History of the American Culture

Question 1

Among other cultures that would be said to have greatly influenced the American culture were the African Americans (Jones, 1999). Although the Africans were initially considered inferior and thus exploited as slaves, the traditions in arts and music have remained dominant in the United States. The African Americans have been historically credited with the impact caused to the music industry. Through the great migration, which saw the majority of the blacks move towards the North, where the Jazz was invented. The black artists composed the unique sound to produce music (Jones, 1999). Louis Armstrong has, therefore, been widely quoted to have played a significant role in the development of the Jazz music as it is currently known. A large white population from the US had appreciated the genre of music during the early years of the 20th century. Moreover, in the mid-20th century, the African Americans developed Jazz through the combinations with other rhythmic tunes to produce the Rock ‘n’ roll music (Jones, 1999).

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However, the African American artists lacked the appreciation of the media as was accorded to the whites. Therefore, the lack of publicity triggered the blacks to develop the R&B tunes which were exclusively for the blacks. The change would follow in the 1970s when the African Americans led to the production of the Funk Music, which also gained popularity among the black societies. Hip Hop music followed later in the 1980s as another development by the blacks. It is worth appreciating that the slaves maintained the African heritage in music as a means to cope with pain. The heritage would be appreciated for having given birth to the greatest music genres, as outlined by Jones (1999). Therefore, the African Americans will always be applauded for having influenced the modern music culture in the United States.

Question 2

The American Gothic represents a great work of art which Grant Wood created. The piece of art is a painting that depicts a woman standing beside a man (Hoving & Wood, 2005). Literature defines the man in the painting as a farmer, with the woman being said to represent his wife or daughter. The great painting shows a beautiful house in the background, which is supposed to be the farmer’s home and perhaps the wife or the daughter in the picture. The woman wears a colonial print apron that evokes memories of the colonial era. On the other hand, the pitchfork in the hand of the man symbolizes hard labor. As such, the painting would be interpreted to symbolize the traditional roles of the family, with the woman being responsible for managing the home while the man is providing for the family (Hoving & Wood, 2005). Some plants and flowers appear behind the woman and near the homestead, symbolizing the woman’s determination to maintain the home beauty. Therefore, the painting has been among the most paraded images in the American 20th-century history.

Grant Wood, the painter, illustrated his prowess in contemporary painting through the American Gothic. Although he had gotten an intercultural orientation through studying in Europe, he managed to capture what would be argued to be the historical culture of the 19th century Americana (Hoving & Wood, 2005). The wide reception and appreciation that was accorded to the painting over the years depict the significance of the great work of painting. In essence, Grant would go down the history books as among the greatest painting artists to have lived in the America’s history.


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Hoving, T., & Wood, G. (2005). American Gothic: The Biography of Grant Wood’s American Masterpiece. Chamberlain Brothers.

Jones, L. (1999). Blues people: Negro music in white America. Harper Collins.

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