Black Culture: Then, Now, & Where We Going
Happy Black History Month 2023!
Black history and culture in the past have been brought down to mostly being celebrated with this (barely) month period. With the growth of pride in everything Black, the culture has expanded to being celebrated daily. However, there is always a looming sense of dread when remembering where the culture has started, the constant reminder of where we currently still face and that the culture is still not widely accepted by outsiders regardless of the varying ways others try to duplicate the original.
Let’s take another look at where Black culture has been, where it’s at, and where we going.
Everything is rooted in African culture. A simple statement that holds centuries of weight.
African inspirations into Black culture fit hand in hand as the world began to see how much it influenced every aspect of life. From introducing an energetic dance called the Charleston, which was then popularized on Broadway in the 20s, Jazz music of the 20s and beyond, Afro hairstyles, hair picks and Monogram prints of the 60s. The long acrylic nails and hoop earrings ranging from the 70s to current times, the height of urban fashion from the 80s and 90s, matching or stacking of brand name clothing from the 90s and 00s or trainer culture. Black culture and style remain top tier from the beginning of their introduction into fashion styles to current times and the future.
Although many fought for the many rights and privileges enjoyed today, there would still be much work to be done in order for the culture to be respected. The trials and tribulations fought during these times bridged various generations. From slavery, Colonialism, Jim Crow/Civil Rights, drug and HIV/AIDS epidemics, and various other eras, the fights fought in one case or another created fires within Black culture to still show how things should be done.
The identity of Black culture has always been rooted in “black is beautiful” and has never strayed away from it.
In the age of the Internet, the culture slowly gained the recognition it deserved as people could call out and connect with others on shared issues. Sadly, the turn of the Internet meant seeing the pain of others within the culture at a consistent rate, causing mental breaks for many. However, the culture continues to support one another and to showcase what talents are within it.
For many, turning to social media and making various opportunities from it, are still at risk of receiving a lower pay from counterparts not a part of the culture along with the same racism and discrimination seen in the past. Already facing pay gap disparities in normal working environments, studies have found “the pay gap between white influencers and influencers who are Black, Indigenous or other people of color is 29 percent. When the research focused specifically on white and Black influencers, the margin widened to 35 percent.” (NBC News, 2021) Many influencers are finding their own lanes and sticking within them, while also allowing others a way to follow those same procedures to gain what is missing.
Where We Going?
Depending on who is asked specifically about the future of Black culture, a good deal may say the outlook is dazzling. Considering for decades upon decades of not being acknowledged by the world, Black culture is (still) the blueprint for others while still creating varying forms of fashion, media, content, aesthetics, etc. The culture will continue to shine bright with the growing number of Black influencers, content creators, trendsetters, fashion icons, business moguls, business owners, STEM members, and others within the culture that are breaking the barriers into the various worlds not allowed in before.
Knowing the various dangers that are faced, Black culture prevails. Now and forever.
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Photo Source: https://www.naacpldf.org/ldf-celebrates-black-history-month/