12-04-2011, 08:04 AM
Super Senior Member
I have been told many times the reason black people stake so many cultural claims is because they want ownership of something that was previously taken away from them. But why is it that contemporary black culture doesn't reflect ethnocentric influences so much as it reflects urban and street influences? Do they cope with a lack of background by creating a new one in its place? Or maybe they just don't identify by their heritage?
This has always confused me because most kids I know who subscribe to "urban" culture are ones who haven't a clue about their ethnic backgrounds.
12-04-2011, 01:49 PM
Ruler of the Seventh Empire
I don't know, man. Most of em don't give a damn, and absorb the culture around em, same as anyone else would. Grow up in a ghetto neighborhood, you act ghetto, grow up in a very educated neighborhood, but happen to be black; you act like Malcolm X, grow up in a culturally mixed neighborhood, you end up like me. But don't take that seriously, I just wanted to rhyme, you see?
12-04-2011, 02:32 PM
All valid questions there Cype, allthough I am a black man here in the US, I'm no expert on the matter. I will tell you how I personally see things, however.
I think the majority of us blacks in the US do feel as if our cultural identity was taken away from us. If you followed the link in my last post dealing with slavery, one might at the very least understand that a lot cultural identity was taken away from blacks in the US early in the history of this country. I'm not trying to spew any hatred here, but facts are facts. Many black people here in the US are direct descendants of slaves and, a kind of slavery that attempted to dehumanize them. It took a great deal of effort over generations for the blacks here to relearn a what cultural identity was lost or forgotten and, now just as you mentioned above, many of us wish to cling on to the ownership of this cultural identity that was taken away from them. I personally, like to acknowledge that my ancestors were of Western African descent, brought to the Americas under less than desirable cirucmstances & overcame the oppresssion & racial predjudices throust upon them so that I wouldn't be so affected by them today. I respect & honor everything that ancestors have gone through in order to give me an equal chance here in a culturally diverse country. I will not take it for granted nor would I ever use take sacrifices in vain. But that's just me, and as we've all sort of agreed to here, despite race we're all individuals.
I think things started to really change for blacks in the US around the late 70s in the generation directly following the Civil Rights movement. Here we had the most equality than we'd ever had previously & really felt a lot of pride in our race as we began to learn where exactly we came from for ourselves. Over the past 30 years however, many of my people have failed to properly pass this sense of cultural identity down to the newer generations. When they do touch on the most important part of our history here in the US, the slavery, the lesson is usually given from a misconstrued perspective. In high school in the 90s, my American History text book only had 1 chapter on slavery in it & this was small. The black histroy class I took had a very small text book that was quite outdated as well. So, I was reduced to learning the "truth" about my ancestry from people like my "Black Nationalist" father our elders in my community who either wished to forget about slaver alltogether, or focus so violently upon the negtive aspects that all the strides made since then were made to seem moot.
So, I feel as if the current generation of blacks here know where our people came from but don't truly understand the responisbilty that they have to improve things even further. (lol) I don't think they even realize actually how racisit that they are sometimes because they may think that racisim is only something that a caucasian can be cappable of.
Now Urban Culture? This is entirely a 'beast of a different color' & one that more problematic to us all than we may think. Sure, many of these urban & street influences such as gangs and other forms of organized crime may have thier origins in some black community. But these things have been romanticised by popular culture on the whole. I live in Nashville, TN & ride the bus all the time everywhere & I see kids of all types embracing this Urban Culture. Within these groups, race doesn't seem to exist at all though, ironically it does manifest itself outside the group. I feel that many of the kids in the US today believe that this new urban cultralisim is an alternative for one that may be lost, forgotten or even unwanted. But this applies to all of the races here in the US and not just blacks or other minority groups. In some ways, therin lies a sense of racial equality...only to then categorized by some other kind class of status (i.e., ganngster, thug, pimp, playa, hustler, etc...). This, of course, is all wrong in my opinion because it's replacing a negative racial or cultural identity with a negative social or national one.
