Black Culture and Black Consciousness in Transition Essay

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Negative Structure French Marxist thinker, John Althusser, established a crucial theory which illuminates how and why ‘myths’ and ‘ideologies’ are created throughout as well as history. In his celebrated dissertation, “Ideology and Ideological Express Apparatuses, ” Althusser constitutes a convincing debate in issues with ‘ideology’ and its effect on persons or ‘subject’ which are produced through specialised institutions (i. e. spiritual, educational, politics, and family, trade union, communication, ain al. ). Althusser aptly declares that, “Ideology is actually a ‘representation’ with the imaginary romantic relationship of individuals with their real circumstances of existence” (Althusser, 1994).

In addition , Althusser wants to clarify the significance of ideologies enforced on individuals: “Ideology is definitely conceived as being a pure false impression, a pure dream, i actually. e. as nothingness. All its the truth is external to it. Ideology is hence thought because an fabricated construction whose status is precisely like the assumptive status from the dream among writers before Freud…There is actually a cause for the imaginary transposition of the real conditions of existence that cause is the existence of any small number of cynical men who also base their particular domination and exploitation with the ‘people’ on a falsified manifestation of the world that they can have thought in order to enslave other brains by prominent their imaginations” (1496, 1499).

Now take Althusserian’s notion on the building of ‘ideology’ and apply it to the fable of the ‘American dream. ‘ Within the socio-historical context in the American wish, the idea that persons can start with little more than determination and cunning and leave a legacy of wealth and accomplishment is probably the most persistent hope for People in the usa. As a great ideology created over history, the subjective/cultural/social construct of the ‘American dream’ shapes how many Americans see their success or failures and, evenly significant, illustrates the many curves of U. S. society.

For African-Americans (including ladies and ethnic groups), however , weren’t fully ‘assimilated’ into every factor of American culture, especially because the American wish ideology especially referred or geared towards ‘white males, ‘ for several reasons. If we check out American history, blacks (such women and various other minorities) had dreams of obtaining equal legal rights and self-reliance that was privileged towards the ‘common person. ‘ The slaves had been constantly being taught to delay or wait-for their liberty would come.

Even the announcement of independence states “all men are created equal…endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights…among all those life, freedom and the quest for happiness, ” but the slaves of this time were disappointed because this understanding of ‘all men’ omitted blacks. Actually it ruled out pretty much everyone, except white colored men with land. Through this postponing of freedom, slavery, discrimination, racism, Jim Crow laws, sharecropping, riots etc.

Thus the ‘American desire, ‘ to quote by Langston Hughes, has been deferred. “Deferred” since blacks were required to wait, assign to others who have could showcase change. Since most hispanics were not totally integrated into American life, a lot of managed to ‘successfully’ pass by in the rigid composition of society. Case in point, Macon Dead and rapper Shawn Carter (aka Jay-Z) needs to be interpreted as accultrationist instead of assimilationist with respect to the American desire for several causes.

First and foremost, the word acculturation carries three meanings: it is known as the process of gathering new ideas into an existing cognitive composition, all the expertise and ideals shared with a society and, lastly, the adoption in the behavior patterns of the adjacent culture. Finally, acculturation may be the obtainment of “culture” simply by an individual or maybe a group of people. The latter two meanings, however , present greater regarding Macon Dead’s characteristic because an acculturationist.

Living in a great unjust capitalist system, lives in an era where the majority of Americans did not acknowledge the presence of blacks (and other minorities) by deliberately and blatantly pass frivolous laws and regulations. Macon Dead, as a patriarch/hard-nosed entrepreneur, is defined as a person of substance who has obtained property through which he rents to dark-colored underclass tenants. Consequently Macon Dead is described inside the context of trying to imitate and ‘adopt’ similar behavior patterns by ‘white’ contemporary society considering America excluded blacks (and different minorities) in every conceivable approach (i. elizabeth. socially, critical, cultural, etc).

For instance, Morrison carefully explains Macon’s appreciation for materialistic possessions in another scene when the rest of his family usually takes an excursion in Not Doctor Street: “These rides the family had taken on Weekend afternoons had become rituals and much too important for Macon to enjoy. For him it was ways to satisfy him self that he was indeed a prosperous man…Macon Dead’s Packard folded slowly straight down Not Doctor Street, throughout the rough part of town (later known as the Bloodstream Bank mainly because blood ran so freely there), in the bypass downtown, and headed for the wealthy white neighborhoods. Some of the black people who saw the vehicle passing by simply sighed with good-humored jealousy at the classiness, the pride of it” (Morrison, 32).

This field illustrates Macon’s ability to obtain a wealthy vehicle (i. e. Packard) which in turn functions as a means of conversing, ‘achievement’ and ‘opulence’ towards the public. As a result in order to accomplish that myth/ideology/concept in the ‘American wish, ‘ Macon Dead really has to forego himself and, equally significant, his ‘true’ identity by simply emulating the hated white people of America about that time. Macon Dead is much less sympathetic to his personal culture through a ‘white man’s role’ (i. e. dominant culture) as a cutthroat businessman which in turn also solidifies his standing as an ‘outsider’ within the black community.

In the contemporary context, Jay-Z is the postmodern version of what makes up an acculturationist by virtue of the hip-hop looks (whereas Steve Coltrane, A long way Davis or any black brighten musician can be explained as the modernist version of accultrationist). William Eric Perkins, author of ‘the rap attack, ‘ details the influence of hip-hop culture and its importance towards inner-city teens and America (in particular, African-American and Latino kids): “Rap music and hip hop culture’s ongoing staggering love/hate romantic relationship with American society needs a fresh evaluation of the role street tradition plays in the continuing progression of American popular culture” (Perkins, 1). Since Jay-Z was raised from the underprivileged neighborhoods of Brooklyn, especially at a time where hip-hop (as an downtown phenomenon) reached its second wave of talented MC’s from the inner-city neighborhoods of South Bronx, Harlem, and throughout NEW YORK CITY (with famous brands LL Cool J, Kool Moe Doe, Big Dad Kane, Richard B and Rakim, KRS-One, A Group Called Search, De La Soul, Ultramagnetic MC’s, to name a few), Jay-Z understood the integral marriage between hip-hop and streets life by simply ‘adopting’ particular ‘behavior patterns’ within the audio genre.

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