Africanism in the African American Culture

The recent increase in the number of African immigrants to the USA has drawn public attention to African Americans. One of the most complex, hence interesting, subjects is the extent to which they are still connected to their roots. According to the latest research outcomes, the primary sphere of life-based to one degree or another on African heritage is food culture. An essential component in the typical diet of the African population is crops that have once been brought to the United States. Those are, for instance, fonio, cowpea, pearl millet, teff, and others, many of which are highly nutritious. In addition, Vance mentions leafy greens as the basics of both African and African American cuisine (2018). Although the above plants are now gaining popularity around the globe, they originate from black ethnic culture.

Eating habits are another culture-specific point, which may be challenging to overcome. Thus, according to Swierad et al., most African Americans describe their ethnic food as unhealthy (2017). Specifically, traditional African cuisine has to be maximally filling, which results apparently from limited access to food. Therefore, African American eating behavior involves such practices as cooking with lard and consuming much meat, in particular, pork. Also, food is frequently seasoned and salted heavier than it would be relevant (Swierad et al., 2017). African Americans realize how improper such food is but find it difficult to change the habits that are ingrained deeply within their identity.

To summarize, modern African Americans have not lost touch with their historical homeland. Before anything else, the cultural heritage determines what and how the black population traditionally eats. One concern, the African diet includes a big amount of crops and greens that are nowadays wide known for their outstanding nourishing value. By contrast, it also involves adding excessive amounts of fat, salt, and seasonings to food, which apparently cannot be healthy.


Swierad, E., Vartanian, L., & King, M. (2017). The influence of ethnic and mainstream cultures on African Americans’ health behaviors: A qualitative study. Behavioral Sciences, 7(3), 49-69. Web.

Vance, K. E. (2018). Culture, food, and racism: The effects on African American health. University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

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