African Tradition, the Individual, and the Community African Americans have long been marginalized as members of American society. From the time of slavery to the election of the first African-American president, efforts by African Americans to define themselves and shape and build their communities have been dynamic and ever-changing. However, an examination of the ways in which African literature and culture has affected these efforts can yield a greater understanding of the intricacies of today’s African American citizens and communities. Central to the idea of community is the idea that “the human person is communal by nature…[and] cannot and should not live in isolation from other persons” ( Furusa 7). Thus, African-American...The end:
.....simply a collective of likeminded people, but rather as a single unit in which all members contribute to the survival and success of the community. The ways in which African-American communities and individuals define themselves today are closely linked to traditional African values, ideals, and concepts. From the definition of the individual as the embodiment of relationships with others to the religious aspects of African culture, African-American culture overall is complex. The ways in which African Americans define themselves and build their communities owe much to traditional values, and cannot be seen as separate from them. Indeed, African-American communities and individuals should be valued as members of a rich heritage and culture.