African-American Assimilation and Acculturation Self-Identity Term Paper

Pages: 3 (748 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Black Studies


Assimilation requires that more African-Americans adopt the philosophy of individualism, while many are still interested in traditional family dynamics and social values.

Pan-Africanism and Assimilation

Adeleke (1998) suggests that two paradigms are central to African-American assimilation and Identity, one of which is Pan-Africanism. This paradigm suggests that the current social crisis of Black America can be resolved by strengthening Pan-Africanism. The focus of this paradigm is to sustain "a viable Pan-African relationship as a strategy against threats posed by the political and cultural dominance of white Americans and Europeans" (Adeleke, 1998, p. 280).

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Pan-African representatives encourage mutual appreciation and understanding of shared historical experiences, values and interests as a way to facilitate better acculturation (Adeleke, 1998). The model encourages unity among African-Americans in a struggle to overcome among other things, wounds from slavery, colonialism and prejudice and racism, and all occurrences that have fed social disparity. The idea is that cooperation can lead to increased recognition acceptance and unity. Pan-Africanism however may also be seen as contrary to acculturation, as it seeks to strengthen Afro centricity and traditionalist African values. It suggests that Africa is the best source of self-definition for African-American's and identity for Blacks living in the United States (Adeleke, 1998).

Assimilation is negative if it encourages blacks to lose their sense of history, heritage and identity. This creates a vulnerable state where social chaos dominates. Subordination and marginalization often results. Pan-African ideals may seem to counter assimilation. They actually encourage cultural recognition and acceptance. Any individual that is able to recognize and appreciate his or her own culture is more likely to contribute to society at large.

TOPIC: Term Paper on African-American Assimilation and Acculturation Self-Identity Assignment

Creating a more unified self-identity will only help African-Americans adapt rather than assimilate to American culture and feel more at home regardless of their physical location. The resulting pride and self-confidence may help create more acceptance by white and European-Americans, creating a society that welcomes African cultures equally with others.


Adeleke, T. (1998). "Black Americans, Africa and history: A reassessment of the Pan-

African and identity paradigms." The Western Journal of Black Studies, 22(3): 182.

Parenti, M. (1978) Power and the Powerless, New York: St. Martins Press


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African-American Assimilation and Acculturation Self-Identity.  (2005, July 27).  Retrieved July 28, 2021, from

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"African-American Assimilation and Acculturation Self-Identity."  27 July 2005.  Web.  28 July 2021. <>.

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"African-American Assimilation and Acculturation Self-Identity."  July 27, 2005.  Accessed July 28, 2021.