Talk:African-American culture

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Former good article African-American culture was one of the Social sciences and society good articles, but it has been removed from the list. There are suggestions below for improving the article to meet the good article criteria. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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Here are some tasks awaiting attention:
  • Copyedit: Check article for grammar, spelling and style.
  • Expand: Expand lead to 3 to 4 paragraphs.
  • Verify: Check references and add new ones.
Priority 2

This is well written[edit]

This is a good article, clearly all topics can not be covered in a Wikipedia article. However, there is always room to improve even the best of articles. Some of the comments stated are "nit picky". The view of homosexuals is not necessarily a part African-American culture. It is not influential to the present and it is not common practice. Being homophobic is not a universal consensus among African-Americans ; what is the percentage of African-Americans that are homophobic?

Perhaps, that commenter should consider writing a paragraph about African-American's feelings towards sexuality include that many African-Americans have a strong sense of spirituality and/or religious affiliations which is the basis of stigma towards homosexuals in MOST ( if not all) cultures. Homophobia should only be added under African-American culture if you will speak about African-American views on Sexuality as a whole, be sure to include "Men on the Down Low, The HIV/AIDS statistics, The Historical facts on Slave-Slave Master Relations, The Rate of Teenage Pregnancy, Etc."—Preceding unsigned comment added by User:Complicatedmoves (talkcontribs)

There are several examples of homophobia as a distinct facet of African American culture being observed in sociological studies.
  • It does seem that the expression of homophobia in African American communities is different from the expression elsewhere. Dalton (1989) observed that among communities of color (with African Americans the illustrative case) the response to homosexuality is characterized by "biosterous homophobic talk, tacit acceptance in practice, and a broad based conspiracy of silence." It is likely that this observation hold for certain and noncertain aspects of African American culture and life. The manifestations of homophobia must be recognized as a complex issue requiring a comparably complex assessment and strategy for effective action. Social workers speak out on the HIV/AIDS crisis: voices from and to African American communities Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999
  • African American gay and lesbian couples have similar relationships and face similar issues as do non-Black and White gay and lesbian couples. However, there are some issues that are unique because of race and sometimes class. Homophobia, doubling and tripling minority status, and fear of disclosure are issues affecting African American gay, lesbian, and bisexual (GLB) individuals. African American Psychology: From Africa to America SAGE, 2009
  • As an African-American lesbian who has been in a loving relationship for over two decades, I have been made well aware of the black community's discomfort with things gay. Our long and courageous history in the forefront of the struggle for civil rights notwithstanding, the leadership of black America -- politicians, ministers, business leaders -- has not been as outspoken as it could be and should be on the issue of gay rights. Homophobia and traditional religious teachings play a role in our silence. But the roots of our discomfort, I think, go deeper. Sadly, some African-Americans believe that it is only we who should benefit from the gains achieved by the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. They fear that to allow the gay community to enter the doors of opportunity opened by our struggle, to permit gays and lesbians to share in the fruits of that movement, will diminish those benefits for the black community. Truth is, there is more than enough to go around. Salon.com – An African-American lesbian talks about homophobia, Proposition 8 and African Americans, October 28, 2008
  • Former presidential candidate Rev. Al Sharpton fired up a crowd of some 150 people gathered at a forum in Atlanta Jan. 20, urging them to “turn up the heat” in black churches to combat clergy who preach anti-gay messages from their pulpits. “We must have this dialogue in the black church,” Sharpton said. “The black church must not be refuge for those who want to scapegoat and use violence on any community, including the gay and lesbian community.” Sharpton was a keynote speaker at the National Black Justice Coalition’s summit on homophobia in the black church held at First Iconium Baptist Church in Atlanta, Jan. 20-21. He recently made a public call to challenge anti-gay sentiments among notable black clergy leaders. “Martin Luther King said there are two types of leadership — there are those who are thermometers, who measure the temperature in the room, and those who are thermostats who change the temperature,” Sharpton told the applauding crowd. “I come to tell you to be thermostats. Turn up the heat in the black church. Make these people sweat,” he said. Sharpton said his participation in the summit, as well as his desire to urge the black church to address homophobia, came from having a lesbian sister as well as his friendship with Bayard Rustin, a gay man who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. Rustin organized the 1963 March on Washington that culminated with King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Sharpton also criticized some black churches that he said were manipulated by traditionally white religious conservative organizations to support efforts in 2004 to ban same-sex marriage in exchange for faith-based grants under President George W. Bush’s administration. Sharpton criticized those moves as creating a wedge issue to boost votes for Bush’s re-election. Sharpton chides black churches over homophobia, gay marriage
These are just a few examples, but there are literally thousands more and completely relevant to today. However, I agree that the section should be expanded to included sexuality as a whole in African American culture, especially since domestic violence also has an unusually high rate among African American couples: see Family interventions in domestic violence: a handbook of gender-inclusive theory and treatment and Interpersonal violence in the African American community: evidence-based prevention and treatment practices Volume 6 of Issues in children's and families' lives. Of course, there are an equal number of studies also report on the positive influences among African American relationships, parenting and same-sex civil rights issues, so it should be easy to remain NPOV. The Bookkeeper (of the Occult) 07:48, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Settin' up New Year's Eve[edit]

