Time is Money

Regarding language, the Euro-American culture gives credence to that which is written, that communicating with a style that appears to be formal and detached. In the African tradition, much more credence is given to the oral tradi- tion with an emphasis on the interconnectedness between the speaker and the listener. With respect to time and space, Euro-Americans tend to be very future- oriented and perceive time as a commodity to be invested (i.e., “time is money”). African Americans are more present-centered with a reference to the past. Time is also seen as something to be experienced in the moment, rather than invested with special emphasis or meaning given to circumstances surrounding an event.

In relationship to the universe, Euro-Americans relate it with a desire and need for control and manipulation of things and people. In the African- American worldview, the orientation is usually toward harmony and balance, as everything is seen as interrelated.

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Regarding the concept of death, Euro-Americans see death of the body as the end. Therefore, there is an urgent, almost obsessive, desire to preserve life and avoid the realities of getting old. In the African-American worldview, death is seen as another transition from this life into the next. And because of the be- lief of spirit as the essence of the human being, one is able to better accept and embrace the spiritual transition of those who have joined the community of an- cestors. Finally, worth in the Euro-American tradition is determined and measured by material attainment and possession. In the African tradition, one’s worth was measured by contribution to community and collective uplifting. Parham’s analysis, while allowing for individual variations, nonetheless recognizes how the African-American design for living and pattern for interpreting reality are reflected in the culture of the people.