October 1, 2015
Intro Afro American Studies
Bi-Weekly #2

How did Africans preserve and affirm their way of life and use their identities as a means of enslavement?
Abstract: The main goal of slavery is usually to deny victims their native cultural identity and sovereign. Africans were derived of their cultural habitats and identity; they were expected to abandon African heritage and to adopt the European lifestyle. Africans could not keep their traditions because it was seen as offensive under whites. “Africans blended Catholicism. They took cultures they brought them and blended them with the things around them and allowed them to continue to be human the world” (Dr.Carr). However, we are able to differentiate African culture from European culture. To certain people, this has been explained as a form of oppression but in reality it was just Africans refusing to conform. Africans will always hold onto their culture even if we are under relentless attacks and various powers from outside forces. “Culture never dies, it’s passed on; that is why it changes.” (Dr.Carr) and by using this quote, it expresses the fact that Africans don’t break lines in African culture.
Critical Review of Scholarship: e sources I will be looking at are “Eloquence of the Scribes” and “African Women, Resistance Cultures and Cultural Resistance” to analyze how literature and cultural movements played a part in the resistance of African people against European people as a whole and women’s impact in the 20th century. During class, we talked about how the “color line belts the world.” This phrase meant color discrimination. During the 20th century, there was human hate and prejudice, which caused endless evil to all men. Throughout history, Africans have lost their value of living in the way of their ancestors due to the fact that Europeans want to keep their history alive by installing their history into African minds. (From deriving African culture, the future of Africa is still in the stage of European colonization. I am going to express how the Puritans and enslaved African-Americans affirmed their culture.
Discussion: The Puritans, African Americans and Native Americans affirmed their identity in Colonial America through oral traditions, songs and rituals, which were a cultural movement meaning. The Puritans affirmed their identity through religious beliefs and theocracy. Since the Puritans storyteller stories are based on the bible, most children were inaccessible to reality. Children grew up on the same beliefs as their elders and grandparents. All Puritans were considered sinning because of the teachings of the bible. They believed in predestination, which means those selected by God are saved and go to Heaven yet the other Puritans respected hard work. They used their theocracy to complete their utopian society and have made their first appearance by historians if they achieved their dream. The Puritans did affirm their beliefs through cultural movements by their storytelling by their theocracy and achievement of their utopian society.
Enslaved African-Americans affirmed their identity through their development resistance towards slavery, sacred songs and their storytelling also. Although, storytelling has existed in many cultures, but existed for different reasons than that of the Puritans. After a long harsh life, enslaved African Americans began to imagine and dream of freedom. Most slaves had got an education, learned how to speak English and sing. Being a slave herself, Harriet Tubman, helped other slaves escape by singing songs. During the 20th century women sung songs, what are referred to today as “negro spirituals” as a way to pass the time while in the labor workforce. The songs contained encrypted messages about the African culture in a simple form. (Kuumba M. Bahati. African Women, Resistance Cultures and Cultural Resistance). They also sung songs as a resistance against the Europeans and kept their culture alive. One sacred song called “Follow the Drinking Gourd” was the North Star to freedom and up north U.S. This song motivated slaves to seek freedom. When a slave became a free slave, their happiness belonged to those that paved the way for them and risked their lives. The enslaved African-Americans of colonial times truly affirmed their culture and identity their courage and determination of freedom will be remembered for many years.
All of the races, cultures, and traditions whether they be Puritanical or African were great in their