The Influence of Black Slave Culture on Early America

1137 words 5 pages
The Influence of Black Slave Culture on Early America

The Black slaves of colonial America brought their own culture from Africa to the new land. Despite their persecution, the "slave culture" has contributed greatly to the development of America's own music, dance, art, and clothing.

Music

It is understandable that when Africans were torn from their homes and families, lashed into submission , and forced into lifelong slave labor, they would be, on the most part, resentful and angry. Various forms of expression, clandestine yet lucent, developed out of these feelings. One such form was music. Native
African music consisted mainly of wind and string melodies punctuated by hand clapping, xylophones, and drum beats. Along those
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Blacks became sculptors, painters, block printers, actors, and architects. But it would be a long time yet before
Black art could be fully appreciated, or even accepted as mainstream.

Science

America's earliest African-American scientists and inventors are largely unknown -- their contributions to America buried in anonymity…While historians increasingly recognize that blacks had a significant impact on the design and construction of plantations and public buildings in the South and that rice farming in the Carolinas might not have been possible without Blacks, the individuals who spearheaded these accomplishments remain anonymous. The previous excerpt from The African-American Almanac describes an all too-common situation in African-American history: the accomplishments of Blacks are claimed as those of whites, or not recognized at all. Some scientific discoveries, however, are duly attributed to famous African-Americans. One such invention was the grain harvester, historically credited to
Cyrus McCormick. Though, as new research tells us, "Jo Anderson, one of
McCormick's slaves, is believed to have played a major role in the creation of the McCormick harvester…" On the other hand, much more credit for invention was given to freed slaves, such as Henry Blair, the patent-holder for a seed

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