What Are Some African American Customs and Traditions?

Most of the traditions that African Americans participate in come from the slave times when their traditions were the only thing they had left; rhythmic dancing, loud singing and voodoo practices are all small parts of African traditions that the slaves brought over to America when they came. These traditions vary greatly from the traditions they left in Africa because they blended with the white American influence that they were subjected to on a daily basis.

Since slaves were often forbidden from learning to read and write, most of the African American traditions have been passed down orally. Parents, grandparents and great grandparents have told stories for generations that were passed down from their parents. These stories and habits involve everything from voodoo spells to a particular style of speaking, known as Ebonics.

The traditions of African Americans live on mostly in the southern parts of the United States. In this area, the traditions were held onto tightly and embraced by younger generations. Words that are common in the South, such as banjo and okra, have become an ingrained part of the English language, but were originally used by slaves that had been brought over from African countries.