African American Culture from an African's point of view?

I'm originally from Senegal and moved to Chicago six years ago. Most of the students in my school are african american. The drop out rates are enormous and those that do stay seem to have a nonchalant attitude when it comes to education. A lot of them usually just sit in the back with their headphones on. I'm appalled of the total disregard of the free high school education that most people in the world would die to have (me used to be one of them). Asians, middle easterners, africans all emigrate here, usually with little money, and are successful because they value education and make something of themselves. The key to success anywhere is an education and 52% of AA drop out. I think people have negative connotations for african americans not because they're black but because how they approach education and life in general and seem to be more of a burden rather than being of any help to society. And no, I'm not a racist, I have darker skin than any you. What do you all think?

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Institutional racism existed before you got here, and the product of "institutional racism" are the children who misbehave in school and take their education for granted, their parents are the ones who reinforce the negative behavior by not actively participating in their child's education, that's because noone did it for the parents and they don't know how to do it for their children. It will also continue to exist long after you are gone.

    Before you make any comment about African Americans in society in the United States, it is important that you know about the history of Africans who were brought to the United States. Although it's history, and blacks have been in the USA since the 1500's, many blacks were disenfranchised because of segregation and discrimination which was pervasive long after slavery ended. Not all blacks live their lives in that manner, like they are a victim, in fact most black americans are successful, your exposure to black america is limited and you can only speak about what you have seen.

    Blacks began to migrate out of the south to the north, and to Chicago in particular in the 1930's. The people who came from the south were products of institutional racism where they came from. Many blacks made a very good living, found access to education much easier when they moved north and prospered, however, there were also some people who found that there was racism involved in their lives in Chicago and their lives had not improved.

    I suggest you do some reading online about the history of Africans in America. Try a google search, on African American history, northern migration of blacks to chicago, migration of blacks from the south.

    Not all blacks live the same way, the media has a way of only emphasizing the negative stereotypes which continue to keep old racist ideas alive about blacks in the United States.

    Source(s): I'm not making excuses, I'm giving you reasons for why things are, the way they are in this nation. It would be a good idea for you to read about it before you rush to judgment about a culture of people you know very little about.
  • 1 decade ago

    You are very observant. It is true that in some instances African Americans are non-chalant about their education. Some African Americans are serious about thier education. I can relate to your generalizations, because being an African American I feel all young African Americans should take their education serious.

    I believe PEER PRESSURE has a great deal to do with this. When you have a jokester around thats always cracking on people (kids) self-esteem comes into play. So many kids spend their time towards being cool and in the gang, they disassociate with the so called egg-heads or bookworms, "I got to be cool and school aint cool." Therefore making all the hardships our ancestors went through to get the education we can get today of no use.

    Of course there are the usual mental hurdles: racist job hiring practices, raised in substandard environments, home problems...and such. Now these are obstacles that should make these young kids strive harder!

    Have you ever heard of the OAU? Malcolm X founded it to acheive a connection between Africans and African Americans. You could be a big help to your brothers and sisters over here. Remind them of the blessings they reap this day and time encourage them to learn about their African History. If they understood what it cost for them to be in the place they are in today then there would indeed be less drop out rates.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think the problem started generations ago. Also there is a problem because the black communities don't have money so they aren't heard in the government. Therefore the schools don't get the money the mostly white schools do. They have the worst of the teachers, and get the worst educations. Then you have the social issues. Let's say you have a young black man, about the age of 10. He sees his older brother either in jail, or dealing drugs, or one of those that you say sit in the back with head phones on. Without the proper support, he is going to be in the same seat a few years down the road. As a whole, we Americans need to wake up and look at what is happening in this country. There is no reason a child of any color, should be ignored and pushed aside. We are a country of great wealth, lets start using it on Americans.

  • 1 decade ago

    Just keep in mind that America is a big country. The AA experience varies geographically, and at the end of the day people are people. I will bet you a good percentage of the people reading this can't believe that there is an African who is so articulate and actually wears clothes. They don't know about the beautiful cities there. Africa is stereotyped just as badly (if not worse) than AAs. You can never know a group, but you can learn alot from an individual.

    Source(s): Life, Man.
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  • 1 decade ago

    You are so right. African Americans wear there clothes falling off there hats ****** all sideways and say it's a cultureall thing. What culture? Africa is, are was, a continent of kings and dignity. These guys don't know there heritage. There was a rapper here in St. Louis who stirred up a lot of stuff in Union Station because of the way he was dressed. It was some kind of gang clothes are something and had the balls to say it was a 'Cultureall' thing. You stay the course and show what a true African is.

  • 1 decade ago

    You are completely right, and it's time that the african american community figures it out. We have hardly any AA's in my area, but the ones that have moved out here away from their comfort zones have all done well for themselves. They aren't usually the best educated, but they have a drive. I'm sure when they raise their children, they will probably all go to college. I wonder what the statistics are for african americans in the rural midwest attending college. I'm sure it's probably higher than most other areas in the country.

  • 1 decade ago


    I'm educated & white women still clutch their purses when I walk by, I don't have time to tell them, "It's ok, see I'm educated, I'm not going to grab your purse!"

    My brother & I one time walked into a store & playing a game touched the back door knob & started looking for products, the woman swore we were going to rob the store, called the police & then thought my dad was the getaway driver, unfortunately, I didn't have time to tell them, "It's ok, see I'm educated & my dad makes way more money than you'll ever see, we're just harmless kids having fun."

    This can go on & on. The issue is that once you get beaten down it's hard to rationalize how to get back up. It's a chicken/egg situation. What you don't know about chicago, is like most black areas, they were herded into that area like cattle & were told not to leave & if they tried, were denied/harrassed until they moved. I agree with you that education is important, but since all the middle class blacks have left that area, all that is left are the impoverished ones, which btw you can find that attitude in the country/trailer park regardless of color, not just in the ghetto. I don't have time/room to tell you further, but a serious cultural shift/change must occur 1st.

  • 1 decade ago

    I understand what you're talking about. I know black people who have a total disregard for education..I've been told that I "act white" because I like to read and I love rock music.All black people are not like this, but I honestly think that our culture has a lot to do with our views of eduction.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    your right, living overseas for many years in big cities that had a large african comunity, the attitude of those africans compared to the AAs is totally different. africans value hard work and education, and appreciate any job they can get. AAs are not like that and want a free handout.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think your a 100% right Africans are very different from african americans i know cause im africans

    o and by the way and im not poor

    no offense but some african americans are really shallow allt they do is act like the society owes them....

    they should get over it , it was 500 years ago, they should move on with life and take advantage of what they can

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