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Mel Hopkins

What is African American Culture?

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Isn't there a Black Aesthetic that transcends time and place?Which comes across both verbally and non verbally. Have you seen non Black people pull off African or even Afro American clothing.

Same thing with cadence slang and tonality in speech. Does Wesley Snipes seem more Black than Denzel Washington. Meek Mill versus Drake.

I am not certain where I would put Eminem. He doesn't try and sound black but he loves hip hop in a way that Jay Z doesn't. Eminem loves hip hop Jay Z loves hustling. In. my opinion 

 

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Yoruba Language spoken in West Africa is very rich and in its pure form has limited Arabic, French or English influence.

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1 hour ago, Wosey said:

Yoruba Language spoken in West Africa

 

@Wosey  Thank You! Is the language called “Yoruba?” 

 

If not what is the name of the dialect?

 

Also, is it your native language? 

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5 hours ago, Delano said:

Isn't there a Black Aesthetic that transcends time and place?

 

@Delano  I shared this concept with my Nigerian ( Igbo) friend - because he displays this rhythm, tempo and cadence in all his creative endeavors.  

He mentioned I have it too.  I’ve noticed it others - who like Slim Shady, do not  share  our phenotypic traits.  So, these traits appear to be genetic but not limited to ethnicity. 

 

So, do you include genetic traits in your definition of culture?   If so, would this mean African-American culture would be a misnomer?  

 

Would it be more inclusive to say - cultural traits found predominately in the African-American ethnic group.  

 

This is what the documentary  video, I posted “The Africans - Three Heritages” talks about too! 

11 hours ago, Pioneer1 said:

Lol....and that's why I say we should crown you as new 1st Lady of AALBC!

 

😂😂😂. @Pioneer1 I keep telling you that’s the main reason I can’t be moderator!  Moderators are supposed to provoke NOT agree!  

11 hours ago, Pioneer1 said:

If you notice out in public, AfroAmericans can be talking and it doesn't bother them at all but Caucasians tend to get ANGRY and nervous as hell when Africans and other people of color start speaking in a foreign language around them!

 

Sadly, history has shown this to be true. Whenever a group is captured and colonized the first thing outlawed is language. 

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Mel Hopkins it is called the Yoruba language, it has several dialects but there is a universally accepted form. It is currently spoken by approximately 80 million individuals in the world with 56 million native speakers.

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5 hours ago, Wosey said:

Mel Hopkins it is called the Yoruba language, it has several dialects but there is a universally accepted form. It is currently spoken by approximately 80 million individuals in the world with 56 million native speakers.



Hello and welcome to the site.

I'm curious......
Have you been initiated in or do you practice the IFA belief system of West Africa?

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@Mel Hopkins which episode a do you mean? 

Also i am not knowledgeable enough to have a strong position. Anthropology and genetics is not my area of knowledge. 

 

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Hello Piooneer1,

 

Thanks for welcoming me. Unfortunately i don't practice the IFA belief system. IFA system  is very much Yoruba. Yorubaland was impacted by colonialism. I grew up with Christianity. I am currently researching and reading on role missionaries played in colonization of Africa  and I wonder, is christianity and colonialism inseparable? Is it a case of;

 

"Take their language and take their gods and you have taken their future".

 

I am beginning to read about Yoruba deities and mythology and it is fascinating!

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16 hours ago, Delano said:

which episode a do you mean? 

Also i am not knowledgeable enough to have a strong position. Anthropology and genetics is not my area of knowledge. 

@Delano  Gotcha! And I think that's the truth for most of us. I think your position should also be considered too. Often we believe others are appropriating the African american culture because we expect people too look a certain way  - but who can dictate who belongs to the culture and who does not. 

On 8/5/2019 at 1:26 PM, Mel Hopkins said:

the-africans-a-triple-heritage.jpg

Ali A. Mazrui, also wrote a companion book to his documentary "The Africans: a Triple Heritage" " Originally issued in connection with a PBS series, this volume by the Kenyan political scientist offers a stimulating introduction to Africa's peoples and problems. ""Throughout, Mazrui provocatively suggests remedies for Africa's malaise,'' PW wrote. (September) "
The Nature of the Continent | Program 1| Link is in the above comment
A Legacy of Lifestyles | Program 2 https://youtu.be/fByaUQppoGs

New Gods|Program 3 https://youtu.be/zyZHhMtgDzM
Tool of Exploitation | Program 4 |https://youtu.be/fNnN63hXLfo
New Conflicts|Program 5 | https://youtu.be/sAxOGImWWF4
In Search of Stability|Program 6 |https://youtu.be/zdhp5JeZkKY
A Garden of Eden In Decay|Program 7 | https://youtu.be/98DeZLWnkJg
A Clash of Cultures|Program 8 |https://youtu.be/B3AGGHooJ6I
Global Africa | Program 9 | https://youtu.be/Nf25hZe1ZhE

 

 

@Delano  this is documentary I referencing.

