by Beyond stereotypes
This list comprises of common stereotypes of continental Africans. None of the below statements have a factual basis nor are any of them true. The list is a snapshot to the cloud of ignorance that exist in some Americans that we have met minds.
1. They’re all good at spear-throwing.
2. They are uneducated.
3. You’ll find wild animals in their front yard
4. They’re all in tribes.
5. They live in trees and huts.
6. They hunt lions.
7. They are great runners because they are always running during hunts.
8. They are all living in unsanitary conditions.
9. Africa is a land filled with diseases.
10. All Africans look the same.
Many of these stereotypes are a result of media coverage and a lack of research on the part of individuals. Ignorance can only be cured through a pursuit of knowledge and until people begin to pursue facts, they will have closed minds and never know the true beauty of African culture and African people.
by Africa Rox
-A form of communication.
-Expresses the mood of the people
-Considered to be the “heartbeat of the community”
-Turtles represent wisdom
-Lions represent bravery
-Leopards represent royalty
Kente Cloth (mainly Ghana)
-Black: maturation, intensified spiritual energy
-Blue: peacefulness, harmony and love
-Green: vegetation, planting, harvesting, growth, spiritual renewal
-Gold: royalty, wealth, high status, glory, spiritual purity
-Grey: healing and cleansing rituals; associated with ash
-Maroon: the color of mother earth; associated with healing
-Pink: associated with the female essence of life; a mild, gentle aspect of red
-Purple: associated with feminine aspects of life; usually worn by women
-Red: associated with political and spiritual moods, sacrificial rites and death.
-Silver: associated with the serenity, purity, joy, sanctification rites and festive occasions
-Yellow: associated with preciousness, royalty, wealth, fertility
-Many represents a spirit. It is thought that the spirit possesses the dancer as they wear the mask.
Totems (in Zimbabwe)
-These Totems also know as Mitupos were used by the Mashona to identify the different clans that made up the ancient civilizations of the dynasties.
-The Zimbabweans uses the Mbira to govern the weather in times such as droughts and floods. It also chases away harmful spirits and cures sickness. The Mbira is used in all celebrations, such as weddings and the installation of new chiefs, as well as death ceremonies.
-A totem is anything serving as a distinctive, venerated, symbol (like a totem pole)
Some Nigerian symbols
-Initiation masks of the Mende - Women considered “foundation” of society
-Large Benin Ivory tusks were a sign of power, reserved only for the royalty
-Coral Beads - represented power and wealth
by Africa in U.S.
In our Music…
Music is a big part of our culture here in America and many of our music has been influenced by African culture in some way or another. Here in America, some of the most famous artist are from many different countries around the world. For example, Akon whose family is from Senegal has taken the Hip-Hop world by storm. With more than 35 Billboard Hot 100 songs, he is a prime example of an African artist bringing some his cultural influence into America.
There are also many other artist who are from Africa that have been very influential in American music, such as French Montana, Lola Monroe, Wale and Tyler the Creator. Many artists have celebrated African culture like, Kayne West in his “Love Lockdown” video, Akon ft. Keri Hilson in “Oh Africa!” and Shakira’s tribute to the World Cup in the song “ Waka, Waka.” Many other forms of music have had their origins in Africa like, Soca, Reggae Thon and Samba because of some of the drums and other instruments represented.
In our Fashion…
This year, there have been many African design inspired prints represented in American and European fashion. There are still many people who wear the traditional African lapa, whether they are originally from Africa or they just love the patterns. But, today we see African inspired clothing being sold in Urban Outfitters, Forever 21, H&M and many other popular clothing stores. There are even African print shoes.
America has always had an appreciation for animal prints and this is seen through the popular zebra and cheetah prints that have not gone out of style. We are not really sure why or how African prints have become so popular, but we do know that it has become very trendy. Iman, a very famous African international supermodel and business entrepreneur has had a big influence in American fashion. Models like Alek Wek have been a part of New York fashion week for years. From the contributions of these models, America has had many touches of the African culture.
In our Religion…
America, “the land of the free” has made it a part of its Constitution to accept all religions. This is seen through the first Amendment. There are many religions represented in America, some of which are inspired by Africa. For example, the Pentecostal religion which is under Christianity represents the African culture through the use of such instruments as drums. This is also seen through the Rastafarian religion which has the belief in Haile Selassie I, Emperor of Ethiopia as God incarnate. Islam is also represented in America as well as in Africa, in particular, in Guinea, a country in West Africa where 85% of its people are Muslim.
by The A-Team
Africa is a huge continent…like seriously HUGE! Like 2 AND A HALF UNITED STATES HUGE! Don’t believe us? Look it up for yourself…or look at our write up on facts about Africa. Due to the fact that the continent is huge,there are many diverse traditions. Here are just 3 some of them:
While not all African residents play the same sport,the sports that are mostly played are Rugby, Football (i.e. Soccer) and also Cricket.
African drums and rhythms are important parts in various music of the continent because it, among many things, expresses their culture in addition teaching lessons to others.
Some Initiation Rites of Africa (Rites of Passage)
Rites of Birth: During this time rituals are done as it is believed that every child is born for a reason and a mission.
Rites of Adulthood: This is when youth are taught by elders, how to be a good member of the society and get taught necessary survival skills. People have confused this as the only part of the Rites of Passage, but its just one of many parts of it.
Rites of Marriage: This part is mainly about building families, building the communities and combining the expectations roles in the marriage.
Rites of Eldership: To gain the Right of Eldership is different from just being “older”,you must have lived a life with purpose to be considered a elder.For example being a thief and just getting drunk all the time would not be a reason they would gain elder status
Rites of Ancestorship: It is believed that dead relatives are still a part of the community even after they’re dead. Virtually all African societies believe that life doesn’t end after death.