Black Atlantic EssayShane Gladstone
The role Music played within the development of slave culture: Focus on The Blues
"From the years 1505 to 1870, the world underwent the largest forced migration in history: West Africa was soon to be convulsed by the arrival of Europeans and become the advent of the transatlantic slave trade. Ships from Europe, bound for America, appeared on the horizon, and their captains and sailors - carrying, muskets, swords and shackles - landed on the coast, walked up the beach in their strange clothes, looked around, and demanded slaves. A horrific chapter in history had begun, and neither Africa nor America would be the same again." (Awmiller:14)
Approximately ten million Africans were brought across the seas to the Americas to be manipulated into slavery. It became apparent that these African men, women and children were meant to generate money. They were meant to work long and hard, yet they were no longer intended a voice of their own.
A few Americans took the time to appreciate the hard work performed by the slaves; however, appreciation is a short step in the long road to equality. It was not until the late 19th Century that America began to repair the damage done by this immoral trading of human beings. Once the slaves were freed after the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, it did not do much to end the oppression and prejudice set against their race. Their freedom did not give them a heart; it did not prove they had soul. This is where their music becomes significant: the music of The Blues. Throughout their music, it took much les time for the black race to prove that they were not unlike the rest of humanity; in fact, they did have a voice, and a haunting one at...