Culture is the pattern of behavior cultivated into a particular group of people. It is either acquired through learning or accumulated experience. Afterwards, it is transmitted to other generations through social learning. It composes what one believes in terms of religion, ethical standards, and social activities and so on. It is therefore very important since it helps identify any particular group of people. It can also be borrowed from one ethnic group to the other. In this write up therefore, the evolution of the African American culture, its sources and its importance to both the historical African Americans and U.S in general is discussed.
According to Holloway (2005), African American culture came about as a result of the interaction of the African slaves who were shipped to America from countries such as Congo, Angola, Togo and Gabon; mostly the west African countries. He notes that this activity took place between the year 1619 and 1863 before slave trade was abolished. The slaves use to work in the factories and agricultural farms. However, the abolishment of the trade, some of the slaves remained in America.
During this long stay in America, the slaves interacted a lot and with time started to share on their past lives, beliefs, and cultural practices. This formed the basis of the African American culture since they could easily adopt a particular culture given that their various African cultures had many similarities. Once this culture was formed, their descendants also copied and it became very strong. This culture also developed since the slaves needed to have solidarity in performing their activities and so the need to have particular beliefs and practices. They also formed this culture so that they could have a common ground for interaction whereby they could share their pain and grievances (Holloway, 2005).
In conclusion, this culture was mainly drawn from the different cultural practices in the African countries where the slaves had come from and then combined with the borrowed culture from the European Americans. Its main forms included the integrated practices such as religion, marriage, and other social activities. The emergence of this culture was very important to the Africans since it gave them an identity which they had lost in the foreign land. It also made the slaves to forget their past and focus ahead with life. Additionally, it was very important to America in general since it contributed to the Euro-American culture. For instance, some of the current practices such as the ‘cow boy’ culture, that is, open field grazing was borrowed from it. In addition, the African stories and folklore were also absorbed into the American childhood syllabus which is still being used. Moreover, the African American culture also had got natural ways of treating diseases, snake bites and preserving food which were adopted by the Euro-American culture (Holloway, 2005).