Free «African Identity» Essay Sample

Many black race societies have the same expectations of the members who are born in it. These expectations are usually gender determined and a person born in such a society needs to adhere by them. There is a variety of expectations I met when I was born in my society as a black male. They include how I was supposed to conduct myself in public, the group I was allowed to socialize with, the type of clothes I was supposed to wear and how I was supposed to react emotionally. The people who are born male in my society are supposed to dress in male clothing and as transvestites are not tolerated. While in public, I was expected to appear confident and not behave shyly as it is a characteristic associated with the females. In addition, I was expected to keep the company of males only. This was done especially through the taking care of the family's properties such as, looking after cattle. Boys were also expected not to be so reliant on their mothers, but they should come off the care earlier, in comparison to girls (Cornwall, 2005).

Within my family, the norms followed were usually set by the society and everyone was expected to live by them. Respect was paramount, and all elders were to be accorded the respect they deserved. All the jobs within the family considered masculine were a responsibility of the male and the lighter tasks left to the females. The family required the male to under-go circumcision by a set age. In addition, the male teenagers were expected to go look after cattle. The values supported by family include friendship, mutual respect and understanding and obedience. Friendship was paramount as we were all related through blood ties. All elders were to be respected by all the young members of the society and a teenager considered disrespectful are subjected punishment. Gender roles were depended on the age of a person but were more or less the same. This is because, the older generation usually taught the younger what was expected of them as they matured. The peers in my culture shared the same values, norms and gender roles which the family supported. The dominant culture though, was different in their norms, values and gender roles. This is because they had come in to contact with civilization and they were trying to shy away from the traditional norms, values and gender roles expected of them (Cornwall, 2005).

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In my teenage years, a variety of social movements were present to help in my socialization. These social movements consist of the rite of passage, the football teams we formed back then and hunting groups. Almost all of these movements helped me to realize how unity is important in the achievement of goals. For instance, during the rite of passage, teenagers underwent various tests to make them courageous. During those times, they are required to participate in activities which are somewhat dangerous. It could not be easy for someone to be successful if dealing alone. Group support was needed and this ensured victory. Since then, my view of the world was shaped as I learned how to cooperate with other fellows in the achievement of a goal. The football teams and other teams formed for various sports also shaped my current view of the world.

The teams, which were serious with game, usually won the championship whereas those that did not take the competition serious always ended like losers. Seriousness also entailed thorough practice. This shaped my view of the world as I came to realize that in no matter what I am doing, it is important to stay true to the cause and this requires doing more practice or preparation so as when the time comes, I should be prepared rather than depending on good luck. The hunting social groups also shaped my view of the world, as they made me realize nothing can be accomplished when a person is scared of the results. I became skilled through the hunting escapades. I also became courageous. Sometimes, these escapades involved coming across dangerous animals. This shaped my view of the world as it made me realize that if you have an ambition or goal, you should not be scared by the obstacles or the dangers surrounding your ambition. Instead, you need to attempt, as it is better fail after attempting, rather than, utterly failing to attempt.

As a young adult, the educational and occupational opportunities available were limited. The opportunities were mainly limited to my home and the residential school. Besides being given a few lessons by parents and elders, I could only manage to attend the local educational facility, as I had to stay wherever my parents resided. Finding a good job is not also easy as a young adult. This is due to lack of enough experience needed by the employers. Lack of "network" also limits a young adult in finding a job as finding an occupation might require a person to have someone to recommend him. Currently, my educational and occupational prospects have increased as I was successful in high school. I joined a university which offers my favorite course, and this gives me credentials which I need to search for an occupation. My occupational opportunities have increased as I can venture into various career fields which are related to the course that I did while in college.

The generational role that forms my core identity is the adolescent. During this stage, a person is required to identify what one wants to be in the future. In addition, a person is supposed to evaluate and select the roles for their adult life (Zewde, 2008). This was a generational role of making up an adolescent's identity, as it was the time in life when personally; I was unsettled and questioned some of the beliefs held by elders.

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