Why African Americans Should Learn About Their African Heritage
African Americans have had a lot happen to them over the years. From slavery to freedom to rediscovering who they are. However, this is not possible without going back to where it all started, in the Motherland, Africa. In rediscovering themselves, African Americans have to learn about their culture and tradition which they were observing before slavery. This is what shapes one’s life and gives them an identity. There are various ways to obtain information from family reunions to the internet or even organizations that are in support of that. Every African American has to bear this in mind because claiming someone else’s culture will never make you feel whole.
The culture of African Americans and their heritage has been under threat from slavery and even racial segregation. Nevertheless, not everything was lost and there have been people fighting to make sure the African heritage of black people in the US survives and yields good results. However, it isn’t a one man thing and everyone has to get involved. The generation that is teaching the younger ones about their African heritage will not be here tomorrow and that is why the youth has to get involved too because in the future they will have to carry the mantle of educating the young ones about their heritage.
It also gives someone a sense of belonging. Wondering where you belong in the world is not a good thing. You will always have this feeling of being lost and it isn’t something a map can solve. However, learning about how your people came to be and where you belong gives you a sense of security. When you are with your fellow black people you will feel at home instead of being in the fence and wondering. This is why people have to fight for their culture and heritage because no one from another community of cultural background will come to do it for you.
Culture is not all good though. There are some aspects that are not agreeable to everyone. Thus, you need to learn it all to decide what to assimilate and what to shun. This is who the best traits survive and new trends emerge. It isn’t just about safeguarding culture but also curating so that the norms and beliefs can evolve over time. Looking at any culture, you will realize that there have been changes over time based on the values that the society required at any particular time. However, it isn’t a single person influencing that but the members of that particular community working together to decide what goes and what stays.
You will not be demeaned or belittled on the basis of your heritage or culture if you are well versed in it. Some cultures have been wiped out just because the people were not sure about their beliefs and values to fight for them. Therefore, getting to know and understand your African heritage allows you to stand up for it with facts that no one can use in intimidating you.