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Important cultural meaning of bad men - Essay Example

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The word ‘culture’ stands as the distinction amongst people all over the world and can be considered as the “style of life” 1 that is the fundamental form about a culture which has persisted in time, as called by the anthropologist Robert Redfield.
In the American…
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Teacher Important cultural meaning of bad men The word ‘culture’ stands as the distinction amongst people all over the world and can be considered as the “style of life” 1 that is the fundamental form about a culture which has persisted in time, as called by the anthropologist Robert Redfield.
In the American history, the whites dominated the blacks and slavery prevailed for many years. The term ‘bad men’, ironically, doesn’t mean that they are bad. In fact, it depicts the people who had the courage and the ability to defy the limitations imposed by the whites. The Afro Americans upheld the cultural values and have given prime importance to music in the form of folk tales, jokes, songs and so forth in their daily routines and used for work, play, communicating, even when they are in happy or in sad mood.2 They created the animal characters in the form of tricksters.3 This has been the source of inspiration to the masses.
“Railroad Bill cut a mighty big dash;
Killed McMillan like a lightnin’ –flash.
En he’ll pay po body down.” 4
The African Americans considered the trickster, such as Railroad Bill, the heroic figure who had the ability to influence their lives and have strived hard to flout the whites and bring in the reformation. The longest lived bad men were Stagolee who conflicted with Billy Delyon which symbolizes the fight of black man’s struggle for equality with whites.5
Despite of the injustices, the traditional practices were strictly followed by the superhuman figures, such as John Henry, banjo player, who had a beautiful baritone voice, and was the strongest, fastest, most powerful man working on the rails as a “steel driver”. 6Shine who was a Stoker in the ship had the ability to save the lives of hundreds from the sunken Titanic and to oppose the powerful opponents. 7
There were super heroes who emerged victorious in the racial advancement. Jack Jackson worked hard to make the existence in the boxing world and became the first black heavy weight champion. 8 On the other hand, Joe Louis became a popular figure in boxing and was able to surpass the color discrimination. This way the integration of race was reformed by the sporting world. 9
It was rightly said by Lawrence Levine, “In the twentieth century the pantheon of heroes became more varied and versatile, reflecting the greater diversity and heterogeneity that were the fruits of freedom, mobility and urbanization.” 10
This has led to preserve the oral traditions which gave life to Afro-American culture and revolutionary change from slavery to freedom.
Works Cited
Donelson, Tom. “Joe Louis as Civil Rights Pioneer”, BoxingInsider.com, 2012, Web. < http://www.boxinginsider.com/history/joe-louis-as-civil-rights-pioneer/> “Folklore John Henry”. Wikipedia.org., 21 June 2012, Web. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Henry_(folklore)> “Get Encyclopedia of Biography”, Answers.com., 2012, Web. < http://www.answers.com/topic/jack-johnson> “Guide to exploring African American culture”. Extension.org. Web. < http://www.extension.org/sites/default/files/w/8/8a/Guide_to_Exploring_African_American_Culture.pdf> Hauser, James P. “Original Stagger Lee Essay”, Sites.google.com, 2002-2009,Web.< https://sites.google.com/site/thestaggerleefiles/original-stagger-lee-essay> Levine, Lawrence W. “Black Culture & Black Consciousness”, Books.google.co.in. Web. http://books.google.co.in/books?id=LegluCpGqaAC&pg=PA497&dq=Black+Culture+%26+Black+Consciousness+by+Lawrence+W.+Levine,chapter+6+a+pantheon+of+heroes&hl=en&sa=X&ei=drLlT8znJYXprQf07dWMCQ&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q&f=false> Saloy, Mona Lisa. “The African American Toast Tradition”, Louisianafolklife.org. Web. < http://www.louisianafolklife.org/LT/Articles_Essays/creole_art_toast_tradition.html> Thomas, Jeannie. “From Trickster to Badman The Black Folk Hero in Slavery and Freedom”, Findarticles.com. Web. < http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2838/is_n1_v28/ai_15608142/>Read More
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