But hey, that's just how I see it & I'm only one 40-year-old dude & I could be wrong.
12-04-2011, 04:50 PM
I think another problem we need to address, in addition to learning about more about slavery in school, is to stop coddling people who keep claiming the Civil War was a about "States Rights." This concept steals away from the 4 million who suffered from slavery, and disrespects the whole history.
The park service finally stepped up and did this, but I know schools don't. The whole "States rights" argument only started AFTER the war, when people like Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee put out memoirs and crap cause they lost. They state over and over it was states rights, not slavery, which caused the war. Yet what people kept neglected was the ACTUAL declaration of sessions. I understand it's probably hard to be on the loosing side, but re-writing history was just another way to slight the African Americans. And it's a frickin' stupid legacy we've been stuck with ever since.
**And before I get any people yelling at me because their ancestors fought for "states rights," I have a disclaimer. Individual soldiers reason for fighting all differ. Many soldiers who fight are doing it for reasons that diverge with the country's reason for fighting. My statement is in reference to why the South as a "nation" left the United States (I don't do "union" bull crap, cause they left the US, not the Union.)**
My point for bringing this up, is that it's no wonder people feel displaced and alienated in their own country, especially when this is the time in history I can see the "losers" are the ones who wrote history. Not to mention the all the crap that followed the war.
Little known fact, after the Civil War, black men had been given the same rights as whites. The were equal, legally. But shortly their after, without anyone enforcing these rights, Southern governments started implementing the Jim Crow laws and segregation (not sure exact date for that. It's really the most ridiculous thing I've EVER heard of.)
That's kind of a soap box I've been on, but I thought it would be appropriate to bring it up here.
12-05-2011, 01:35 AM
It's funny hearing about US history from people who actually live there. At my school we covered some USA history and the parts about slavery. It was always my understanding from these teachings that the Civil War was because of slavery. It was never explained to me from any other view point. So whatever is being taught in the USA doesn't at all reflect what I was taught at school.
On the subject of who writes the history books I think there are always people who get severly abused through biased recordings of history. In australia horirble things were done to the aboriginal people including genocide, discrimination, abuse, and child theft. The actual government made laws to attempt to breed out the entire race of people, and those who were half half ended up outcasts. The stupidest part is none of this was recorded properly in history or taught in schools till about 30 years ago? I have a little bit of aboriginal blood on my mothers side, and even though we look nothing like it the discrimination was so bad that when my mother was a child she was told to say she had Indian background if asked, because there were concerns she would be taken away and put in the care of white people. I know this story of discrimination is found in many countries but it scares the flip out of me that whole chunks of human suffering can just be left off the history record
12-05-2011, 02:49 AM
I know, right? Which is why it's great there are people starting to seriously get into some of these studies. There are so many misconceptions from school text, not to mention, they aren't updated very often. It's usually not til we get to college that a lot of what you thought you knew is revealed to be false. Luckily, I had a hippie teacher in High School, who really dispelled a lot of that early. But in grade school and middle school, it was all following the crappy text books.
Side note: did anyone else have teacher who always started at the front of the history book, so all you never made it to "modern" history? I can't tell you how d*mn sick I got of learning about the frickin' pilgrims. Every year, the same crap! My school was pretty crappy, though.
Yeah, some people over here are STILL sore about the Civil War. It's like they just can't get over it. I'm not talking about the African Americans who often still face discrimination today. I'm talking about old Caucasian families. It's true, I wouldn't want to be judged for what my ancestors did--but don't be a coward about it, and don't keep the hate alive (I know that "Southerners" get stereotyped as all being racist, which isn't true. But for those who are--anyone who is for that matter--they really need to reevaluate their thinking): accept it happened, and move on. Don't re-write it. My ancestors aren't all innocent either, and it's not like people in the North treated blacks any better. They just had a marginally better existence than being a slave. They still had plenty to worry about in the North (sundown towns, race riots, lynchings in some parts of the North. Let's not forget being kept out of white neighborhoods, like the play A Raisin in the Sun. Anyone else think Sydney Poitier was hot?)
