African American Culture under slavery
Literature, spirituals and folk culture as poised in Crossing the Danger Water suggests that the culture of African-Americans under bondage had shaped into an individual culture distinct from slaveholders and the culture of the Africans (Feagin, 2015). The literature, spirituals, and folk culture were a figure of hope. These all advocate that the Africans in America under captivity were intellectual in spite of lacking opportunities to learn reading or writing and having to conform to the slave owners’ ideologies and beliefs (Feagin, 2015).
African Americans were regularly prohibited from reading and writing by restrictive rules. This new culture that had developed from the African American was a blend of culture from where the slaves once were and where they were at that time thus creating the African American culture. This mixture showed the memories and traditions of the past and the hope for the future. Literature, spirituals and folk culture also served as a communication means amid the African American slaves. Crossing the Danger Water suggests that African American culture under slavery was rooted upbringing combined with the experiences lived by the African American slave thus forming a brand new culture (Stuckey, 2013).
Crossing the Danger Water presents faith as a part of the culture. In the American society and culture today, Christianity which was imparted on to the African slaves became a part of the African-American culture (Stuckey, 2013). The slave owner’s teachings and the interpretation of African Americans together with cultural infusion is still evident in the African-American church.
The works of literature including stories and spirituals that were passed down are still being narrated and sung. This is a direct reflection because the African American slaves used things from their past and incorporated it into their present as today’s American uses things from the past in the present (Feagin, 2015). Another example would be music with a message today’s American culture uses music to tell stories or present a message or encourage just as the spirituals did in African American slave culture.
Feagin, J. R. (2015). How Blacks built America: Labor, culture, freedom, and democracy. Routledge.
Stuckey, S. (2013). Slave culture: Nationalist theory and the foundations of Black America. Oxford University Press.