Self-determination of Africans in the U.S.

March 23rd, 2015
Intro to Afro-American Studies
Dr. Carr

Framing Question #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?
“African resistance shaped to local, regional and national elements of the “Modern World System” social structures.” By the late seventeenth and eighteenth century, many African learned how to resist the temptations of slavery. They learned these techniques of resistance from the white people in the United States and the Western Hemisphere. Because they learned such techniques, Africans were able to emerge and started to “revolt to resist enslavement.” Because of the many sacrifices that Africans had made they were able to sustain their culture, making it the origin of humankind. Africans finally realized that if they were going to overcome enslavement that they had to overcome “dominating social structure.”

Critical Review of Scholarship:
In order to answer this framing question, I will be using information from Dr.Carr’s lecture and information from the power points that were provided to us as well as the books that were given in the beginning of the semester. African people practiced self-determination in many ways and depending on social structure, they were able to find themselves, according to Cedric Robinson. In order to continue practicing these practice of self-determination they joined alongside the British in the American Revolution. Africans joined alongside the British in hope of obtaining their freedom and finally being considered as civilized and equal people. This book offered an large amount of information on the African’s struggle for resistance of enslavement.

Africans in the United States had significantly adapted their techniques of resistance to the particular contexts of the emerging U.S. nation-state, even as Africans elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere had done the same in their respective countries/colonies. Instances of maroonage, quilombismo, or other attempts to “convene Black spaces” in which to self-determine began to follow the racial, class, gender and cultural particularities of the Europeanizing impulses.” This abstract of framing question gives segue to what is going to be talked about and looked for when answering this framing question.
There were several themes that struck me related to this topic such as maroonage. Maroonage had seemed to be a common way that Africans resisted enslavement. Maroons were said to be small private communities that served as a “safe haven” for runaway slaves and indentured servants, people where equal and there was no hierarchy. Some similarities between slaves in this hemisphere were the use of culture to resist enslavement, which was through art, music, dance, and literature.
Some differences were that Africans that were freed forgot their roots and the foundations in which they came from. This caused a disconnect between traditional Africans and those who were more into the world. Such disconnect cause discord and much disagreement amongst Africans. They did this thinking that the Europeans would accept them into their culture instead they were actually manipulating them and breaking them apart.” They continued on the verge of enslaving Africans and selling them for profit.

Further Questions:
-Why did the Africans that were freed actually think that the Europeans would accept them into their society so easily?
-Why didn’t the Africans that were freed stick by the other Africans side of those who were not freed?