Western society left an imprint in the African American culture within the America’s, it affected the religious practices, music, and language of enslaved African’s used from the moment they stepped foot in the America’s. These affects are even felt in present African America culture within the music that we listen to, the foods we eat, and the way our churches function. Even though the main goal of the white slavers was to completely subdue African culture, they were not successful.
The transformation that the African culture went through allowed for African’s incorporating their indigenous cultures in the force fed western culture they inhabited. The main thing that was affected by western society was the African religious practices. With the invasion of the Europeans and the Americans, Judo-Christianity and Catholicism were sure to follow. African’s were not allowed to hold onto their traditional spiritual practices forcing them to accept the ideas of the Judo-Christian and Catholic faiths.
Africans did not give up their own faith but blended their faiths into the religion being pushed onto them. From this new form of spirituality that they created within their communities, African Americans had covertly continued to practice the key aspects of their indigenous traditions; as shown through the practices of Voodoo in New Orleans and within the traditions of the Black Churches of today. They used spirituals, formally named Negro Spirituals, to communicate messages and to sustain them, through the harsh treatment.
According to Jesus “Chucho” Garcia’s article “Demystifying Africa’s Absence in Venezuelan History and Culture,” “African cultures in the Americas, rather than quaint but superficial folklore, are cultures of resistance based on African philosophical principles that we must rediscover, that persist and reshape themselves as time passes and as changes occur in our communities. ” (this may need to be fixed) Garcia describes the African culture as a “culture of resistance” meaning the African’s that entered did not give up their culture but disguised their culture underneath that of the western culture so that it would live on and survive.
Religion is still a major aspect in the African American community. The black church has always played a major role in sustaining the African community as well as resisting the oppression of whites, from the Negro Spirituals of slavery’s time to the organization of the African American community during the Civil Rights era. The black church has aspects of it that speak of its African past. ‘Speaking in tongues’, funeral rites and rituals, and ‘catching the spirit,’ are all aspects of the African culture that was preserved in the Judo-Christian practices.
This spiritualism includes the practice of Candomble1 and Santeria2 that allowed for African’s to retain their culture. Through religion was a major cultural aspect that was affected by western society, the development of African music and languages were also affected by western society. One of the most notable aspects of African culture that was affected by western society is music. Even in the churches, music played a major role in the sustaining of their communities and resisting oppression. In Joseph E.
Harris’ article “The Dynamic of the Global Diaspora” he explains how music had the effect of unifying and organizing Africans saying, “Neither the Middle Passage nor the slave system broke their awareness of their history. This is revealed in their religious practices (Candomble and Santeria especially), songs, and oral traditions. Their culture and aspirations for freedom were expressed in different forms (songs, poetry, religion) and were sometimes employed to solidify mass followers in resistance movements… The impact that western society had on the music and oral traditions of Africans, was the complete opposite of what it set out to do. Instead of taking away these aspects of the culture, whites only succeed in inspiring a form of music that held messages of freedom and rebellion. Music and other forms of artistic expression such as poetry were very effective during slavery in rebellion against the oppression of slavery but also during the civil rights era and even today in the 21st century.
Music is a universal form of communication; it was used to send messages to maroon societies, autonomous slaves that escaped captivity, and to bring the communities together. During the civil rights era music was used to unite, speak the feelings of the community, and to inspire the community, while they fought against the inequality that prevailed in the U. S. Modern African American’s influence in the music industry does still show the use of lyricism to express the unequal experiences within the African American community, as shown in rap when the speak about urban life, or in rhythm and blues when the speak of heartaches and love.
The progression of African influenced music may not be created in the same context as they were originally developed but the ideas and effects are the same. Religion and music are only two aspects of the African culture that was affected by western society; language was also affected by western culture. Being so removed from the realities of slaver and the African’s that were enslaved, many African American’s of today do not realize that the use of Ebonics, or slang as it is called, is the evidence of western societies affects on African language.
Ebonics to many people it is viewed as uneducated and a sign of illiteracy, but it is really a way of talking that is shortened and simple. This language is still prevalent in today’s society among the African American community creating a common understood form of speaking within the community that unifies the African American community. The affects that western society has had on African culture are still widely seen in the African American community. It can be seen in our religious practices, the way that we speak and the music that is made.
