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Essay about A Look At African American Political Policies and Social Status

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When looking at African American political policies and social status both in their native country and in America, it is important to see where their practices came from. First, when looking at the rich history of Africa, it is necessary to examine the African values. In Africa, their value system consisted of, “affiliation, collectivity, sharing, obedience to authority, spirituality, acceptance to fate and past time” (Pinderhughes, 1982, p.91). This is the framework the African people knew before coming to the America’s via the slave trade. Once in America the new African American values emphasized individualism, social status, and financial aspirations (Jones, 1985). These are critical in understanding the political side of things because the politics of the time shaped the culture and vice versa.
Moreover, the Afrocentric perspective helped embellish the African American values further. African Americans are very spiritual, believing in God and that “everything was going to be all right”. Additionally, the idea of collective responsibility allows African Americans to take care of each other and share in trauma and tough times. This idea is huge because it really encompasses each one of them to have a strong affiliation with one another. Finally, tying all that together is interconnectedness with the basic concept that when people harm others, they harm you. The Afrocentric view of allows for “these protective factors shield African Americans from the impact of racism and oppression as well as increase mental and general health” (p. 232).
The illustration of interconnectedness can be best illustrated through the role of women in the culture. Rooted in the African tradition of a non occupation type role for biological mothers...


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...ack political and cultural institutions to nurture and promote black collective interests and advance black values (Gates p. 262). The impact of the Black Power movement in generating valuable discussion about ethnic identity and black consciousness manifests itself in the relatively recent proliferation of academic fields such as American studies, Black Studies, and Africana studies in both national and international institutions (Williams p.92). The value and attention given to African Americans’ history and culture today is largely a product of the movement for Black Power in the 1960s and '70s. Although it was sometimes radical, it did offer some new insight and a grassroots approach to achieve racial pride and the creation of black political and cultural institutions to nurture and promote black collective interests and advance black values that we see today.



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