 

On 8/6/2019 at 2:07 PM, Wosey said:

Mel Hopkins it is called the Yoruba language, it has several dialects but there is a universally accepted form. It is currently spoken by approximately 80 million individuals in the world with 56 million native speakers.

@Wosey, thank you.  Are you a native speaker? what is the name of the universally accepted dialect?  

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Was not up on Dr. Mazuri's work. He is a deep Brother -- thanks everyone. I just not added a profile of him on the website and will add his many books tomorrow.

 

When I update the African Page I'll use the description your provided @Mel Hopkins.  I found a playlist on Youtube.  This will be the next thing I watch on TV

 

 

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17 hours ago, Mel Hopkins said:

Often we believe others are appropriating the African american culture because we expect people too look a certain way  - but who can dictate who belongs to the culture and who does not. 

Sounds like a version of Blacker than Thou

 

This paper attempts to place the African immigrant and the African American in the context of their conditions in the United States. It addresses the issue of Americanization and the development of multiple identities that is fundamental to the contestation of “Blackness” in the United States. More importantly, the study discusses resource allocation and appropriation as critical to understanding the schisms between the African immigrant and the African American, focusing especially on how the conflict and tension potentially benefits other racial categories. It highlights the fact that conflict and tension between both groups result directly from the dominant White racial framing, wherein powerless groups unable to effectively challenge the forces that oppress them, attack themselves or people like themselves. To explain this complex interaction between Whites, African immigrants, and African Americans, this paper develops the theory of manipulative deflection, the central tenet of which is the subjective experience of deprivation that diminishes the construction of a holistic Black identity and produces confusion and conflict among Blacks in the United States.

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Well @Maurice when you are ready to buy The Fire This Time, consider buying it through AALBC.

 

Did add Mazrui's books to the site (18 I could find) to AALBC including The Africans: A Triple Heritage.  

 

I watched most of the 1st episode last night.  It was rather slow moving (maybe I was just tired). He did not seems to be aware that Africans actually traveled across the ocean to the Americas before Columbus, based upon the way he described the African's relationship with the ocean.  This would be surprising since The work of Leo Weiner and Ivan Van Sertima was available when the documentary was made.

 

Click for a larger image of The Africans: A Triple Heritage

The Africans: A Triple Heritage
by Ali Mazrui

Publication Date: 
List Price: $24.95 (store prices may vary)
Format: Hardcover
Classification: Nonfiction
Page Count: 336
ISBN13: 9780316552004
Imprint: Little, Brown and Company
Publisher: Hachette Book Group
Parent Company: Hachette Livre

 

Book Description:

Looks at the history, geography, and culture of Africa, assesses native, Arab, and Western influences, and discusses sports, religion, government, and social issues in Africa

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@Troy can we purchase "The Africans" - A triple heritage through AABLC?  I couldn't purchase this one through the publisher - and it appears Mazrui's website is defunct.

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No, not really. It is not cost effective for me to drop ship a small quantity of books internationally. 

 

However, if it is a book I ship directly, that is otherwise unavailable to you, then it might be worthwhile. I'd need your address and name of the book (for the weight).  Was there a specific title you had in mind?

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What about sending it by ship it takes a month or two. I did that when i bought books at the Strand Used Books and had them shipped to Australia. 

There are a few books that I'm interested James Baldwin, Octavia Butler and Samuel Delaney mostly. 

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At some point I'm gonna drop all my affiliate links and take direct orders for all books, in print, shown on the site. It will be much easier to order books than it is now. My goal is to have this setup in less than a year.

 

Until then you'll have to tell whichs books you want (ISBN preferred), and then i can give you a quote.

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8 hours ago, Wosey said:

@melhopkins yes I am a native speaker i speak the standard Yoruba language (mostly spoken in South western Nigeria-Most universal). I apologize in advance for referring you to Wikipedia page of the Yoruba language however I must say it is well written and referenced. 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yoruba_language#Yoruboid_languages

 

 

@Wosey

 

Thank you.  As a professional journalist, research takes up most of my time.  But when I get a chance to encounter a primary source I jump at it.  

 

I’m familiar with the secondary source information on Yoruba culture - I even follow a priestess on wordpress (smile) but when you shared the background of the language, you appeared to be a native speaker with first hand information.  

 

That’s not to say I don’t use wikipedia - but I only use to determine the author’s  sources - and then I go to the source.  

 

Usually  when I ask questions on this board - it’s more for the member’s first hand  experience.  

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8 hours ago, Mel Hopkins said:

wikipedia - but I only use to determine the author’s  sources - and then I go to the source.  