In the back of my mind for a while now is a necessary addition to the "holidays and observances" portion of the article, which is the tradition of cleaning one's house to a fare-thee-well and then settin' up (sitting up) all night New Year's Eve -- either in meditation, prayer and reflection, or hosting friends and family. Churchified folks go to church. For some reason, it's a tradition I associate more with the Carolinas and that region more than with where my people come from (Texas and Louisiana). Old folks used to refer to it as "keepin' de watch," and a few years back, there was a group in D.C. who tried to revive the tradition and held a "Watch Night." deeceevoice (talk) 15:35, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

GA Reassessment[edit]

This discussion is transcluded from Talk:African American culture/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the reassessment.

I shall be reassessing this article against the Good Article criteria, following its listing at Wikipedia:Good articles/Cleanup listing#Articles with 4 cleanup categories assigned

Checking against GA criteria[edit]

GA review (see here for criteria)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS):
    I made a few copy edits, the prose is generally good, but another look to integrate various additions made since the GAN review would be good.
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
    I repaired 17 and tagged 3 dead links using WP:CHECKLINKS
    There are a number of citation needed tags from Nov 2008, May 2009, Oct 2009, Nov 2009. These need addressing.
    Book pages need to be in citations, this is not always the case at present. There are also inconsistent citations, with some works not having publisher or publication date details. Suggest using a works cited section for material which is used more than once, further information on this at WP:CITESHORT
    ref #67 [1] is a login for Havard university, so is not suitable. If it is a journal article then it may be cited in a different manner.
    citations to findarticles or similar subscription archives should have |format=Fee required in the cite to alerts readers to this fact
    I placed some citation need tags where I feel further attribution is needed.
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
    I feel some sections, such as Hair, really contain too much detail, especially when compared to Literature
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
    Some vandalism, but no disputes that I can determine.
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
    Images all fine
  7. Overall:
    Pass/Fail:
    There are a number of referencing issues to be addressed. This is an interesting article. I feel there is at times too much information, see my comments on Hair, above. Some uncited paragraphs may represent original research or a point of view if not attributed. On hold for seven days, major contributors and projects will be notified. –– Jezhotwells (talk) 12:51, 21 March 2010 (UTC)
    There are still outstanding issues: one dead link; citation needed tags (some date back to November 2008); the Hair section is still too long; some book cites still lack page numbers; a weasel word tag on the statements about patriarchal society. I am de-listing this, will reclassify as C, as projects need to assess as B. If you disagree with my decision, please take this to WP:GAR for community re-assessment, otherwise when issues have been addressed, please re-nominate at WP:GAN. It might be a good step to ask for a WP:Peer review. –– Jezhotwells (talk) 19:41, 28 March 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for looking the article over, but I think you have a point about the hair section-- there should be a link to a sub article. I'm quite happy to see so much information there, so I'll see about moving some of the information to a better place. futurebird (talk) 14:24, 21 March 2010 (UTC)

I have no problem with the info staying, but myself question why so much space is devoted to hair- about 50 lines, versus 12 for literature. Carambolas (talk) 01:03, 24 March 2010 (UTC)
Can we find a way of summarizing that section more succinctly? –– Jezhotwells (talk) 01:09, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

What does the patriarchal society have to do with AA family structure, and exactly how do attitudes towards gender roles weaken AA families?[edit]

This point needs clarification in the article. Is it the patriarchal society that is the cause of the weakened AA family structure? If so, why was said structure stronger in the 1940, 50s and early 60s before the flowering of the women's movement and feminism, and the subsequent weakening of patriarchy? And if as the article seems to suggest poverty is a cause, what was the effect of the late 1960s War on Poverty on AA family structures? A number of writers suggest that the WOP had quite a deleterious effect on AA family structures. This is a controversial area. Recommend that the specific line about patriarchy be left out altogether. Carambolas (talk) 02:12, 24 March 2010 (UTC)

Excludes African-American theater and actors/actresses[edit]

The article needs a section on AA theater, playwrights and the acting community. There were some actors who gained renown in the 19th century, and companies were formed then; and there has been more development since the 20th century. Ira Aldridge was a Shakespearean actor who emigrated to England, where he found great success, and was also well-received on the Continent. There's an article on Blackface, but not an overview of theatre.Parkwells (talk) 17:06, 15 October 2010 (UTC)

Necessity or verifiability of this line?[edit]

"In fact, seventy to eighty percent of the customers at Ajes Salon in Chicago go natural, most commonly in the broad set or strong set styles. This harkens back to the Afros seen in Chicago in 1960s, except that "it is more tame than if it were naturally big and curly," said Tena Warren, an employee at the salon."

It's located toward the bottom of African_American_Culture#Hair.

Do we really need this here, and is it even verifiable or significant?

