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Cooper Essay 1

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 8 months ago

 

Professor Cooper's Essay 2: Where are the While Culture Celebrations?

 

By Professor Cooper

-------> CUT & PASTE ESSAY #2 BELOW THIS MESSAGE<----------

Why don't we have White Culture celebrations? And why do so many people oppose the mere mentioning of a white cultural celebration? It doesn't make sense to me. We have other cultural celebrations. February is African American History Month, and September is Hispanic Heritage Month. What's wrong with say October as White Culture Awareness Month? I guess we would first have to figure out what exactly white culture is. Is there such a thing? We need to distinquish between what it what culture and what is just plain American.

 

As an African American living in America, I am free to celebrate my culture, my heritage. But what is my culture? my heritage? Well, according to my title: African American, my culture has some basis or roots in being from Africa. But to me that means nothing. Africa is a continent. It's not even a country. I have never even been to Africa, let alone eaten an African dish or practiced an African religion. Now that doesn't mean that I'm not proud to be African American. I'm very proud to be who I am. What I'm saying is that, to me, the culture or a group of people has more to do with than just where those people's people originated from. For instance, Rahma, a student in my Tuesday-Thursday class, is from Africa. Her culture is much different from mine since I was born here in America. All I'm trying to say here is that my culture though largely dependent on the Africa distinction is more accurately rooted in the American distinction. But what makes me proud to celebrate my African-American (both together) culture is the fact that my African and African-American ancestors were strong people who often survived great disadvantages during their lives.

 

Now that brings me to my first point about having white culture celebrations. Aren't white people proud of their ancestor's contributions to America? Shouldn't they be proud that their ancestors were strong people who have survived great disadvantages in their lives? Well, surprisingly most Americans don't know their history, and don't know that white Am….. For example, when the English settlers first came to American, most were not wealthy and could not afford the luxuries that most Americans believed the first settlers had. In fact, most of the settlers coming to American were indentured servants, a more pleasant term for slaves. Yes, white people were slaves too! Now I know it was not the same as the African slaves, but stay with me here for a second.

 

If a white person calls herself italian, then she associates herself with her Italian heritage and probably identifies with a culture based on that Italian heritage. If a white person practices the Jewish faith, then he associates himself with the Jewish religion and all of its beliefs and probably has a culture based on that Jewish faith. But what if a white person doesn't know which European country his family hails from? What culture does this person adopt? What is it that she gets to be proud of that separates her from the rest of us? Does she not have a culture? Ah yes, she is American, and indeed, there is an American culture. Just ask anyone in Europe, or is that just a myth. Bruce Bawer writes in "Hating America" that "though fewer than 14% of Frenchmen have visited America, 'most have strong views' of it; indeed, 'Europeans who have not been in the U.S.... have the strongest opinions' about it, and malice toward America is inversely proportional to the amount of time individuals have actually spent there."

 

Now who would want to be American with those views? Well, frankly we all do, and we seem to stand up to that as a nation. But when do white people get to stand up and celebrate alone? without malice or blame? Why is it that I, as an African-American, can designate a whole content as the basis of my cultural background, I can be proud of my people who were brought over to America against their will to be slaves because they endured and survived, and I can openly and publicly with the help of this great nation celebrate my culture in a month long celebration? White people can't do that. Why not? Why can't they designate this great country as the basis of their cultural background, tie that to the fact that they are white, which holds its own distinctions in our society and bam you have a culture: white culture. Society is always talking about how American culture has so much influence on other cultures. This is true. And American culture is rooted in its diversity, and despite its separatism with its hyphened identifiers, it is a culture that is truly representative of a nation of all people. Maybe we should spend more time celebrating that.

 

-------> CUT & PASTE ESSAY #2 ABOVE THIS MESSAGE<----------

 

My Other Essays

* Cooper Essay 4 - Comparison/Contrast

* Cooper Essay 7 - Persuasive

 

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