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A Look At African American Political Policies And Social Status

791 words - 3 pages

When looking at African American political policies and social status both in their native country and in America, it is important to see where their practices came from. First, when looking at the rich history of Africa, it is necessary to examine the African values. In Africa, their value system consisted of, “affiliation, collectivity, sharing, obedience to authority, spirituality, acceptance to fate and past time” (Pinderhughes, 1982, p.91). This is the framework the African people knew before coming to the America’s via the slave trade. Once in America the new African American values emphasized individualism, social status, and financial aspirations (Jones, 1985). These are critical in understanding the political side of things because the politics of the time shaped the culture and vice versa.
Moreover, the Afrocentric perspective helped embellish the African American values further. African Americans are very spiritual, believing in God and that “everything was going to be all right”. Additionally, the idea of collective responsibility allows African Americans to take care of each other and share in trauma and tough times. This idea is huge because it really encompasses each one of them to have a strong affiliation with one another. Finally, tying all that together is interconnectedness with the basic concept that when people harm others, they harm you. The Afrocentric view of allows for “these protective factors shield African Americans from the impact of racism and oppression as well as increase mental and general health” (p. 232).
The illustration of interconnectedness can be best illustrated through the role of women in the culture. Rooted in the African tradition of a non occupation type role for biological mothers, African American women bring up their children in a way that is much different from other cultures. African American mothers provide for their children’s physical survival and attending to their emotional needs happens, but there is a collective responsibility to look out for other mothers children as well (Collins p. 328). This community-based childcare and reliance on others stems from the exploitation of Africans as slaves. No one more could nurture her child and take that up as an occupation; they had to look out for one another at their place of employment. Even when the Emancipation came about and the political role of women changed in America with domestic jobs, the meaning of work and the way...

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