My social location consist of being a young, spiritual, lower class, heterosexual, black African American, male, able body, and educated. My family dynamic in regards to its culture, beliefs, and values are very different, coming from my mother’s to my father’s side. My Father is first generation from Nigeria. In contrast my mother is a Black American from Flint Michigan. With these two prospective with my mother being of African decent living in America and my father being born and raised in Africa for most of his life has given different prospective on culture, beliefs, and values. For myself and two sisters this family dynamic of the merging of culture, beliefs, and values of an Black American and first generation from Nigeria has blended together to make its own culture, beliefs, and values within our nuclear family system.
On my mother’s side her family’s culture are the contributions that Black Americans made towards the larger American society. An example and good representation of the culture on my mother’s side is that on every major holiday my mother side of the family gets together for dinner. A dish that is always served is chitterlings which are the intestines of a pig, and historically this dish was created during the enslavement of Africans. When hogs were butchered slave owners kept the preferred cuts of meat and the remaining part were given to the slaves who created the dish of chitterlings. I used this as an example because it highlights a reoccurring theme that you will see when exploring Black American culture and that is the innovation and creation of things that were deemed bad or useless.
The ethnicity on my mother side is Black American and I chose this term “Black American” instead of the more popular term “African American” because Black Americans have a shared and common national and cultural tradition which is different from that of Africans depending on which part of Africa they are coming from. This cautious choice was made through the observations that I have made from talking and spending time with my mother side and father’s side where it became prevalent how different the two groups are.
On my mother’s side one value that is the polar opposite to my father’s side is the value on education. My mother’s side dose not but a huge emphasis on education in comparison to my fathers a great example of this is when talking to family members on my father side the first thing asked is “how are your studies” rather than “how are you doing.”
My father’s side is heavily embedded into the Nigerian Yoruba culture. In a Yoruba family, the family lives in large residential area called a compound, the male lives in a compound where he was born until he dies and will be buried in this compound.
For myself and two sisters this family dynamic of the merging of culture, beliefs, and values of an Black American and first generation from Nigeria has blended together to make its own culture, beliefs, and values within our nuclear family system. In regards to our culture my sisters and I have the privilege of knowing were exactly in African we are from due to my father’s side and we are also in touch with the sacrifices and contributions Black American have made in improving America from my mother’s side. One of the many beliefs and values that were instilled into us from the emergence of my parents are the importance of an education but also make sure you are enjoying what you’re doing.
From my birth, my parents have been preparing me for the realities of living in America. This can be seen in the name that was given to me, Akintunde Christopher Oluwadare. I was given a traditional Yorba first name but was also given a common Cristian middle name from my father and mother to be able to decide from once I was of age. This was done to help me assimilate and fit in to main stream America if I felt I needed to with my common Christian name. An expectation that wasn’t overtly said but was expected of me was to be able to function and relate to Black culture, and African culture while living in western society. Having these expectations from a young age has made me able to relate to others easily and to be able to function and communicate within different systems.