By William Dillon Piersen
Drawing on an enormous wealth of facts - folktales, oral histories, non secular rituals, and tune - this publication explores the pervasive if usually unacknowledged effect of African traditions on American lifestyles. the result's a daring reinterpretation of yankee heritage that disrupts traditional assumptions and turns racial stereotypes inside of out. William D. Piersen starts off by means of analyzing a sequence of African and African-American oral narratives that interpret the adventure of slavery from a enormously black standpoint. headquartered on problems with ethical fact, those stories undergo witness to the which means and human fee of the slave alternate as perceived by way of those that have been its sufferers. Piersen then analyzes the ways that enslaved Africans tailored their wealthy cultural background to the hot situations they have been compelled to suffer. He indicates, for instance, how they imaginatively - and infrequently aggressively - devised varieties of public satire to withstand white authority. He lines the move of conventional African scientific wisdom to the Americas and demonstrates that during antebellum the US many black healers have been extra expert than their white opposite numbers. He additional indicates how African customs contributed to shaping the evolving contours of yankee tradition - really within the South - from vacation celebrations, musical traditions, and architectural kinds to modes of speech, behavior of labor, and methods of cooking. The black legacy to the United States even prolonged, sarcastically, to the Ku Klux Klan, whose founders imitated protecting traditions passed down from West African mystery societies. by means of reestablishing the forgotten cultural hyperlinks among Africa and the USA, this learn enriches our knowing of yankee background and is a powerfultestament to the legacy of African tradition in American lifestyles.
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Additional info for Black legacy: America's hidden heritage
The angle worked. "Now I believe you," said the slave, looking him in the eyes. "43 It was a clever response and typical of the way African Americans were forced to answer white delusions of superiority. For their part, Africans were already developing their own explanations for the strange commerce moving inland from the sub-Saharan coast long before most had heard anything of Christianity or the peculiar white rationalizations for European power. One popular supposition, as we have seen, was that the overseas slave trade was required to supply bloodthirsty white cannibals with an endless supply of sacrificial victims.
Cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 0-87023-854-X (alk. paper). : alk. paper) 1. United StatesCivilizationAfro-American influences. 2. Afro- Americans. I. Title. 0496073dc2092-41003 CIP British Library Cataloguing in Publication data are available. Page v For Charlotte and Katie Page vii CONTENTS Preface ix Part I The Comforts of Job 1. Why God's Black Children Suffer 3 2. "Das Duh Way Dey Ketch Um" 35 Part II No Simple Black Folk Here 3. A Resistance Too Civilized to Notice 53 4.
This change in emphasis is illustrated in a story extremely similar to the Jamaican tale but in this case recorded in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1913 by Henry Davis: In de beginnin', God he tuk two bundle an' he place 'em before a nigger an' a white man. An' one bundle he mek berry big, an' one bundle bin berry little. De nigger he bin hab fust choice, an' you know a nigger wid he greedy big eye: he tink the big bundle de best, so he tek dat. Den de white man he tek what was left,de leetle bundle.
Black legacy: America's hidden heritage by William Dillon Piersen