instruments such as saxophones, flutes, and clarinets. African American music has lyrics that basically tell a real true story and have constant rhyme. Music has been the basis of the African American culture since the years of slavery, they used music then to survive and today?s culture is still keeping music strong.
Language and gestures are another important identity of the African American culture. There are two subdivisions of our language that area called slang and Ebonics. Slang and Ebonics are just codes for the English language. Gestures in our culture are also a means of communication. For example, when people of the African American culture want to speak to one and another or say hello they nod their heads upward. Another example of gestures is the rolling of the eyes. These gestures suggest that someone is ignoring or calling the person they are speaking with a liar. Basically our way of communication is the same as the next culture except African Americans try to be communicating with unity among their culture.
Another important distinction with African American culture is the writers and their writing. Most of the writers of the African American culture write about their true real life experience. African American writers usually don?t write fiction the write non-fiction, and poetry. This is a way for them to express their feelings, concerns, and happiness on any issue dealing with there experiences.
Another thing that the African American culture is known for is the extended family. People of this culture include friends, neighbors, and associates as part of their family. This is one of the most tight nit cultures that exist in today?s world. I feel that after the past that this culture has overcome that our culture has united as one.