How did African culture influence American culture?  

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First, it seems necessary to point out that Africans became Americans when they came to the colonies, just as Europeans did. So we shouldn't necessarily think of "European" culture as the same as "American" culture when we talk about how African culture influenced it. Given this point, there are many...

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First, it seems necessary to point out that Africans became Americans when they came to the colonies, just as Europeans did. So we shouldn't necessarily think of "European" culture as the same as "American" culture when we talk about how African culture influenced it. Given this point, there are many aspects of African culture that persisted and were very influential in the Americas. One has to do with what scholars call "foodways" as well as the crops that were grown in the New World. West African people were adept, for example, at rice cultivation, which was one reason that the crop became the foundation of the Low Country economy in the colony of South Carolina. African people also contributed techniques for preparing meats and vegetables, and many of the foods they ate (okra, for example) became part of southern foodways. Another way that African people influenced society was through their language. Many African words made their way into creolized English, including "banana," "jazz," and possible the universal "O.K." have their origins in West African languages. Finally, many historians and ethnologists have traced much of modern music, including jazz, blues, rock, R&B and rap to cultural forms described among enslaved people of African origin in the South. These artforms are among those original to North America, a point which illustrates the important influence of peoples of African origin on modern American culture. Indeed, "American" culture as we understand it is inconceivable without these influences.

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