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African American Culture

The status of African Americans has changed greatly over time in the American society. While earlier texts of African American literature mainly concerned themselves with issues of slavery, the recent past has seen a shift where more focus is on the racist attitudes and how they should be dealt with in the U.S. in this text, I give my view on the importance of the search for ancestry, family, lineage etc.

A reflection
In my view, the search for ancestry, family, lineage etc. is critical to understanding the African American literature because it is through this that an appreciation as well as understanding of Black Nationalism as well as racial segregation is anchored. The search for ancestry, family, lineage etc is also important as far as African American literature is concerned for purposes of examining the accuracy of the dominant culture claims. According to Gilyard et al. (2004), a solid understanding of ancestry and lineage is an important tool for cultural liberation; something which the African American culture has grumbled with for quite a number of decades.I recount a scenario where a family member was arrested for apparently breaking into his own house. The arresting officer executed the arrest despite it being clear that my nephew was in the precinct of his own house. It only turned out that my nephew had misplaced his car keys and hence the only logical thing for him to do was to break the house to gain access. The arresting officer did not bother to confirm this. This resulted to racism allegations and it did not help matters especially as the arresting officer happened to be white.

Over time, African Americans have long considered themselves to be part of the American society. However, once in a while, there emerge some notions of inequality which are often triggered by actions seen to be discriminatory on one hand and unequal on the other. Though some of the issues that inform the African American experiences are basically founded on stereotypes rather than real life there is a great need to ensure that the concerns as well as the life experiences of those who in one way or the other appear to be subjugated are taken into consideration and addressed promptly. It is also important to note that as far as African American experiences are concerned, there is an existing need to make a timely and clear distinction between individual intentions and resultant consequences. For instance, in the case of my nephew, there was an obvious need for the arresting officer to make a connection, however remote it may have been, between his actions and the resulting consequences.When it comes to the African American literature, there are in some instances some laudable concerns that it more often than not portrays African Americans in some negative light. However, the role of literature cannot be overlooked as far as its role in African American liberation is concerned. In my own view, African American literature presents the facts as regards events that informed the current stand on issues. It clears our vision and helps us understand why some scenarios like the one recounted above arouse emotional standoffs.

It is important to note that apart form enhancing the African American culture, the connection between family history and the larger quest for African American lineage plays a gigantic role in rejuvenating the literary world.

Gilyard, K., & Wardi, A.J. (2004). African American literature. Pearson Longman

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