Black Culture and Black Consciousness Essay

Excerpt from Essay :

Notwithstanding its roots in African dance, in actuality, it was a fighting style designed by African slaves as a means of protecting themselves from government agents searching for them after their escape from enslavement. Likewise, Levine focuses heavily on the connection between the slave culture that was evident in the American South, while much of it may actually have been shaped by the need to conceal it from white society.

The mere fact that Christianity, and more specifically, Southern Baptism, became the predominant religion of the millions of descendants of the Africans enslaved in America would seem to provide the most support for Rock's position. It is difficult to know how many of the slaves who eventually (and ironically) adopted the very religious traditions of those who enslaved them and held them captive for generations. Certainly, there are elements of contemporary black religious culture that can be traced back to African heritage, such as the back-and-forth sing-song style described by Levine. However, in light of the fact that this is substantially all that remains of a once vibrant religious and social culture and that it exists only as a minor element of the expression of Southern Baptist Christianity would seem to support Rock's extemporaneous account more than Levine's highly academic account of the same factual and historical circumstances.

John Henry and Charles Lindbergh in Historical Socio-Cultural Context

The legend of John Henry represents the triumph, albeit very short-lived, of the common laborer of his era, at a time when the new railroads were being financed by the wealthiest individuals in the world and quite literally on the backs of the common man. The fact that Henry was, according to the story, also a former slave, adds poignancy to his representation of great strength later in his life. Meanwhile, Charles Lindbergh enjoyed tremendous fame and privilege by virtue of his historic flight, but he demonstrated questionable moral beliefs and analytical reasoning later in life. Instead of using his position to advance ethically virtuous ideas, he embraced Nazism and the noxious ideas of eugenics and preached against any U.S. intervention in Europe against the Nazis. As is typically the case still today, popular culture emphasizes only Lindbergh's early historic achievement while leaving his philosophical views to the academics to…

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