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Africanisms In African American Culture Essay

1006 words - 5 pages

Africanisms in America are a highly surveyed topic for the black community. Joseph E. Holloway describes Africanisms as “those elements of culture found in the New World that are traceable to an African origin” (Holloway 2). I believe, that africanisms are the traditions and cultural behaviors of African Americans that resemble the some of the same traditions and cultures in Africa. Which makes you ponder about what current elements does our culture use that ties back to Africa. Which in fact there are several africanisms that still exist. African Americans have retained an essence of Africa in their speech, hair care, clothing, preparation of foods, and music by over centuries of ...view middle of the document...

Because hairstyles were tied to identity, skilled hairdressers put much time and care into creating elaborate designs that met the cultural standards of their region. To maintain hairstyles african use natural products such as black soap which was widely used for shampooing in West Africa and Central Africa. In addition, palm oil was used for oiling the scalp, Shea butter was used to moisturize and dress the hair, and argan oil was applied to the hair and scalp for protection against the harmful rays of the sun. Alot of these products are still used by African Americans today.
Clothes are another important africanism in today’s for African Americans. With High profile shoe companies such as Nike paying homage to African symbols and clothing by featuring some of these designs on their clothes and shoes. For four years straight Nike has released a collection called the black history month collection. Which featured shoes from there main three basketball stars Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant. The collection also featured shirts and pants paying tribute to African culture. This collection is highly popular among the African American youth making the youth line up just to buy items of this collection to pay homage to African history. With a lot of black youth being sneakerheads (sneaker collectors) it’s hard for youth like me to pass up on collections of shoes that look nice and also feature some of my culture on them. The collection is also worn by NBA players in games throughout black history month to showcase african culture to the world.
Food is always a strong component with tying ideas and cultures together. Food was another important africanism in America. One of the most commonly food eaten by African Americans is soul food. Soul food was created in the south by african slaves who had little variety of options to make while on plantations. African slaves were given only the "leftover" and "undesirable" cuts of meat from their masters. Also had to grow their own vegetables. Using these...

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