African American Culture By: MariKo Nielson
History • There are different aspects of African American history. Some include: • Slavery • Civil Rights • South American Apartheid
Slavery • African people were taken from their homes and brought over from Africa to serve and obey whites, without any pay. • Most slave owners were very mean to the African people and made them work in the hot sun, sometimes without any food or water. • Lots of the African people dreamed of freedom that was up in the North. Some of them escaped using the Underground Railroad. • Slavery ended with the Civil War but segregation was about to begin. This would be the cause of the next part, the Civil Rights Movement.
Civil Rights Movement • Until the end of the sixties African Americans and White Americans were separated. African Americans had their own side of town, their own drinking fountains, their own schools (that were very inferior to that of White American’s schools), and they had to sit at the back of the bus. • Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream that everyone would be equal and treated equal. That people would get along and work for the greater good. He was the leader of the civil rights group and helped get the laws changed peacefully. Another person who played a part is Rosa Parks she wouldn’t give up her seat at the front of the bus to a white person which started the bus boycott. • America isn’t the only country that had problems with segregation. Only South Africa’s Black population had it worse.
South Africa’s Apartheid • South Africa’s apartheid had the blacks almost as slaves, only they got paid. • Blacks and Whites weren’t the only ones separated. Different African tribes were kept apart. • To travel or to get a job Blacks had to have card that said where they could go and what they could do. • In 1976 thousands of Black children protested being taught by Whites. The police killed a boy and protests spread through out the country. The government responded violently over the next few months by killing 575 people. • South Africa’s first free election was in 1994.
Today • African Americans and Whites are in the same schools, drink out the of same drinking fountains, sit where ever they want on the bus. • African Americans now hold important jobs and high paid positions. • R&B, Rap, and Hip Hop is one of the most popular music right now. • Although Civil Rights have come along way there is still some things that need to be changed. • Internet access in intercity schools (where a lot of the African American population lives) is not up to what other schools are. • Intercity schools aren’t as nice or kept up as nice as other schools across our nation. • Racial profiling by the police and others still happen.
Kwanzaa • Kwanzaa is not a substitution for Christmas but is a celebration afterwards. • Kwanzaa is a celebration of unity and seeks to reinforce the bonds between parents and children. • There is a Kinara (like the Menorah in Chanukah) which has Mishumaa Saba, seven candles. • There are seven days in Kwanzaa. On each day a principle is taught and a candle is lit. Also, there are gifts; the gifts are given everyday or all gifts are given on the last day of the celebration. The gifts that are recommended are hand made or relate to Black heritage that have a special meaning to help the person through the year. • Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 - January 1.
Websites Used • The site that had all the information about the culture and was really informative was About.com or more specific http://afroamculture.about.com/ • The links are to different spots on About.com. The ones that I used were: • Apartheid • Civil Rights • History • Slavery • Another site I used was Kwanzaa Info Center: http://melanet.com/kwanzaa/