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Topic subjectYou can't measure culture or unity "at home"
Topic URLhttp://board.okayplayer.com/okp.php?az=show_topic&forum=22&topic_id=2845&mesg_id=2869
2869, You can't measure culture or unity "at home"
Posted by Cocobrotha2, Thu Nov-27-03 04:52 AM
Before comparing African Americans to other cultures in america, you've got to put us in the same situation. African americans (despite the dysfunctional "American family" life) are at "home" in America because this is the cradle of our culture.

To make a valid comparison to Chinese immigrannts, for example, you'd have to flip the paradigm... deposit a sizable African American population in China. In that setting, African American culture and unity would be evident and *necessary*. We'd share a common language and the inability to speak the native language. Even if we didn't all eat chittlins or cornbread, we'd know of it.We'd keep alot of customs that don't appear to be customs bc we're used to everyone else doing them. Many would attempt to form their own businesses like the capitlists they were raised (conditioned) to be. Being so different from the natives in so many ways, we would have to depend on each other and make decisions as a unit.

The main points of my thought experiment are that a culture cannot appreciate itself without referencing other cultures and unity only occurs when a well defined group has a purpose.

Applying the first point to African Americans in America, I think the reason so many people want to argue there is no African American culture is because they don't want to admit, if it existed, it would be a subset of American culture. African Americans built this country so it's only logical we would have a integral part in creating this American culture. To extend my previous thought experiement, include a population of general "Americans" and a population of Nigerians. I would bet the majority of African Americans would feel closer to the other Americans than the Nigerians.

In regard to the second point, I think it appears we have no unity because our homogeniety logically decreases with every step toward equality. There aren't as many common, concrete, measurable goals for all African Americans since there are fewer common, conrete, measurable, and universal impediments to us. We're becoming less like the chinese person in America and more like the chinese person in China.