African American Values and culture have origins rooted in West African literary and cultural forms of expression. African American values and culture were formed when Africans were taken from their homeland and brought to America as slaves. When this happened they also brought with them their individual cultures, languages and customs. The white slaveholders suppressed this part of their heritage in them. This forced the slaves to come up with other ways to express themselves. This helped grow the popularity of story telling and songs. The current African American values and culture is a mixture of American and African Culture.
The whole body of folktales and spirituals arose from the experiences that slaves had on their plantations mingled with the memories and customs that they brought with them from Africa. In my book, The Marks Left Behind, I paint the perfect picture of how the slaves must have felt during the slave trade. The Marks Left Behind also discusses the emotional side of how the slaves lost their own identities. The African American value and culture is not just materialism, it is values that have been shaped over many years of struggle. The other part of African American values and culture that needs to be mentioned is the singing and dancing. They would tell stories using different methods such as acting, dancing and singing. By these means they were able to elevate storytelling into an art.
African American values and culture were formed because most slave owners did not allow their slaves to speak their own language, and forced them to speak English. This is where the Africans started to lose part of the culture. They were also forbidden from learning to read or write. In this manner slaveholders believed that they were keeping their slaves in ignorance so that they could neither rebel nor escape. Incidentally, the African American values and culture were formed and the African culture would be lost.
For more about African American values and culture, you can get your own copy of The Marks Left Behind.