How has the African diaspora contributed to the culture of the world?

The African Union (AU) defines African diaspora as people of African origin that reside outside their continent, notwithstanding their nationality and citizenship who are willing to contribute to the building of the African Union and the development of the continent they reside in. From that definition, you can see that these people who have an African origin have played a role in the development of the continent they reside in and still play a role in those continents. The African Union says that but have they really impacted the countries or continents they reside in? To discover the truth, talk a walk with me as we take a look at how the African diaspora contributed to the culture of the world.

African diaspora in America

It’s a known fact that the African diaspora has an appreciable impact on global culture. In the 20th century, their impact was seen in the fields of medicine, science, popular culture, and music. During that time, in the United States, the most generally recognised contribution to their culture was the then trending African-American music genres which include hip hop or rap, blues, gospel, soul, and jazz. Asides from the US, the African diaspora transformed the music genre of countries like Cuba, Jamaica, and Trinidad resulting in music types like Salsa, Reggae, and Calypso. Alongside music, the African diaspora also influenced dance, language, culture, and fashion.

African diaspora in Jamaica –Rastafarianism

Rastafarianism is a religious movement that came into light in the 1930s and the movement takes its name from a man named Ras Tafari who lived between 1892 to 1975 who later became the emperor (Haile Selassie I) of Ethiopia. This religious movement was greatly affected by some of the ideologies of Marcus Garvey who many Rastafarians acknowledge as a prophet. 

This religious movement became widely known in the ’70s due to its strong influence on Reggae. To be more precise, it became known all over the world because of the status of one man – Bob Marley, who doubled as a follower of the movement and a Reggae superstar. One of the major impacts of the religion to the people residing in that region was the use of locks (locking of the hair) which was a predominant hairstyle unique to people of that religion. Today people lock their hair and it’s seen as something that’s fashionable. Even though locking of the hair is no longer associated with that religion, It has gained popularity all over the world, across various cultures.

African diaspora in Britain

The number of people of African origin residing in Britain has existed since the 16th century but since Britain participated in the transatlantic slave trade, it could be said that the majority of Africans in Britain, came into the country as servants and workers in different occupations.

People of African origin within the country played an important role in the abolition movement of the 18th century. They did not only participate as propagandists and writers but also as participants in debates and other activities within the country.

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