Definition Of Native American Culture

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Culture is all around us. From what we wear to what we eat to how we speak. You can try to hide your connection to culture, but it will always find you. When searching for a definition to culture I feel Texas A&M University did an amazing job. Their definition states: “A culture is a way of life of a group of people—the behaviors, beliefs, values, and symbols that they accept, generally without thinking about them, and that are passed along by communication and imitation from one generation to the next.” It explains culture to a T, it shows how culture is expressed, accepted, and passed on through generations. After reading about characters representing different national cultures coming to America for whatever reason they had my view …show more content…
Before reading this book I did not truly understand the struggle Native American’s encountered once the government began giving them land to create reservations. Before reservations, I understood completely how our government forced them off the land that was rightfully theirs, killed and destroyed their way of life, and required them to change their cultural identity if they wanted to survive. I had thought that improved when reservations were formed, but I was wrong. The government persistently harassed and took advantage of Native Americans well beyond what I’m sure most of us expected. So I hold an appreciation for their willingness to adapt and change while still keeping their identities intact. I would like to think this book was depicting the worst case scenario and that our government was not actively trying to keep this culture subjected. I thought it was one-sided when Erdrich said the Native American courts held no authority over “American” citizens, as they had more right to the land than anyone else. Along with having no control, they, the majority, were depicted in a poor state where the government inexpensively made housing that would not be up to code or standard of other Americans. I feel I have a better understanding of the situation they were forced to undergo when we, the American government decided to “compensate” …show more content…
Conceivably the main and most prevalent group being African Americans. I’ve learned a lot from Invisible Man¸ by Ralph Ellsion about the struggles this group actually faced, and continue to face today. We all know the stereotypes African Americans continue to be scrutinized under today, which are: violent, uneducated, good at sports, can run fast/jump high, criminals, and so on. I’ll admit I did not exactly believe these stereotypes, but I would always take additional “care” when driving down, or walking down a notoriously African American street in case something bad did occur. This book helped me understand where some of these stereotypes originated and what exactly white “men” in society did to keep them subjugated. I feel that it was immoral to keep Africans subjected to slavery and Jim Crow laws once it was abolished. After those were happening in the South I assumed the North was a lot better. Invisible Man somewhat shows the opposite. I saw that the northerners still held prejudice and discriminated against African Americans making them feel invisible and unwelcome or dehumanized. I appreciate the trials they had to go through to get to where they are today, although it is not at the same level as whites, the gap is very close and only growing smaller. It is amazing to see a culture like this take what was thrown at

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