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    African Art Analysis Essay (429 words)

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    The Struggle for African Culture in America

    African-Americans, as they are now known, were originally pulled from their homelands, disconnecting them from all that they once knew. One way to remember their ancestors and the ways in which they were brought up was to keep their culture alive in this new land. This freed them from the daily torture of their masters, healed them from their ailments, and entertained themselves and the white families. African-Americans kept folktales, music, religion, and various spiritual practices alive while they were indentured here in the new lands. Their African traditions gave them self-respect, hope, and a sense of community in their solitude (AP, 346).

    For almost two and a half centuries, African-Americans were in servitude to their white oppressors. During this period, African cultures slowly mixed with English traditions, forming something new and distinctive. Many religious songs are still heard in black churches today, and various customs are still practiced. Even English-American traditions changed and adapted slightly to African cultural traditions. Many slaves would entertain their owners’ children with folktales and songs. Often, white folklorists would come and record the evening’s festivities.

    Famous children’s games, such as Ring Around The Rosie, originated from African games (RTAP, 152). Most of these folklores and songs have been found to originate from Africa (RTAP, 146). Much folklore told in both Africa and America had the same purposes: entertainment, prevention of youth promiscuity, teaching cooperation values, and the behavior of animals. Countless tales helped slaves cope with bondage by using characters to outwit their masters and free themselves from servitude (RTAP, 148). Brer Rabbit was one such character (RTAP, 162). He tricked his enemy into throwing him into the briar patch, saying, The place where I was born.” But the briar patch was filled with thorns and roots. Was this a reference to Africa or to slavery in America, or neither? The slave practice of teaching songs and folklore remained an oral tradition for many years due to the ban on educating blacks (RTAP, 149).

    Some slave children were fortunate to receive an education. Many slave owners’ children would come home from their daily lessons and teach the slave children to read and write, while hiding in a remote part of the forest. Many slave owners thought that if they taught the slaves to read and write, then the slaves would learn to think for themselves and maybe even rebel (RTAP, 163). Overall, without slavery and African traditions, America would be a dull replica of Europe. America altered food, music, religion, sexual restraint, and literature by learning from African culture.

    Slaves helped American settlers develop their own traditions and sense of independence (RTAP, 158). From Retrieving The American Past” 2001 History.

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    African Art Analysis Essay (429 words). (2019, Jan 28). Retrieved from

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