Essay on Cultural Heritage Shapes Our Lives: A 21-Year-Old African American Male's Story.

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1263 Words
Date:  2023-01-11

Cultural heritage and traditions are what build who we are in our daily lives; we are a product of the people who bring us up. This attribute, therefore, makes culture a valuable thing in an individual's life. I am a twenty-one-year-old African American male, my family is made up of various ethnic backgrounds, but my Dad is black, and my mom an African American. I have experienced no major illness that could have led to a disability. My family is a Christian one, under the Catholic Church, so I have subscribed to the same; I am a firm believer of a supreme being, and I have a great sense of spirituality where I believe that everything we do is affected in some way with what we believe.

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My family is a middle class one; I have two siblings, both in high school; this virtue has put me in a situation where I have to be responsible for my actions. Being an older child has disciplined me to make sure I am accountable for my actions. My parents are educators; I believe this is one of the reasons why I have had to manage good behavior since they are strict disciplinarians. Being black comes with a lot of challenges; during my young age, I was unable to associate with some of my white age-mates because they viewed me as a foreigner.

My Dad is a native of Africa; he was born in Kampala, Uganda; their family later moved to the States where they settled and obtained citizenship. The nature of this background predisposes me to prejudice from some people who are unable to stand my kind. At my home, we are taught to love and appreciate every one. We have caring parents who have natured us to develop a good relationship with all people. The upbringing from the Christian family also played an essential role in shaping me to what I am.

My African heritage comes with a lot of pride because of what my ancestors did in the building of the nation. From Richard Allen, who rose from the bondage of slavery to be a great preacher and led the fight against racism and slavery and joined the books of America's most exceptional by giving his best and leading many to Christ to Dr. Charles Drew. The surgeon who revolutionized the field of medicine and surgery and saved many lives and still does; the great musicians who have graced the lives of many Americans today by their creativity and dedication, I am proud because the nation that I live in is the product of their hard work and dedication.

My family background is one which is a humble one, my mom lived in the ghetto, and this hardened her and made her realize that life was a struggle. She worked her way through school, where she met my Dad. It is with this discipline that we have been able to get to the levels where we are. My mother instilled in my commitment and patience, which have helped me all through.

In my family, we are taught to keep an upright life with good morals acceptable in society. We are always advised on which way to take when it comes to decisions in life. Like many other American families, we have been nurtured with love and warned from partaking in any activities that might land us on the wrong side of the law. We have been advised against stealing and engaging in drugs and criminal gangs.

Many American children are given the freedom to choose what they want to do, whether to play or to partake of any event they want, this is, however not the case at our home. In contrast, all we do is directly linked to our parents' advice. There are a few occasions where we have been left to decide on our own, but in the usual conditions, we have our parents ensuring that we are making the right ones. For me, this has been of great importance as I have been able to make informed decisions compared to my friends who are not advised.

The view of the media and information spread about our ethnic group makes it hard for us to associate freely. The popular belief that blacks are thieves and that we engage in illegal activities such as doing drugs paints a picture of a deformed individual. The stereotype that we have misbehaved lower the self-esteem even at your workplace. When working, due to the image built by the media, you are always afraid that in case anything gets wrong, you might be the first to be pointed.

Cases of the shooting of black males, especially the young ones, have been on the rise; this makes life harder since an individual is unable to exploit their full potential fully. During employment, it is harder to get a job if you are black; this discrimination makes us vulnerable to abuse. Most youths who have the required skills but have been denied opportunities end up being drug addicts and join the criminal gangs; where they are imprisoned (Chaney & Robertson, 2015).

Being a black male is risky; life is never sure and taking the case of VanDyke Perry, who was convicted at the age of twenty one and jailed for about eleven years before it was revealed that the case was fabricated. The young man was convicted of rape, which was never proven by any evidence but rather a basis of the claim was made on the woman's narrative. The New York Times record how this man's rights were never considered and a proper trial conducted; instead, he was sentenced to a term that he didn't deserve ("26 Years Later, Justice for Men Imprisoned for a Bogus Rape", 2019).

Just like Mr. Perry, many black youths end up in court for crimes not committed or very insignificant ones; they are jailed with weak or no evidence; this hurts their lives because they are no longer able to get employment due to the lousy record; this will be regardless of their innocence. The image that a black man is always up to something makes this youth lose the trust they have in the government and the judicial system. They feel that they exposed to many risks compared to their fellows.

If given the position of manager in any company, I will ensure that I shield my staff from the exploitation of the media. Individuals who have a predetermined perception about an activity will always perform less compared to their counterparts. Therefore, I will make sure I imprint in the hearts of my staff a loving and caring attitude towards each other. By giving them equal treatment and opportunities, I will develop a feeling of appreciation and acceptance, which will then propel them to work despite what the media says.

Developing trust in them will be my goal. I will give each and everyone a chance to show what they have; this will ensure they can develop a positive attitude towards the company and the management. Dealing with everyone fairly by giving fair judgment without basing on their ethnicity will also provide them with a sense of responsibility. I will award those members who work hard to achieve the company goals and ensure that they motivated further.


26 Years Later, Justice for Men Imprisoned for a Bogus Rape. (2019). Retrieved from

Chaney, C., & Robertson, R. V. (2015). Armed and dangerous? An examination of fatal shootings of unarmed black people by police. Journal of Pan African Studies, 8(4), 45-78.

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Essay on Cultural Heritage Shapes Our Lives: A 21-Year-Old African American Male's Story.. (2023, Jan 11). Retrieved from

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