Diagnostic True and False Test in Blackface by Prof. David Horne
Below are fifty-five (55) True-False questions on Black Culture (African American Culture. See what your Black Cultural Literacy (BCL) is. Answer sheet at end.
____1. There used to be a Black Culture in America, but it is dead. Blacks are now generally mainstreamed as just Americans.
____2. If there is a Black Culture, one does not have to be Black to be a part of it; there are Whites who are part of Black Culture, Latinos, etc. Black Culture welcomes all.
____3. According to most scientific evidence, all mankind originally came from Africa, including all modern mankind, so essentially, everyone is African.
____4. Black American and African American mean the same thing.
____5. Most continental Africans recognize African Americans as another African tribe (simply raised outside of the African continent).
____6. Hip-hop, in its various forms, is now the dominant representation of true African American culture.
____7. Whites can be African American (born on the continent and now American citizens).
____8. If there is a Black culture still alive and relatively well somewhere, skin color is the primary determinant of who is and who isn’t Black.
____9. Caribbean Islanders, Central Americans and others who look Brown and Black are all considered as and see themselves generally as Black Americans (Caribbean Americans, Central Americans, South Americans, etc.).
____10. African Americans generally speak English. Spanish and French-speaking Black folk are not and cannot be African Americans.
____11. In terms of culture, how you define yourself is much more important than how society defines you.
____12. All cultures in America are equal in value—socially and politically.
____13. In order to write Black literature, one first has to be Black; in order to play Black music, again, one has to be Black as a qualifying criteria.
____14. If there is a Black culture, it is simply another version—a sub-culture—of American culture and it really has little if any distinctiveness of its own.
____15. In large part, Black culture is a reaction to White culture and White racism
(i.e., Black culture, if it exists, is reactionary as part of its core).
____16. Black culture is essentially ghetto culture.
____17. The Black or African American Experience is the same thing as Black or African American culture.
____18. Most decent Black culture has already been co-opted into American mainstream culture and that’s the way it should be. America does not need a separate Black culture.
____19 Cheikh Anta Diop, in The African Origin of Civilization,argued that West
Africa (particularly Ghana, Mali and Songhay), was the cradle of man’s civilization
and the site of the African man’s creation of modern man’s religion and civilization.
___ 20. Structural Functionalism is a theory that explains why Blacks too often distrust
each other--the legacy of the slave master makes them do it.
___ 21. The theory of the Black Matriarch demonstrates that Black Women, after all,
are the strongest part of the race.
___ 22. A race man or woman is one who exemplifies all of the negative stereotypes
of Black people.
___ 23. Neo-colonialism was first, and the colonization of Africa came next.
___ 24. The Transatlantic Slave Trade gave birth to the Trans-Saharan Slave Trade.
___ 25. African American history and culture in the USA began in slavery, so essentially, one can argue that Black culture, if it exists, is Slave culture
___ 26. Ebonics is the first original African American language (with Pig Latin second).
___ 27. What makes African American art distinctive is its emphasis on and reflection
of the Black Experience, symbolism and rhythm
___ 28. What all physical Black artists ( i.e., painters, ceramicists, sculpturers, carvers,
etc.) have in common is the more or less masterful coordination of color,
content and context (perspective) in their work.
___ 29. What always makes Black Art Black is that the artist himself/herself is Black.
___ 30. The only original American contribution to world music has been Appalachian
Hillbilly (Bluegrass) and African American music, including jazz, spirituals,
shouts, ragtime, blues, R & B, hip-hop/rap, etc.
___31. African American culture, if it exists, is primarily based on emotionalism, reaction and attitude.
___32. African American literature is mainly based on the Black Aesthetic, a set of
regular themes (such as alienation, identity, generations, adaptability to
adverse circumstances, etc.) and a mastering of standard literary forms.
___33. There is little, if any, difference between being a Pan-African and being a Black Nationalist.
___34. Most African Americans acknowledge that they are Americans first, and only
reluctantly acknowledge that they are also African American .
___35. According to most current research, the African American family is mainly
based on absentee fathers and single mothers and is extremely dysfunctional.
___36. In terms of culture, the only thing that Black people have regularly trusted is
rhythm--in talk, in behavior, in dance, in creative activity, etc.
___37. African American culture is just like any other culture, in that it exists to transmit
values, a world view, and accepted modes of behavior to participants in that
___38. Ethnocentrism is the same as racism, so Blacks can be cultural bigots and racists too.
___39. Cultural Diffusion is the best way to explain how cultural ideas were transmitted from place to place and from people to people.
___40. Emigration and immigration are the same, just different spelling.
___41. The dominant culture in the U.S. is not WASP culture; rather it is democracy.
___42. Culture can be defined as a common language, religion, place of origin, shared values, and a sense of group bonding, although that is not the most comprehensive definition
___43. Each of us is a product of both convergent and divergent evolution, and African
Americans are mostly examples of divergent evolution.
___44. What we believe is often more important in how we behave than what is true or factual in cultural terms.
___45. Mitochondrial Eve is a multiple origins theory (man originated in several different parts of the planet); Noah’s Ark is a single origins theory (all mankind originated in Africa).
___46. One strong element of African American culture is its emphasis on certain activities or concepts (e.g., rhythmic skills makes one a poet, not just conquering meter and metaphor), such as content over form, even though form is clearly part of the culture.
___47. Being Afrocentric means being racial exclusivist and a Black racist.
___48. Mixed cultural people generally don’t know who they are—they stay confused--
but whatever they are, they are not Black.
___49. Being Black is a quantifiable thing—you can always tell who is and who isn’t.
___50. Kemet is another name for ancient Egypt, and Black Egypt is very important in defining Black culture.
___51. Most Americans, including most Black Americans, are not Culturally Literate (i.e., culturally competent) concerning Black culture.
___52. The Maafa is the Black Mafia and has no particular cultural relevance—just thuggishness.
___53. Black women are the primary bearers of Black culture, so disrespecting and disregarding Black women is an effective way to kill off Black culture.
___54. One cannot really be confident in dealing with everyday challenges unless one is comfortable and accepting of one’s cultural foundations and influences, according to most cultural theorists.
___55. It is out of one’s culture that one learns respect and self-respect, so disrespecting one’s culture means dissing and disrespecting oneself, one’s parents, and those who look like oneself.
Answering: 47-55 Expert in BCL
35-46 Competent in BCL
Below 35 Your BCL Needs Serious Help
Submitted by Sister Iman