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The Counterculture African Slaves Created, And How It Shaped America

1440 words - 6 pages

Outline Thesis: When the black slaves where taken from their homelands and brought to the new world they were angry. It is understandable that these slaves were angry after all, they had been taken from their families and been removed from society as they new it. When the slave arrived in America, they had brought with them their own culture. Despite much persecution, they created a counterculture that contributed greatly to the development of America.I. Music A. Protestant Hymns B. Spirituals 1. Gospel Train C. Historical Contributions II. Religion A. Beliefs prior to slavery 1. God 2. Ancestors worship B. Difference from Christian beliefs C. Resistance of Christian beliefs D. African ...view middle of the document...

These musical songs were called work songs, calls, field and street cries, hollers, rhyme songs, and spirituals. (African American Music) These songs told tales of suffering and struggle, but these true meaning behind them was often hidden. Examples of theses songs with hidden meanings were "Wade in the Water", "The Gospel Train" and "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." Songs like "The Gospel Train" represented an escape method, such as the Underground Railroad. (History) Another type of music distinct to slaves was gospel. Gospel songs originated in plantation fields as work songs, and were later sung in churches of black congregations. Gospels were intended to enliven a crowd of slaves with bright music and joyful lyrics. (History) Gospel music contributed to the development of musical genres, such as country, historically considered "white.Before the Africans were forced to the New World as slaves, they had their own religion and religious beliefs. Most African cultures believed in one God, and the ideas of good and evil. Some African cultures believed in and practiced ancestors worship, which believes that dead family members could influence ones life. (Wilson) The main difference between the African and Christian religions was that the Africans did not find it necessary to attempt to convert other cultures to their religion. The slaves were rather resistant towards Christian ministers when they came to America for this reason. The Christian ideas the slaves absorbed were incorporated into their lives in addition to things such as gospel music. A congregation of mainly African American slaves would develop using their own rhythmic preaching style. Some of these congregations still worship together today utilizing the same rhythmic preaching style, with a few minor changes, founded by their ancestors when they were slaves.The art of the slaves during the seventeenth century could be considered advanced by most of today's standards. Most of their art was considered to be religious in nature. Since the Protestant church frowned upon religious imagery and would not allow it to be displayed in the church, the slaves were limited in creating it. Thus, there was very little opportunity for the slaves to express themselves the way they had done in Africa where religion and art were as much a part of each other as anything else. Moreover, the slaves were allowed few opportunities to carve on their own time, much less his or her master's time. This repression of the slave's creativity drastically slowed the development of African-American art. Although slaves could be trained in the practical arts, such as typesetting or furniture making, they could not fully express themselves while working under the bonds of servitude.Slaves produced some of the greatest scientist and inventors in early America. They just did not receive credit for their work many of them still remain unknown to the American public today. While some historians recognize that plantations and...

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