Continuities across continents: Assessing African American cultural themes among Black and Coloured South Africans

Eric A. Hurley, Shelva Paulse Hurley
Published Online:
23 Apr 2020
Volume/Issue No:
Volume 56 Issue 1

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Much of the scholarship concerning African American culture is premised on the notion that it is a legacy of African origins but there has been essentially no attempt to document that relationship empirically. This paper briefly reviews existing evidence for cultural continuity in the Diaspora and then compares the responses of Black and Coloured South African and African Americans on measures of culture emic to African American populations. The observed patterns of psychometric performance, participants' responses, and the predictive utility of the measures employed were consistent with the thesis that despite inevitable variation, these three groups of the African Diaspora share similar orientations on the cultural themes assessed. This research hopes to initiate empirical work on the continuity thesis as it applies to connecting African American culture with a legacy of Africa and as related more broadly to the study of global Diasporas.

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