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The history of cultural annihilation (Part I)


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This paper examines how a history of cultural annihilation and commercialization, of economic repression and segregation and finally of an astounding lapse in communication has left the current generation of African-Americans with a race and class crisis. It debates whether the concepts of affirmative action solve this and whether a better solution would be to soundly and reasonable work out a way to promote a fuller integration of places of education and employment. It evaluates how a total resolution to this conflict would rely on increased education and services at the most basic levels, increased communication and coordination at higher levels and above all a willingness on both sides to come to the table and make peace.

"Historically, blacks in America have faced far more discrimination than any other people. They were brought to this land as slaves, and underwent generations of systematic de-culturalization before finally being released from official slavery into an often more difficult economic and cultural slavery. Yet despite these overwhelming odds, black culture has transformed America and in many ways become an integral part of it. Blacks have made invaluable contributions in every area of modern American life, from peanut butter to rock'n'roll, from civil rights legacies to sports legends. Unfortunately, the gap between the lives of white and black Americans has decreased far less than one might have hoped. While black culture seems to have been largely integrated into the fabric of American life, one also sees a startling degree of ghettoization as well. There are many black individuals in business, for example, and yet few in management positions. There are many black entertainers, but few blacks exercise any control over the giant media conglomerates."