There has always existed a thing we call culture. It is what defines a particular group of people as being unique from all others. It is something to be proud of to the point that it is passed on from one generation to another. Our world is a diverse place where those who have an understanding of themselves have the opportunity to at least try to learn about those who look and act differently than ourselves. The modern world was built by those individuals who were able to get out of their comfort zone and take the time to learn about the differences and similarities that we all possess as members of the human race. America is a patchwork of different cultures whether it be Hispanic, Asian, European Etc.
Afro-American society has always had identity problems due to an of a lack of knowledge about those who came to this country in the bowels of slave ships and the history of the African homeland that had to be erased by those who profited from the slave trade. Christianity and the belief that no matter how bad things were in life for the slaves they would get a reward in Heaven to make up for their misery in this life. There was a brief period in the 70’s when we tried to adopt some things African such a clothing, jewelry, hairstyles and so on. This “fad” soon lost its appeal in the Black community. Then came Alex Haley’s book “Roots” where he wrote about tracing his family’s history of slavery in this country back to his native village in Africa. There was even a special series on television about his book. In this country, there is no culture model for black Americans to focus on as a group.
There is the fact that many inventions that we use today came from the minds of Afro-Americans. Mark Dean has three of the nine original patents for the IBM computer, Dr. Charles Drew discovered the process to remove plasma from blood. The accomplishments of those who came before have never truly received the honor they deserve by our society. To know where you are going you first need to know where you came from. That is the lesson of history we all need to remember.