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By William Dillon Piersen

Drawing on an enormous wealth of proof - folktales, oral histories, non secular rituals, and tune - this e-book explores the pervasive if usually unacknowledged impact of African traditions on American lifestyles. the result's a daring reinterpretation of yankee background that disrupts traditional assumptions and turns racial stereotypes within out. William D. Piersen starts off by means of analyzing a chain of African and African-American oral narratives that interpret the event of slavery from a incredibly black viewpoint. founded on problems with ethical fact, those stories undergo witness to the which means and human rate of the slave exchange as perceived via those that have been its sufferers. Piersen then analyzes the ways that enslaved Africans tailored their wealthy cultural history to the hot situations they have been pressured to suffer. He exhibits, for instance, how they imaginatively - and sometimes aggressively - devised sorts of public satire to withstand white authority. He lines the move of conventional African clinical wisdom to the Americas and demonstrates that during antebellum the US many black healers have been extra expert than their white opposite numbers. He extra exhibits how African customs assisted in shaping the evolving contours of yankee tradition - really within the South - from vacation celebrations, musical traditions, and architectural types to modes of speech, behavior of labor, and methods of cooking. The black legacy to the USA even prolonged, mockingly, to the Ku Klux Klan, whose founders imitated overlaying traditions passed down from West African mystery societies. by way of reestablishing the forgotten cultural hyperlinks among Africa and the United States, this research enriches our knowing of yank historical past and is a powerfultestament to the legacy of African tradition in American lifestyles.

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