 

Me too. Sometimes the source does not tie ti the citation or it support a different conclusion

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On ‎8‎/‎6‎/‎2019 at 2:49 AM, Delano said:

Isn't there a Black Aesthetic that transcends time and place?Which comes across both verbally and non verbally. Have you seen non Black people pull off African or even Afro American clothing.

Same thing with cadence slang and tonality in speech. Does Wesley Snipes seem more Black than Denzel Washington. Meek Mill versus Drake.

I am not certain where I would put Eminem. He doesn't try and sound black but he loves hip hop in a way that Jay Z doesn't. Eminem loves hip hop Jay Z loves hustling. In. my opinion 

 

 

 

Have you seen non Black people pull off African or even Afro American clothing.


Too me, Caucasians can get away with dressing in the "typical" AfroAmerican style but they look funny as hell dressing in traditional African clothing.
The colors and patterns are often too bright and clashes with their skin.

 

 



Does Wesley Snipes seem more Black than Denzel Washington. Meek Mill versus Drake.


Wesley Snipes is certainly darker than Denzel and some would consider his facial features more African, but for most intents and purposes I wouldn't consider Wesley "Blacker" than Denzel.
Blacker than Will Smith...lol....but not Denzel.


As far as Drake and Mill.....Drake is a mulatto while both of Mill's parents are AfroAmerican.
 

 

 

 

 

I am not certain where I would put Eminem. He doesn't try and sound black but he loves hip hop in a way that Jay Z doesn't. Eminem loves hip hop Jay Z loves hustling. In. my opinion


You may not know where to put Slim Shitty but I know where to put him....in the same box with Elvis Presley and the rest of those in the popular music industry who are guilty of stealing AfroAmerican music styles and claiming it as their own.

He's a thief AND a liar.
For one things he's NOT from Detroit.
He's from Kansas City Kansas and he only moved to the SUBURBS of Detroit at 12 or 13 but never grew up in the city itself.
His entire persona has been fabricated and it was done so with two purposes in mind:

1. To help erase the image of Detroit as a "Black" city and make it seem more Caucasian friendly for gentrification.
2. To put a White face on Hiphop so that the global audience will not be so attracted to AfroAmerican men who originated it.

Infact the entire "Pop" music genre was developed to STEAL AfroAmerican music and styles and attribute it to Caucasian artists.

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On 11 August 2019 at 3:25 AM, Pioneer1 said:

 

 

Have you seen non Black people pull off African or even Afro American clothing.


Too me, Caucasians can get away with dressing in the "typical" AfroAmerican style but they look funny as hell dressing in traditional African clothing.
The colors and patterns are often too bright and clashes with their skin.

 

 



Does Wesley Snipes seem more Black than Denzel Washington. Meek Mill versus Drake.


Wesley Snipes is certainly darker than Denzel and some would consider his facial features more African, but for most intents and purposes I wouldn't consider Wesley "Blacker" than Denzel.
Blacker than Will Smith...lol....but not Denzel.


As far as Drake and Mill.....Drake is a mulatto while both of Mill's parents are AfroAmerican.
 

 

 

 

 

I am not certain where I would put Eminem. He doesn't try and sound black but he loves hip hop in a way that Jay Z doesn't. Eminem loves hip hop Jay Z loves hustling. In. my opinion


You may not know where to put Slim Shitty but I know where to put him....in the same box with Elvis Presley and the rest of those in the popular music industry who are guilty of stealing AfroAmerican music styles and claiming it as their own.

He's a thief AND a liar.
For one things he's NOT from Detroit.
He's from Kansas City Kansas and he only moved to the SUBURBS of Detroit at 12 or 13 but never grew up in the city itself.
His entire persona has been fabricated and it was done so with two purposes in mind:

1. To help erase the image of Detroit as a "Black" city and make it seem more Caucasian friendly for gentrification.
2. To put a White face on Hiphop so that the global audience will not be so attracted to AfroAmerican men who originated it.

Infact the entire "Pop" music genre was developed to STEAL AfroAmerican music and styles and attribute it to Caucasian artists.

Do you really believe that all pop music STOLE from Afro American music?  Loads of Brit bands in the 60s were very deeply influenced by RnB and covered many tunes . I'm sure there was no intention to rob. The likes of the Stones,the Beatles, the Yardbirds,Cream and many others idolised these fantastic artists. 

Check this

 

 

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Delano

and see what Eminem and other rappers say.


Lol....after I told you that I see Eminem as a thief and a liar, why would you think I would even care about what he has to say?





Maurice


Do you really believe that all pop music STOLE from Afro American music? Loads of Brit bands in the 60s were very deeply influenced by RnB and covered many tunes . I'm sure there was no intention to rob.


How can you be so "sure" there was no intention to rob or steal the music and claim credit for it?