Even though they have an affected these aspects of the African American community I am not, I any way, shape or form giving them credit for those aspects of African American culture. I am stating that because of the conditions of western society Africans had to creatively merge their own culture with that of their oppressors. Through this pressure placed on them to forget their traditions and cultures, these Africans decided to bury important aspects of their culture in the beliefs and ‘traditions’ of western society.
They buried their warrior spirits in the music and their spiritualism in the Christianity and Catholicism, and their language in the English. So, yes they affected the African culture but it in turned created another culture, the African American culture that still keep African Americans linked to that African culture. The author gave a As it relates to music and the cultural impacts that western society has had on African musical traditions.
How were the traditional rhythms and beats and how are those beats rhythms and vocal styles still, in this modern age being reflected in the musical genres dominated and largely influenced by African American Artist, such as Hip-Hop, Rap, RnB, Jazz, and Blues. Even with the development of hip hop music in today’s modern society; hip-hop still has traces of its West African origins. As stated by the author of the article History of hip-hop, “The roots of hip hop are found in African American and West African music.
The griots of West Africa are a group of traveling singers and poets, whose musical style is reminiscent of hip-hop and who are part of an oral tradition dating back hundreds of years. ” The author of the article explains that hip-hop, like other African American dominated genres of music, they have roots in the griots oral traditions of West Africa. The ways in which the African American musical influence has impacted pop culture3 and various other aspects of the American culture. Hip-hop, rap and other forms of African American music influenced music.
Were not just staples of American culture, it influenced and set the tone for many trends within pop culture as well as impacted varies social movements within America. As stated by the author of the article Black Music and social change in America, “Elvis Presley, a strikingly handsome and emotive white singer, was the deliverer. In 1956 when he appeared on television singing many songs that were originally performed by blacks, he sparked … like Little Richard, Fats Domino, and Sam Cooke became household names and inspired legions of followers, both black and white. The author of the article explains that music from African Americans during the time of the civil rights movement, their music had an impact in how people looked at them, and it started with one man trying to make a difference by singing a different song. It was when Elvis Presley started singing songs that were originally African Americans songs, when people of all colors began to listen and fall in love with, “the black feel for music.
As it pertains to religion speak on the topics of the various traditional African religious belief (briefly not too long) and the presence of these aspects in the modern African American church and the ways in which African American spirituality has developed and evolved due to western influence. Most of the Africans that were forced or came to America came from these 6 religions in West Africa. Vodun/Mami Wata, Voodoo, obeah5, Kongo6, Ausar Auset society7. Within the United States the presences of these various six religious practices are still impacting the various cultures in southern states within the country.
Areas such as New Orleans, Louisiana have prominent histories of practicing voodoo that have a lot of negative stigmas that go along with it. Voodoo originally based off of its West African roots was meant to be a religion that worshiped the ancestors and animism. “Voodoo beliefs spread from Africa’s shores to America on slave ships. Subjected to forced labor and expected to adopt a foreign Christian religion in their new land, enslaved Africans turned to the familiar spirits of their ancestors to help them survive a painful transition. The author of the article explains that voodoo, had changed after the journey that the West Africans took to get to America. The author also explains that voodoo evolved and adapted some of the other religions such as Catholicism, and including some of the Native American traditions as well.
” 6 Indigenous African Religions (Spiritual Cultures) Practiced in West. ” Assata Shakur Speaks!. http://www. assatashakur. org/forum/spirituality-connect-your-center/1189-6-indigenous-african-religions-spiritual-cultures-practiced-west. html (accessed November 27, 2012). Handwerk, Brian. “Voodoo a Legitimate Religion, Anthropologist Says. Daily Nature and Science News and Headlines | National Geographic News. http://news. nationalgeographic. com/news/2002/10/1021_021021_taboovoodoo. html (accessed November 27, 2012). “The History of Hip Hop Music. ” Aces and Eighths | A Resource For Musicians and Music Lovers. http://www. acesandeighths. com/hip_hop. html (accessed November 27, 2012). grimthor. “The Effect of Black Music on Social Change in America – InfoBarrel. ” InfoBarrel – Crowdsourcing Information | Make Extra Money Writing. http://www. infobarrel. com/The_Effect_of_Black_Music_on_Social_Change_in_America (accessed November 27, 2012).