• Ahmrii Johnson

Cultural Identity: A Young Woman's Shaping of Identity

It is crucial to commemorate your roots, but it is of paramount importance to never still progression. With the responsibility of two distinctive cultures that form my background and challenge the label of my identity, I have committed myself to serve the progression of not only myself but the communities that surround me. As an Afro-Caribbean and a Black American creative, I have had to decipher my own stance on how one’s cultural background influences a person and if it can present limits on one’s own individuality. It is essential in the divisions that remain persistent today for Black women and women of color to not let the psychological system of human grouping limit individualism.

I embody the spirit of my immigrant ancestors and loved ones whose hearts are still home in the islands of the Bahamas. I have also assumed the culture of my communal backbone: Black America. As an island descendant I have inherited the equable personality the Bahamian population is known for along with the sanguine extroverted characteristics that embodies society’s charisma. Also, instilled in me from the moment I was born is the value of creative expression that is significant to Caribbean culture. The vibrant colors and designs exhibited predominantly in Bahamian celebrations, such as Junkanoo and Carnival, are employed throughout my creations as a form of perceptive exploration. In contrast to the free spirited and light character of my Caribbean culture I acknowledge the assiduous essence of black American culture that also consolidates my background. My community in America taught me to balance my placid nature with the initiative to advocate critical changes even when met with aversion to avoid the detriment of indifference. The history of black America is vital to its cultural characteristics, as it establishes the tenacity, resourcefulness, and harmonious intimacy that have shaped my upbringing. The resilience and raw strength that is a part of Black America was initially exposed to me through artistic expression, particularly in music. My home was consistently filled with the musical genres established by the American black community including, Hip-Hop, Soul, and R&B (rhythm and blues). The lyrics narrated the assertion of the culture’s value in overcoming aversion and promoting vitality which I now hold with high esteem. The artistic parallel that my two cultures have in similar is what I concentrated on at a young age to unite my diverse heritages and form a unique identity for myself, as an individual in a culturally mosaic context.

The assumed convictions of who I am, Black American and/or Afro-Caribbean, and how I should act correspondingly contributed to my passion for the philosophy of cultures in society. The passion I have for the study and celebration of culture, which stemmed from the exploration of my own background, has developed over the years to an enthusiasm in actively promoting the tolerance of diversity in society. Public service will benefit as a foundation of one’s pursuit to contributing to the world and the advocacy of amplifying the voices of underrepresented cultural groups should be held in considerable virtue for the most underprivileged group that is minority women. The progression of social reform will enact the most profitable change if advocated in a variety of fields to reach and educate those in more ways than one. For example, I utilize my love for art and design, particularly in fashion, to conceptually communicate how vital understood diversity is as an element in society, defy my comfort zone to apply public speaking skills when advocating to groups of activists, and expand my knowledge of world history and government to refute social fallacies. The mark our movement as women from ethnic minority backgrounds across the globe should leave on the world, to inspire those after us, will impose the overall well being of all people as a top priority with the recognition of cultural and individual liberty represented. It is the time of social tolerance and assimilation that women will be viewed as distinctly independent elements of society and the human culture our communities create through traditional practices, art, the media, and politics. Therefore, I strongly encourage the promotion of young females to partake in the activities of the community in order to garner a place for themselves not only as woman, but as an ambitious constituent of the progressive atmosphere of civilizations.

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