Cultural Diversity in America: Examination of African Americans and Asian Americans
Many ethnic groups reside and persist in America. Minority groups are misunderstood and undervalued in today’s society. There are many cultures, history, social relations, religious traditions, and linguistic aspects enduring in our country because of our abundant diversity. Two minority groups that are misconstrued are African Americans and Asian Americans. These two groups of people have many differences, but also have a few commonalities. African Americans and Asian Americans influence society in the United States in multiple ways, for example specifically in educational settings. Unfortunately, the dominant group, Caucasians, have difficulties interacting with African Americans and Asian Americans due to both positive and negative prejudices, biases, and stereotypes. Examining elements of African American and Asian American culture, interactions with the dominant group, and effects of the groups on a professional setting is vital in understanding the minority groups.
Elements of Culture: Examining Imperative Aspects
Cultural aspects affect how a person presents oneself. Culture incorporates different ways of life connected with a certain group of people (Healey, 2012, p. 46). African Americans and Asian Americans have distinct features within their cultures. By considering African American and Asian American culture, one will understand what encompasses or forms the individual’s attitudes, beliefs, and values. Different elements of culture that affect these groups of people include influential historical events, past and current culture, religious traditions, linguistic aspects, and social relations.
African Americans have a unique culture, also known as black culture. Multiple events in history have been influential on African Americans. Their past is a difficult subject including topics such as slavery and discrimination. African Americans originally were taken to America for forced labor. Slave owners tried, usually unsuccessfully, to eliminate African culture. Slaves used oral traditions to pass down folktales or songs, to preach, and other important parts of their culture they wanted to pass down. As time elapsed de jure segregation, also known as the Jim Crow system, began in the South that replaced slavery in the South. According to Healey (2012), “Under segregation, the minority group is physically and socially separated from the dominant group and consigned to an inferior position in virtually every area of social life” (p. 182). Under state and local laws, African Americans were considered inferior to Caucasians. All aspects of life were included in segregation such as schools, restrooms, parks, stores, and any public facility. The civil rights movement began to eliminate laws based on racial segregation. In 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that separate facilities are unequal; therefore, the...