My Family’s Country of origin: AMERICA (AFRICAN AMERICAN) THE African Origins of U.S, Blacks. The main source of slaves in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was the Gulf of Guinea in Africa.
Music: The African American Cultural Movement of the 1960s and 1970s also fueled the growth of funk and later hip-hop forms such as rap, hip house, new jack swing, and go-go. House music was created in black communities in Chicago in the 1980s. African American music has experienced far more widespread acceptance in American popular music in the 21st century than ever before. In addition to continuing to develop newer musical forms, modern artists have also started a rebirth of older genres in the form of genres such as neo soul and modern funk-inspired groups.
DANCE: Contemporary African American dance is descended from these earlier forms and also draws influence from African and Caribbean dance forms. Groups such as the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater have continued to contribute to the growth of this form. Modern popular dance in America is also greatly influenced by African American dance. American popular dance has also drawn many influences from African American dance most notably in the hip hop genre.
HAIR: Since the beginning of African civilization, hairstyles have been used to convey messages to greater society. As early as the 15th century, different styles could “indicate a person’s marital status, age, religion, ethnic identity, wealth and rank within the community.” Unkempt hair in nearly every West African culture was considered unattractive to the opposite sex and a sign that one was dirty, had bad morals or was even insane. Hair maintenance in traditional Africa was aimed at creating a sense of beauty. “A woman with long thick hair demonstrated the life force, the multiplying power of profusion, prosperity..a green thumb for raising bountiful farms and many healthy children,” wrote Sylvia Ardyn Boone, an anthropologist specializing in the Mende culture of Sierra Leone. In Yoruba culture, people braided their hair to send messages to the gods. The hair is the most elevated part of the body and was therefore considered a portal for spirits to pass through to the soul. Because of the cultural and spiritual importance of hair for Africans, the practice of having their heads involuntarily shaved before being sold as slaves was in itself a dehumanizing act. “The shaved head was the first step the Europeans took to erase the slaves’ culture and alter the relationship between the African and his or her hair.”
RELIGION: The religious institutions of African American Christians commonly are referred to collectively as the black church. During slavery, many slaves were stripped of their African belief systems and typically denied free religious practice, forced to become Christian. Slaves managed, however, to hang on to some practices by integrating them into Christian worship in secret meetings. These practices, including dance, shouts, African rhythms, and enthusiastic singing, remain a large part of worship in the African American church
HOLIDAYS: As with other American racial and ethnic groups, African Americans observe ethnic holidays alongside traditional American holidays. Holidays observed in African American culture are not only observed by African Americans but are widely considered American holidays. The birthday of noted American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr has been observed nationally since 1983. It is one of the three federal holdiays named for an individual.