The Many Cultures of America
American culture includes both conventional and liberal features, controlled and religious effectiveness, political structures, risk taking and free expression, materialist and moral elements. In spite of certain dependable principles such as, individuality, equality, and faith in freedom and democracy, American culture has a variety of terminologies due to its geographical scale and demographic diversity. The elasticity of U.S. culture and its highly symbolic nature lead some researchers to label American culture as a storybook identity; others see it as American exceptionalism.
Almost 14% of the population in the United States are of the African origin. Most African Americans were brought to America unwillingly and made slaves. “In a tropical landscape one’s eye takes in everything except the human beings. It takes in the dried soil, the prickly pear, the palm tree and the distant mountain, but it always misses the peasant hoeing at his patch. He is the same colour as the earth, and a great deal less interesting to look at.” Even after slavery was prohibited African Americans still faced hardship in becoming equal. With organizations such as, the NAACP and influential people like Rosa Parks, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr., the rights for African Americans has increasingly improved in America. Asians are considered one of the fastest growing groups in North America and they are highly diverse with ethnicities and languages such as, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. “The first Asians to settle the United States were originally migrated to Mexico then moved to what is now Louisiana.” When thousands of Japanese Americans were let go from isolated camps after WWII conditions started to improve for the Asian Americans.
Native Americans are considered the original people of America currently making up 1 % of the American population. Native Americans are gaining increased depiction and political power. In 1934, the “Indian New Deal” was established allowing them limited power and awarding them new roads, health care, and education. Although the legacy of past domination continues to have effects, civil liberties should not be diminished. The Pacific Islanders live a very shared routine, in which family members, both immediate and extended, work together in a set community. Pacific Islanders frequently have difficulty harmonizing their traditional "laid-back" lifestyles with the high pressure and competitive demands of American teaching and fair economy. Pacific Islanders' cultures follow customs and habits based on ancient philosophies that promote living an honorable and noble lifestyle. Rooted deeply into the Polynesian culture are traditional music, dance, and food. Ethnic storytelling, music, and dance are early ways of passing down the past from one generation to the next. Therefore, teachers with students who are Pacific Islanders may want to use both written and oral teaching, predominantly in areas of literacy. “American culture is a Western culture, largely based on British culture with influences from other parts of Europe, the Native American peoples, African Americans and to a lesser extent Asian Americans and other young groups of immigrants. Due to the extent of American culture there are many integrated but unique subcultures within the U.S.”
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