You talk about the Beatles and other bands of the past but TODAY as we speak British artists like Joss Stone, Adele, and Ed Sheeran have attained fortunes and world fame basically IMITATING the sound and cadence of AfroAmericans in their music.

How can people born and raised in England sound so much like inner-city AfroAmericans if they weren't intentionally trying to imitate them?

It's a clear case of intellectual theft.

 

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3 hours ago, Pioneer1 said:


Delano

and see what Eminem and other rappers say.


Lol....after I told you that I see Eminem as a thief and a liar, why would you think I would even care about what he has to say?





Maurice


Do you really believe that all pop music STOLE from Afro American music? Loads of Brit bands in the 60s were very deeply influenced by RnB and covered many tunes . I'm sure there was no intention to rob.


How can you be so "sure" there was no intention to rob or steal the music and claim credit for it?

You talk about the Beatles and other bands of the past but TODAY as we speak British artists like Joss Stone, Adele, and Ed Sheeran have attained fortunes and world fame basically IMITATING the sound and cadence of AfroAmericans in their music.

How can people born and raised in England sound so much like inner-city AfroAmericans if they weren't intentionally trying to imitate them?

It's a clear case of intellectual theft.

 

Id agree with you that today that there are Brit artists imitating the sounds made by Afro Americans. I'm really trying not to be biased here but I truly believe that the previous artists I mentioned were doing it for love. Yes, they made loads of cash in the process but I  think this was mainly due to the original songs they eventually recorded. 

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{@Maurice you don't have to quote the post immediately proceeding the one you are responding to. Indeed, it is almost never necessary to quote an entire post; you can just qoute the statement you are responding to. When one quotes and entire post it just makes the conversation harder to follow.}

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Maurice

Id agree with you that today that there are Brit artists imitating the sounds made by Afro Americans. I'm really trying not to be biased here but I truly believe that the previous artists I mentioned were doing it for love. Yes, they made loads of cash in the process but I think this was mainly due to the original songs they eventually recorded.


Ofcourse.
Nodoubt they were doing it for love!

But love of the ART....not love of the ARTIST.

So if they can find a way to seperate the ART (that they and their fans love so much)  from the BLACK ARTISTS (that many of their fans despise and see as inferior)  they can have their cake and eat it too. Or better yet, if they can claim this art as THEIR OWN.....this inflation of their egos is an added bonus.


Ofcourse in the context of 2019 both you and I can listen to Joss Stone or Adele understand how an argument can be made that their style is basically a copy of the urban style of AfroAmericans.....but what about 2 or 3 generations from now?
By that time the context would have changed and all you would have is the artists.

It's the same with the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
Today we see these groups as wonderfully talented groups with the creativity to rock the world, very little is mentioned of the Chuck Berrys and Little Richards and Sly and the Family Stones that these groups "borrowed" much of their styles from. 

 

You see....
Putting a Caucasian face on such great and soul-stiring music helps to maintain the idea of White Supremacy in society because it tells society that such wonderful and alluring music HAD to have been produced by the "superior" people.  It would be illogical and fly in the face of White Supremacy that those deemed "inferior" could or would make superior music.


 

 

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I truly believe that the Stones themselves loved the artists too. They named themselves after a Muddy Waters song and of course covered many blues numbers as well as Otis Redding,Don Covay and Barrett Strong. In the many interviews the Stones have given, they always give credit to the likes of Elmore James, Bo Diddely and Howlin Wolf.

But I do get what you're saying.

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On 8/10/2019 at 1:44 PM, Mel Hopkins said:

@Mel Hopkins I answered your questions! Which are

1.Are you a native speaker? Yes I am a native speaker.

2. What is the name of the universally accepted dialect?  I speak the standard Yoruba language (mostly spoken in South western Nigeria-Most universal)

I also have a background in research too. I also apologized in advance about referring you to Wikipedia which I am aware is not used as a reference in serious academic discussion.

I think the lecture I received in return for my reply to your question is unnecessary!

I

On 8/10/2019 at 1:44 PM, Mel Hopkins said:

@Wosey

 

Thank you.  As a professional journalist, research takes up most of my time.  But when I get a chance to encounter a primary source I jump at it.  

 

I’m familiar with the secondary source information on Yoruba culture - I even follow a priestess on wordpress (smile) but when you shared the background of the language, you appeared to be a native speaker with first hand information.  

 

That’s not to say I don’t use wikipedia - but I only use to determine the author’s  sources - and then I go to the source.  

 

Usually  when I ask questions on this board - it’s more for the member’s first hand  experience.  

 

 

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On 8/10/2019 at 10:24 PM, Troy said:

@Troy Wikipedia is definitely not a good reference to support any argument or discourse, I think high school students are aware of this fact. If you read my comment you will see that I put a caveat  before  referring to it.

 

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