Anonymous asked: Don’t you just hate when people say that african Americans don’t have a culture???….

They attempted to disconnect us from homeland, erase our native tongue, and shun our native religions. They attempted to beat us physically, emotionally and spiritually into submission. But we held on. We held on to our ways of life, our creativity, our spirituality and our dignity.

Outlawing and denying us the rights to read and earn an education, we relied strongly on our long African oral tradition. This tradition manifest itself in the black church, as well as in our music today.

Oh, our music.

We created jazz, rock & roll, rhythm and blues and hip hop. Sounds that influenced many, transcending races. Giving joy and hope to millions. Robbed to the point its now American Music, drop the African and hyphen.

We created cuisine from scraps during slavery and economic hardships thereafter.

Hughes knew rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of blood in human veins. And Maya Angelou spoke how a cage bird, wings clipped and feet tied, still sung of freedom.

The persistence of Black Life to survive in the face of annihilation. Turning, bending, leaping, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations told a story of faith to endure slavery to freedom. Jacob Lawrence with vibrant Harlem colors in The Great Migration, showed what the Black experience is, a Beautiful Struggle.

Alvin Ailey

Nina Simone

Malcolm X

Fats Domino

Little Richard

Maya Angelou

Gordon Parks

Prince

Carol Weems

Toni Morrison

Stevie Wonder

Ella Baker

Black Panthers

Billie Holiday

Ray Charles

Assata Shakur

Langston Hughes

James Baldwin

Tina Turner

Angela Davis

Jimi Hendrix

Dr Martin Luther King

Josephine Baker

Harriet Powers

Richard Wright

Kara Walker

Sam Cooke

Diana Ross

and the list goes on. We have culture. Our culture is deep. Deeper than the rivers. Born from our struggles in America, but still suckling from our Mother Africa.

Don’t let no one tell you different.

Black Love

Have you ever been told African Americans do not have a culture?What would you say to those that believe we have no culture?

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zellie imani

Zellie is a writer, photographer, activist, and teacher based in North Jersey.
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