This paper is one of the most enjoyable write-ups. This is because it relates to real life experiences of people and allows you to digress into other subtle aspects of the culture that you are analyzing. If you are contemplating on writing an essay on cultural identity but have no clue or are somehow held such that you cannot write, we can gladly help. With our cultural identity essay example below, you can have a rough idea of how to write such an essay.
The above is the topic of your cultural identity essay. Below is the first paragraph of your ‘my culture identity essay’ and it starts with giving a brief description of what culture entails. Therefore, define culture and let the reader know which culture you will analyze.
“Culture is merely a way of life for some people or groups. It is defined by the values, interests, and beliefs that are held by these people. In life, everyone ascribes to a particular culture, which they either found it or they deliberately ascribed to it. Cultures differ greatly around the world. Others may even be diametrically opposed thus bringing ethical and social issues. However, this is not always the case. My culture, though, is an exception. It is not as quite distinct and different than the majority of the cultures in the world. It shares some beliefs and many similarities which have greatly connected us to the wider world. This is the African American culture.
The above is a good way to start your essay on cultural identity. It gives the reader a brief background and succinct overview of the subject to be discussed. After this introduction, you can continue with a brief presentation of the culture in question.
In this section of the cultural identity essay, you will give a brief but enticing overview of what the culture represents, the critical distinctions and notable histories. Tell your reader the past outlook and the current outlook of the culture in question.
“To start with, most Africans who are domicile in America were initially slaves who had gotten tired of slavery and the pangs of racism that was rampant. Most of our people are drawn from diverse cultures and countries in Africa. However, we also have roots from the Caribbean, Central, and South America. Our commonly shared history is enslavement, racial oppression, and acculturation. Though our history is tied to ills, discrimination, violation of fundamental rights amongst other atrocities, our current situation is better. Presently, the status quo is such that our rights and fundamental rights are guaranteed. We are on the verge of being equal to other dominant races, which are present in the USA. In fact, our dark past led to the rise of our heritage and bond. In contemporary time, you find that most of African Americans are united in cliques or communities that empower them. Most of them are named as the Afro-American communities or the Blacks. As most of our people came in as slaves, there is a specific set that came on their own volition. They grouped themselves, stayed in same neighborhoods, and shared same hobbies. Also, some ventured into similar businesses, partook the same religion and political affiliations. Identifying one of us simply by our skin color is easy. We are dark-skinned. Proudly, we have a unique set of customs, traditions, language, especially slang, and also literature. At the face, the above may sound as the key differences between our culture and the rest of the world. However, this is not the case. There are a whole lot of factors that make us distinct specifically to the whites.”
This section introduces your body paragraphs. They present the part of your essay that delivers the key arguments, claims, analysis, and perspectives of the culture in question. It is where you delve into the subject matter. Give the key attributes and elements of the culture most substantively.
“Let's take an aspect of education. For a long time, it was commonplace that African Americans were less educated than other races in the United States. While this may be true, it was not a matter of choice but rather circumstance. Under all the oppression, discrimination, racial segregation, and inequalities, it was bound to be that way. But in present time, the tide has changed. Blacks are making significant progress in education. They are making their presence felt in the field of education by scooping an increasing number of accolades and achievements. On the contrary to past times, more African Americans are completing elementary education and are also higher education. Thus, at present, our levels of literacy are quite high. Well, so much for that! Let's analyze another aspect of African American culture.
Our traditional values and lessons were normally narrated to us by our elders. They used to do this vividly through riddles, folklore, stories, and songs. Our elders took pride in our culture and were often enthusiastic when narrating critical aspects of our culture. It also had a spiritual connotation, which we were taught to hold with much awe. You’d be surprised that some of the teachings that we received in this manner are still held to heart till today. This was our link to our indigenous African culture and was the identifying mark of our roots.
Our cultural language arose due to some circumstances, which were unique to us. As mentioned earlier, most of our people initially came to America as slaves. This brings in the aspect of slave owners. Since it was important to have a clear language of communication amongst the slaves, their owners forced African Americans to devise a language that would enable them to interact with one another. This led to the development of Creole languages amongst early African Americans. Surprisingly, there are still some traces of this semantics to date amongst some of our people. However, some of the early African Americans never got the chance to learn how to read and write. This was mostly because their owners thought that this would enlighten them and make them devise ways of buying out their freedom.
In matters of food and nutrition, our choice in the past was mostly inexpensive. Since we had little or no disposable income, we tended to purchase cheap foods such as chicken livers, yams, black-eyed peas, or even ham hocks. This was commonly known as soul food. Even though cheap, the nutritional value was quite okay according to some standard.
Another key cultural facet of the African Americans was art and craft, basket making, textiles, music, iron smelting, stone carvings, wood carvings, etc. These activities comprised the key source of livelihood for most African Americans. Most of them were performed communally. Thus, they contributed to the overall cultural unity and heritage. Also, it also had a bearing on the overall ethnic integration. Some of the artifacts that were made had significance either socially or spiritually and represented the simplicity and uniqueness of art. A key example is the coiled grass baskets which are common in Carolina Low Country.
Concerning music, it is mainly rooted in the ethnic groups of Africa. The development of the music was mostly nurtured during periods of slavery. It was an outlet for the African Americans to relay their feelings, oppression, messages and also history. One popular song that is synonymous with African Americans is "Lift Every Voice and Sing". The song was written by the famous James Weldon and his counterpart John Johnson. As time went by, African music began to enter the mainstream media and got the same audience as the mainstream American society. Most notable was the development of jazz, blues, and ragtime which were the trademarks of African Americans.”
This is the last section of your essay. It should summarize main points and give a recap to the reader. Be careful so as not to add any new point. Also, give the key takeaway that you want your reader to take home. Be sure to finish with some sentiment in the form of a sentence, which would give the reader the outlook on the culture in question.
“The African American culture is the one that has a lot of history. From the age of slavery to the racial discrimination in the United States of America, to the present day fight for equality and recognition, this is a culture that cannot fail to capture the interest of any culture and identity enthusiast. The oral traditions, folklore, art and crafts, music, food, and education experience are also unique that defines the African American culture. All in all, we delight our culture and we'll always seek to preserve and enhance it." At this point, your cultural identity essay is complete with all the requisites. It’s not an uphill task to write this essay.
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