What do you know about African American culture? What have you consistently seen in regard to how it has been presented to you throughout your life? Hip Hop, R&B, and Rap music that largely promotes all of the negative behavior that is only carried out by the most ignorant and superficial of us? African American comedians joking about our foolish behavior? Compare the positive vs the negative. Compare how much negative behavior you can remember at this moment to how much progressive behavior you can recall. How many famous, positively influential African Americans come to mind? I’m going to assume a handful. Yet how many infamous African Americans can you recall who glorified violence, money, drug abuse, and casual sex? Famous African American rappers, singers, and athletes are abundant. They dominate “the game”. Yet only a fraction of them have made any kind of positive contribution to the betterment of their own people or society at large.

In spite of this negative dynamic, social scientists have officially recognized that African American culture is the most duplicated culture in human history. You cannot go to any country in the world and not hear African American music being played in the most toxic social environments in any society…bars and nightclubs. I would know firsthand, because I’ve worked in many of them around the world. Our degrading lingo and slang like “nigga” and “bad bitch” has been adopted worldwide by children and adults alike. Our ghetto style of dress…baggy shirts and jeans or skin tight revealing dresses and skirts…has become an acceptable norm because of the way that African American entertainment has popularized it. In every single country around the world there is a subculture of African American wannabes.

What other culture has EVER been represented so much throughout the entire world? And it isn’t a positive representation. Are the majority of people echoing the words of progressive AfricanAmericans like Dr. Martin Luther King, Maya Angelou, Neil Degrasse Tyson, or Malcolm X? No. They’re repeating the words of narcissistic entertainers like Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne, and 50 Cent. Are they praising the scientific contributions of George Washington Carver, Elijah McCoy, or Lewis Latimer? No. They’re praising the contributions of athletes like Koby Bryant, Serena Williams, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods. But what have these elite performers done to help society progress? Hardly anything at all.

The copycats around the world are emulating what African Americans live like in the “hood” or the superficial nonsense they’re doing with their millions when they make it out of the hood. If you need an example of a famous copycat, just look at Australian rapper Iggy Azalea. This culture bandit is making millions off of emulating ghetto African American women. The hyper-sexuality, ass shaking, and “bad bitching” of ignorant African American women has now become a popular trend, and she is just one of many famous music entertainers who are cashing in on it. It is exploitation on a global scale.

I’m drawing attention to all of this so that people who love the worst of my culture can recognize it for what it is, and hopefully stop bouncing their head, dancing to it, and copying the behavior like it’s the best thing they’ve ever seen or heard. There’s nothing positive, beneficial, or progressive about glorifying ass shaking, bragging about what you own or can afford, how many women you can get, how many “thirsty niggas” want you because you’re a “bad bitch”, how many “niggas” or bitches “hate” on you, or how much better you are than someone else who’s striving for the same superficial bullshit that these entertainers are. The more time and money you spend on entertaining yourself with this destructive, ass backward nonsense, the longer it will continue.

– Michael Verdun

2 thoughts on “The Global Perception of African-American Culture

  1. I see your point and I agree with most of it. I just think that the great accomplishments of athletes such as Kobe Bryant, Senera Williams and other great athletes, helped break down barriers of race and they have contributed greatly to progression. I think the focus should be more on attacking the negative portrayal of us in media and not blaming our athletes. We really need support those who promote the positive images of us in the media and combat the negative ones. We also have to educate our own and others on the Elijah McCoy’s, Sarah Goode’s and Lewis Latimer’s in our society. Imagine if we had nothing but super-conscious rappers, rapping about these inventors, rapping about educating, uplifting women and praising those who made positive contributions. Imagine TV shows more like The Cosby’s and less like In Living Color (nothing against in living color, but people who never met Black Americans assume we are all like the show). Black Americans are barely 15% of the US population and our population is minuscule in comparison to the rest of the world, but we have made great contributions in the world. Black American music is popular around the world and its impressive, incredible and flattering! However, our messages are exactly what you stated above, hence its what we are known for and I totally agree with you, this is our fault.
    Now the question is, how to change it. Oprah tried and started small with the “n-word”. But there was so much backlash for Oprah making an issue about it, that the issue was just left alone, and now we are starting to see the effects of the diminished protection of that word being used against us as “hate speech”, which hate speech is not constitutionally protected, but there has been case law to attack this protection and they cite rap songs as their premise.
    It’s like the rappers that are aware of it , can’t get the popularity to promote the positive messages and the ones with the negative messages are promoted and marketed so well! These are don’t know and don’t care about the perception of Black Americans in the US or around the world. They are only worried about their money. The only way I could see possibly changing this to boycott those who promote negative images and stereotypes of Black Americans and promote the positive ones. But it takes education to do this, and then we get to the larger issue of the reason why it’s popular; people see it more as Art imitating life, young thugs


  2. This applies not only to those outside of our culture but specifically to us. We unfortunately live in a society where we are not the ones who own the means of transmitting these images around the world. They are owned by people who have no vested interest in our culture’s representation and the damage and destruction it does within. We must open our eyes and demand better of ourselves. There will always be those who get theirs but do nothing to help pull others out with them. Opportunists who take advantage of their come-up to make a buck and then perpetuate the same mentality that keeps others oppressed. But we specifically must decide to stop spending time and money supporting this subtle form of self loathing and demand better of ourselves and how we are represented. Not only to the world but within our own culture. Great post Michael.


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