Thursday, December 20, 2007
SOUL The popular term "Soul" can be best defined as both the ideology as well as the affirmation of blackness or of being black. "Soul" is many things, comprising everything that happens in the black experience or, as novelist Ralph Ellison has written, "the full range of American Negro humanity." It is love and respect; it is language and the black dialect; it is food ("Soul food"); it is music and art; it is appearance (ranging from hair styles to clothing styles); it is everything and anything that an African American does to affirm his cultural heritage and identity. In equating "Soul" with the African concept of Negritude, popular historian Lerone Bennett has described it as "a metaphorical evocation of Negro being expressed in the Negro tradition. It is the feeling with which an artist invests his creation, the style with which a man lives his life. It is, above all, the spirit rather than the letter: a certain way of feeling, a certain way of expressing oneself, a certain way of being."