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African American Interpersonal communication

African American Interpersonal Communication through Body Art Tattoos make an individuals self definition more complete by visually communicating gang membership, status, rank and personal accomplishment (Phelan 277). Tattooing and body piercing has been practiced in almost every culture around the world, and for thousands of years. (Greif, Hewitt 367) The African American culture use body art as a method of nonverbal interpersonal communication. The word tattoo became part of the English vocabulary in 1769 when James Cook visited the Pacific Island of Tahiti. Both sexes, he wrote, paint their bodies. Tattow as it is called in their language, this is done by inlaying the color of black under their skins in such a manner as to be indelible. Some have ill designed figures of men birds or dogs, the women generally have this figure Z simply on every joint of their fingers and toes (Shukla 234). Tattooing and body piercing are increasing, especially among young college students. Yet in Western culture, tattooing and piercing often have been considered taboo, perhaps stemming from the Bibles Old Testament citing in Leviticus 19:28 and Deutronomy 14:1 that prohibits the marking of ones flesh in celebration of other gods ( Greif, Hewitt 367).Tattoos reflect a persons past career objectives . To analyze the moral careers communicated by these tattoos, we identify and elaborate upon five distinct phases in a prison gang moral career: pre initiate, initiate, member, veteran, and supervisor ( Phelan 277). The major reasons tattoos are given are traditionally, body art has served to attract the opposite sex, boost self esteem, ward off or invoke spirits, indicate social position or marital status, identify with a particular age or gender group or mark a rite of passage, such as puberty or marriage. It is this sort of strictly prescribed, highly ritualistic decoration that Beckwith and Fisher depict in African ceremonies. We have tried...

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