I believe that everything that is culturally significant in the United States is due to the
African-American Experience. Black people in their quest to defy, express and represent
life as an oppressed people keep giving to our culture. The collective black experience
if made into a single person would be the great American artist. Black people are more
vital than Warhol, Pollack, Dylan, Ginsburg et al could ever imagine being.
Here is my list of contributions:
American cuisine (southern food)
Jazz (all movements: dixie land, swing, bebop, fusion)
Modern dance (tap, jitterbug)
Pop dance (the twist, juke n jive, hip hop)
Rhythm and blues
Rock & roll
Soul music (Motown, Stax)
Slang terms (never stops)
Marijuana culture and coolness (from jazz)
Hip hop culture
Richard Pryor (he stands alone)
Evolution of expression in sport (the dunk, finger roll, endzone dances, high fives etc.)
And on and on.
Am I wrong? I think the Black experience is what gives America its ”coolness” over an
European culture. In fact, its Europeans who often have to reflect back our cool blackness to America before we realize it.