Annihilan 07:25, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

"Under slavery, African Americans were not allowed to eat better cuts of meat, and after emancipation many often were too poor to afford them"

I was in lecture yesterday and I believe my professor said that according to new research, what was considered "better" cuts of meat in the Antebellum period was what we now consider the worse cuts of meat (ie. the backs of chickens, etc). Unfortunately I didn't write down the research she cited, but if anyone knows anything about that, maybe a comment should be added on that topic. Just mentioning this, since I was browsing through Wikipedia to fill in some holes in my understanding (researching for a term paper). -Rishi 136.152.179.236 (talk) 05:07, 27 October 2010 (UTC)

African American Contemporary Attire[edit]

Where is the entry on contemporary African-American clothing? I can understand the desire not to paint all blacks as gun-slinging gang bangers in a Wikipedia article, but the length this article goes to turn the other cheek is astounding. By the information on the entry on African-American attire alone, the only conclusion I can reasonably draw is that all African-Americans wear Kente cloth t-shirts and dress up in colorful clothes for church on Sunday. I have no desire to come off as racist, but there comes a point where you have to value information over political correctness (I can't believe I have to write this on Wikipedia). I'm not proposing that this kind of original research should be permissible in the article itself, but go outside for a day and conduct a little independent sociological research. What are most African-Americans wearing? This commonlaw verifiability should more than warrant an entry on urban African-American apparel under this article and, although I lack the means and knowledge to do so myself, I would like to request that an entry be formulated. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.7.89.144 (talk) 00:58, 21 May 2012 (UTC)

Neutrality & Citation[edit]

There's a lot of perspective and identity built into this article. It's sometimes subtle, but should be amended in the interest of neutrality guidelines. Here are some examples.


"Most of these neighborhoods are self-sufficient in that the schools, government, and commerce are all maintained by African Americans and are doing fairly well, if not better than, their white counterparts."

This is utopian-sounding. It's entirely too much to say without citation. "well, if not better than, their white counterparts" is a statement of fact which--and I doubt that sufficient data exists to prove this one way or the other, given how vague the criteria is--needs to be cited. What's more, it generally comes off as a statement with "something to prove". That's how bias creeps into these kids of articles. Maybe these communities really are great places with great schools, but that information needs to be presented objectively as a matter of facts based upon source-able evidence, not broad comparisons to vaguely defined "white counterparts". The whole thing is framed very politically, almost as one would when applying conflict theory.


"An area where African Americans outstrip whites in their conservatism is on the issue of homosexuality."

Again, this could very well be true, but without any data behind it should be reworded. Implicit in this sentence is the presupposition that "whites are extremely conservative, more so than blacks on every issue except for this one", which is a very broad, inaccurate and politically biased statement to make. Perhaps with some data displaying white attitudes towards homosexuality, compared to black attitudes, this could read "One conservative cause that resonates strongly amongst many black Americans is the rejection of homosexual culture." This is a much narrower statement which doesn't pigeon-hole any person or group. Still, if nobody has data to support it (and in this case, data almost certainly DOES exist), then the section needs to be removed. Note that all of the black leaders who support the homosexual cause, King and Sharpton, have citations, but the claim that blacks in general disagree remains naked.


"Immediately after slavery, African-American families struggled to reunite and rebuild what had been taken."

First of all, this whole sentence is a mouthful which does not read well aloud. Second of all, the phrase "rebuild what had been taken" seems to suggest that the families freed from slavery were the same abducted from Africa, when in fact they were the decedents many generations down. Might it be more accurate to express this as effectively starting from scratch? It is very unclear what exactly was taken and is being rebuilt.


There are many other statements like this in the article, but rather than changing them gung ho I thought I'd let the community weigh in on fixes to the problem to improve the page, both for verifiability and neutrality. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Strangebrownbag (talkcontribs) 23:12, 17 November 2013 (UTC)

Who defines black culture and what is the exact ethnic black makeup neccesary to be part of it?[edit]

I really want to know, what is black culture? I would want to know if there is any source that defines this?

How much mixed does one need to be to be excluded from black culture? since some ethnic groups that might or might not be black are not counted as "fully black" enough. so my question is what terms is defined by americas ruling establishment to define blackness?

I am by far not an expert on this topic, but my friends who seem to be "in the know" have set it at if you perceive yourself and other people perceive you as being black. Also, its important to note that while this applies largely to people of African origin, there are people of other ethnic groups who grow up in predominantly black areas that find this article applies largely to them. At my college, there were two caucasian girls in AA sororities. They spoke AAVE and grew up in largely black cities. There were also black girls who were in historically white sororities who grew up in largely white communities and none of this applies to. :-) Bali88 (talk) 23:53, 24 March 2014 (UTC)

African American Naming Traditions[edit]

First of all, well written article! Second, I'm writing an article on naming traditions in America and would like to include a section on AA naming traditions and how current naming conventions came about. I noticed there was no citation on that section, if anyone finds any good sources, could you notify me? Bali88 (talk) 04:18, 8 February 2014 (UTC)

83.209.66.204 (talk) 08:10, 15 January 2014 (UTC)

External links section[edit]

That link/page is removed and I guess it's moved to National Museum of African American History and Culture website. Then it's better to replace the dead link with new website link or use a Wayback Machine version of old page. --Zyma (talk) 23:18, 17 April 2014 (UTC)