In this modern time period, America is populated by a myriad of different cultures. America is the cultural mixing pot of the world that creates bridges with various cultural origins. While America is tremendously diverse in cultural backgrounds, African American culture has particularly influenced a significant portion of American popular music and culture, which shows that art is a manifestation of intercultural relations.
African American culture influenced American culture to a tremendous degree through administering a voice to the oppressed. In the past African American culture operated in the midst of the dynamic American practices, profoundly influencing popular culture.
Although much of it is hidden in the shadows, African American culture, specifically music, “burst into the light, seemingly fully grown with no visible past” and increasingly characterizes American identity (Source A). The genres, hip hop and rap, provide a distinguished voice that “articulates the experiences and conditions of African Americans” (Source B). Music plays a vital role in African American cultural identity.
It acts as the medium in which African American society can capably advocate for a revolutionary change without the fear of animosity and criticism. Being able to unify a single background into a single entity that “focuses on education, employment and incarceration” clearly defines the transcending degree of influence African American culture has upon American culture. Since “Whites are drawn to Black culture because of the extraordinary quality of it,” they take in “some of [African American] political and social ideas,” thus resulting in a revolutionized society (Source E).
In fact, it does not only pertain to a single culture; music serves as the manifestation in which cultures, especially minorities, can affiliate and promote for better conditions. Through similar opinions and thoughts, cultures, regardless of socioeconomic backgrounds, largely influence a dramatic change in popular American culture, thus cultivating bonds between interracial groups.
In addition, African American culture is key to the characterization of popular American culture. With the popularizing and increasing U.S. dollar value by 5.4 percent over the past decade, African American culture displays its powerful influence on American identity (Source F). Music has allowed for clothing companies “to tap into the urban youth market” and target the myriad of cultures that reside in America (Source D). African American character is exemplified through how prominent figures such as, Biggie Smalls, connects to the American audience and influences popular culture by means of clothing style. Black culture culminates the relation of “style of dress to music” and essentially impacts American culture through a “kind of a cultural voyeurism” (Source E). The fact that everyone becomes capable of sharing identity and fashion displays the tremendous influence of African American culture and proves art as the manifestation of intercultural relation. Each individual coming from different origins can relate through a mixing of styles not necessarily just in clothing, and eventually illustrates the development of intercultural relations.