In this Ebonics thread people were discussing the validity of teaching ebonics in school. Something someone said struck me:
The main thing that seperates other cultures that have an easier time assimilating than black American culture is the cultural history that is missing for most black people in America due to the vicious breeding programs instituted during slavery. Families were sold off piecemeal to avoid the familiarity that could breed rebellion on a plantation, and many people have a hard time reconciling the lack of connection without any access to that ancestral history. Many attempts are made to propagate a ‘black’ culture, they are almost always met with derision. Hip Hop has created a cultural aristocracy to point to as a heritage. Ebonics somewhat does the same thing, and I feel like oftentimes people go straight to the derision of these attempts feeling that it will water down the intelligence of the culture. I don’t think that they are necessarily “Dumb” ideas, more that they are ideas that will be refined as time passes and come into their own, but it makes it harder for these ideas to germinate as they keep being plucked by naysayers who won’t allow programs such as these to grow and be discarded as pointless or create some new field of study, and help form a cultural American identity that has been subliminally denied to Black people through slavery and only recently even beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel when they will receive equal rights as white people. European colonialism was about replacing other cultures with European culture, and now we are starting to mature past that, and we need to experiment with things and help the ideas to mature rather than squash them at first appearance.
I believe that right now is the first time in American history where we are actually attempting to assimilate the population that was kept artificially in a lower caste in what was supposed to be the land of the casteless. It is much easier to build upon a cultural tradition that goes back generations than it is to build upon nothing like a great deal of slaves were forced to do right after they were emancipated.