Cultural Background Paper

Topics: African American, Slavery, Family Pages: 10 (1672 words) Published: November 23, 2014

My African American Cultural Background
A Conceptualization and Treatment Plan
Dinah C. Taylor
Liberty University

To understand one’s culture is one of the most important life-changing journeys an individual may embark upon. This paper will tell the cultural background of my family. I am an African American woman who was born in the South and have enjoyed some of the aspects associated with being African American, a woman, and a Collins, as well as had some disappointments in relation to all the above characteristics.

Keywords: culture

My African American Cultural Family Background
History of How Africans became American
When a person begins their search for the history of African-Americans, many historical articles begin with the Slave Trade when in fact to gain a thorough understanding of the African American culture; we must go back a little further. According to Carr (2012), Africa is the where everyone human originated. By 3,000 B.C, Africa had so many people that they began forming kingdoms. The first kingdom was Egypt (Carr, 2012). There the kingdom building pyramids along the Nile River. To make a long story short, the African kingdoms were conquered by Roman empire and then later when the Portguese explorers, who were also traders, arrived to later conquer most of Africa around 1500 AD (Carr, 2012).

A lot of African Americans and other races think that the Europeans came to Africa and began taking Africans, but this is far from the truth of how the slave trade actually started. The slave trade began domestically kings and hierarchical regimes used slaves. Slaves were considered a sign of status and power. The start of the 18th century, Kings of Dahomey were dominant in the capture of over 10, 000 Africans. These kings thought the slave trade was their way to wealth (BBC World Service, 2011). So the slave trade was very much established before Europeans began trading with Africa. Women were also captured to be used as sex slaves (BBC World Service, 2011). T(BBC World Service, 2011). In 1518, slaves began being captured from Europeans and the Atlantic slave trade began to the Americas. Slaves were treated much harshly and were quite different from how the slaves were treated in Africa and Europe. Slaves were detested because of the color of their skin. (BBC World Service, 2011). So as you can see, the slavery is rooted much deeper than we would like to assume.

Currently, the African American population accounts for about 13.3%. 1.1 million of these identified African American have come from Jamaica, Haiti, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, and Nigeria (McGoldrick, 2005). These phenomenal events have surely shaped my culture. As I think of a lot of the challenges my culture faces: neighborhood crime, high rate of fatal diseases, racism, poverty, and the absence of fathers. My Family’s Cultural Background

The challenges I named above, I fortunately have not direct contact with any of them personally, but I have family members and close friends who have suffered from all of them. I grew up with both my parents. My mom was a nurse and my dad was an electrician. My father was also a pastor, who followed my grandmother’s footsteps. After talking to my father, mother, and only grandparent, there was a lot of information that was gained and there were sources to validate my family’s story. Drug and Substance Abuse

According to Sharma & Atri (2006), even though Whites are more likely to use drugs, alcohol, or smoke, however Blacks are often more affected by its use. My grandmother and grandfather were both alcoholics. My mother was addicted to pain medication which led her to attempting suicide and then enrolling in a drug rehabilitation center. My aunt died of a lethal mix of prescription medication. My mother’s brother was also an alcoholic who died from walking while drunk. Even though it was not his fault,...

References: Byrd, V. (2003). Buying a home. Essence. New York, 34, (3), 28.
Carr, K. (2012). African history. History for Kids. Retrieved from http://www.historyforkids .org/learn/africa/history/history.htm
Harris, S. (2002). Father absence in the African American community: towards a new paradigm. Race, Gender, & Class. New Orleans, 9 (4), 111.
Sharma, M. & Atri, A. (2006). Substance abuse in African Americans: in search of a culturally competent research agenda. Journal of Alcohol and Drug Education, 50 (3), 3-5.
Paschall, M.J., Ringwalt, C.L., & Flewelling, R.L. (2003). Effects of parenting, father absence, and affliation with delinquent peers on delinquent behavior among African American male adolescents. Roslyn Heights, 38 (149), 15.
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