October 15, 2015
Intro to Afro American Studies
Bi-Weekly Essay #3

What are some of the similarities and differences in practices of self-determination of Africans in the U.S. and their counterparts throughout the hemisphere?

Abstract: Both Africans in the Western Hemisphere and Africans in the United States practiced self-determination. They practiced self-determination in many ways such as marronage and quilombismo as a means to bring African people together to determine their own statehoods and form their own allegiances. Africans used their difference to fight one another rather than uniting themselves in the 18th and 19th century. However, Africans began to realize that if they wanted to conquer enslavement they would have to overcome the dominating social structure. The Africans in the Western hemisphere used the knowledge passed down from their griots when practicing self-determination. They did this more often than the Africans in the U.S. because they underestimated them and they were uneducated for a while. Africans in the U.S. were more aware of what was happening around them versus the other parts of the world. Although, Africans were divided by suffering from the injustice of slavery. they were able to preserve their culture and use such as their means to resist.
Critical Review of Scholarship: To begin answering this question, I will use the information provided during lectures as well as the readings. One of sources is coming from "Black Self Determination: A Cultural History of the Faith of Fathers. This source will be used to elaborate on what self-determination is and how it evolved. The second source is "Quilombismo: An Afro-Brazilian Political Alternative. This source will be used to further elaborate on what quilombismo is and how it effective in helping the African race as a whole in the practice of self-determination. Another source I will use to elaborate on marronage is the "Black Movements in America by Cedric Robinson. My other evidence will come from class lectures and Dr.Carr particularly from the human social organization and their influence over people and nations.
Discussion: To completely understand the practices of self-determination within the African community, you have to define what self-determination is. "Self Determination is the uniqueness of culture" (Dr.Carr). It is the process by which a person or group controls their own life, decides their own statehood and forms their own allegiances. (Franklin P., V. Black Self Determination: A Cultural History of the Faith of the Fathers. Southern Historical Association, 1986. Print.) From the small movements such as spiritual and secular slave songs, the Federal Writers Project and addresses in front of the Congress have demonstrated what self-determination means in the African community.
The Western Hemisphere Africans and the U.S. Africans used maroonage to practice e self-determination. Maroonage was a common way Africans resisted throughout the hemisphere. Maroon is a based word from the Spanish culture. Maroons are small private communities that served as a safe refuge for runaway slaves and indentured servants. (Robinson, Cedric J. Black Movements in America. New York: Routledge, 1997. Print.) They were fugitive communities where escapees went. These maroons gave slaves hope of a community where they could have a new home and are apart of a safe haven to rebuild their families. Unfortunately these maroons never lasted so long because of the pressure it created on the Europeans. Regardless of the hardships of slavery, Africans did not let anyone take their culture from them. Their culture is what kept them dehumanized. Abolition always followed the Blacks regardless of where they were from. Because the Africans seemed less than the Europeans, the Africans wanted to create something to become equal with the higher powers. They combined their religion to create Afro Catholicism in hopes in acceptance of their religion to become equal as the Europeans. North Americans began practicing Afro Christianity as a means of resistance and a way Africans could gather publically.
Quilombismo significance was "the value in the tactics and strategies of survival, resistance and progress of African communities in contemporary Brazil" (Nascimento Do, Abdias. Quilombismo: An Afro- Brazilian Political Alternative. Journal of Black Studies, 1980. Print.) Quilombismo revealed itself as a factor capable of mobilizing the Black masses in a disciplined manner when the Afro-Brazilians registered the quilombist concept. Quilombismo is in a constant process of renewal