12-05-2011, 10:09 AM
Sydney Poitier said, while receiving his lifetime achievement award. "I am no less than any man and, my dreams are as real as I aspire to make them." This sentence motivated me so much..."my dreams are as real as I aspire to make them." Seems like Poitier took control of his individual situation (being a black immigrant in the US during a time where blacks still were having a really rough time being generally accepted as equals) & became a famous actor-not just a 'black actor-but a credible as any white leading man of his day. People can continue to use whatever attrocities may have happened to their ancestors as an excuse to explain their own personal shortcomings or they can take control over their own individual situations. If you label yourself as an inferior, people (of any race, including your own) will more than likely treat you as such. If you carry yourself (and act accordingly) with self confidence that you are "...no less than any man..." then you're one step closer to making your race less irrelevant in your interaction with others.
Sure, almost every race of man on the face of the earth has suffered 'dark times' of oppression. In a sad way, it is in the nature of man to oppress one another for political control or...fear that on race or nationality or culture may become more productive than the oppressive one. Religion has a lot to do with this oppression as well & the predjudices run deep. I feel that in this new century that we're starting to see a better world picture & that's a good thing.
12-05-2011, 01:22 PM
That's why Archeology exist. Isn't about Maya civilizations or Babylonia, is about Historical problems. By example: How many times history tells you that the USA Natives and the USA army were fighting constantly? According to archeology, none. The evidences in army camps, exteriors and natives tells that they almost never fought each other.
This kind of problems are the important, not how old is man in the Americas (continent), but how people lived lived and what really happened in history, because history is biased. I'm not saying we aren't biased, but I believe materials don't lie (we lie).
History is weird bitch, if you give it to much relevance you become an ass who lives in the past, if you don't you will be searching your identity in other assholes. People who live their whole life through the history of their ancestors are blind to new possibilities for the future, but people who doesn't appreciate the history of their ancestors are lost in track. And this can go back to my previews post about me hating people who call themselves Germans when they have lived for 4 generations or more in USA. Yes ancestors have a past that connect us, but we also need to learn to make distinctions, it wasn't our past you we can't live in it, but we neither should be blinds to it.
12-05-2011, 08:41 PM
Archeology doesn't lie, but it can be misinterpreted, which is the main problem with it. Humans still haven't come up with an unbiased way to record history that is very meanginful. Archeology is just bare facts which can be used to more or less guess what went on in the past. Its not a sure fire way to understand the past. It also doesn't provide any human view point. Again it just tells the bare facts, it doesn't say for example if the people of the past were happy or sad, it can't tell us if they had family fueds or were passion about a war they were fighting or if some of the supposedly religious people were secretly atheists. Archeology is history without human thoughtm which makes it kind or interesting but less relevent than say, someone's old diary.
Humans developed the ability to keep track of history and tell old stories and presumably a curiosity about the past so that we could learn from the past and not make the same mistakes repeatedly. While archeology helps us learn about the past it is not as rich and informative as it could be because it lacks a human voice. A big part of archeology is guessing that sort of thing but imagine how much more we would know if there was a record actually written by someone who lived in that time.
12-05-2011, 08:50 PM
But that's the delimia isn't it? To victor goes the spoils. As you said above, humans still haven't come up with an unbiased way to record history as of yet. But now that we're living in this new age of information & technology, more perspectives on history are being revealed. I mean to say, one than one perspective on the history of a certain group, country or people(s) are starting to surface recently. So, you have more than one perspective on say...the Civil War here in the states and you have archeology to collaborate with this story or another...or both...to formulate a clearer picture of what happened. The picture is still blurry as hell, I'll agree...but I'm just saying both history and archeology are relevant.