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What is culture?
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8/2/2016 4:40:24 AM
Posted: 4 months ago
More specifically what is "black culture?" I have often seen various stereotypes members of this forum use here in conjunction when referencing African-Americans. I have constantly asked people to correlate "black culture" with being a thug. So far, nobody here has proven how degenerate behavior such as the criminal behavior of a thug, correlates with an entire ethnic culture. So far, it seems that these stereotypes are the result of internalize prejudices based on their own experiences and in part, being influenced by the media.
According to livescience.com the term culture refers to "the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music and arts."
Following this general understanding we can then ask, "what is black culture?" According to CNN.com:
"Black Culture" is a lifestyle standard made of assumptions about black identity, often used successfully by marketers, studio heads, fashion brands and music labels to make money.
It can be the "cool factor" that makes kids line up for hours to spend their last dime on brand new Michael Jordan sneakers. Or the thing that makes white people call me "brotha" and blast 2 Chainz when I hop in the car.
It's what people assume about black people and how they should sound, live and act.
Black culture may have been born in black communities, or created by black Americans. But when appropriated for commerce, there is a danger of mistaking "Black Culture" for actual cultural EXPERIENCE. That's where the myth begins, and it can devalue real human experiences.
The article continues:
"Often by the time "Black Culture" is being used to sell a product or idea, it's already been reinterpreted by white people.
This isn't necessarily malicious, but it's something to note. We are often told what being black is by people who aren't. Up and coming black hip hop artists are molded to appeal to the masses by white label executives. Television shows with black characters might have no black writers or directors........
Black culture draws from a variety of influences born both in and outside black communities.
Janelle Monae's album "Electric Lady" demonstrates this: It is a brilliant amalgamation of artistic references as disparate as Motown and Fritz Lang's Metropolis.
Being black in America involves a process of moving through and adopting from many different cultures. To define what's authentically black is virtually impossible, as there are as many ways to be black as there are black people."
I believe whenever we are talking about culture, we need to take into consideration that culture can be fluid, and that culture is not a static condition as it responds to dynamic factors. the culture of many African-Americans of the 30's and 40's is not the culture of African-Americans today. The same can be said about White culture or Asian culture.
"Cultures, wherever you find them exposed to other cultures, will decide what to accept or what to reject from the other alternatives or styles to which they are ex-posed. We can see it as a matter of loss, but that is a subjective position; the majority of the people in a culture, will take from a foreign culture what they see as useful or attractive (more comfort; more entertainment; more income; etc.) and to rail against that is to spit into a hurricane."
To end the thread I quote from wikipedia:
"Linda G. Tucker in Lockstep and Dance: Images of Black Men in Popular Culture (2007) argues that the representations in popular culture of criminal African American men help perpetuate the image. She writes that the portrayal of crime by conservative politicians during heated campaigns is used as a metaphor for race: they have recast fears about race as fears about crime. For instance, Republican opponents of Dukakis used the case of Willie Horton to attack the Democrat's stand on law enforcement, suggesting that people would be safer if led by Republicans. She says that such politicians used Horton as a collective symbol of African American male criminality.
The criminal African American man appears often in the context of athletics and sports. Arthur A. Raney and Jennings Bryant discuss this in Handbook of Sports and Media (2006). They cite Beyond the Cheers: Race as Spectacle in College Sport (2001) by C. Richard King and Charles Fruehling Springwood, which examines the connection between race, crime, and sports. They study the ways in which "criminality indelibly marks the African American athlete". Raney and Bryant says coverage and reception of accusations of crimes by sportspeople differed depending on the race of the individual.
John Milton Hoberman in Darwin's Athletes: How Sport Has Damaged Black America and Preserved the Myth of Race (1997) blames entertainment and advertising industries for propagating the negative stereotypes, namely, for "the merger of the athlete, the gangster rapper, and the criminal into a single black male persona ... into the predominant image of black masculinity in the United States and around the world", which has harmed racial integration."