History of African American and singing

Essay by nbrown31University, Bachelor'sA+, February 2009

download word file, 2 pages 3.0

Black MusicThe stories of slavery are well know amongst most American high schoolers, but few know of the major role music played in the unifying of their communities and the uplifting of their souls. Before the African Americans where even brought over from their home lands, the Europeans saw them as a happy race who love to take part in entertainments. This was lucky for many of the unfortunate people on the slaves ships, because on certain occasions the slave traders would play music or dance for the trapped slaves. And in many cases the traders said music was the key reason the slaves survived the horrific journey. Once in America, the slaves used their music to gain temporary release from their sorrows. This joy of music and dancing shows up in every aspect of the slaves life. They sang in the fields, the sang and danced in church, and for fun on the week-ends they had social dances.

The slaves sang secular songs, songs which repeat over and over again and carried a heavy rhythm. These songs where stories of love, work, floggings, and mostly anything that was a part of the slaves lives. The songs they sang while working in the fields were usually known for their beat more then the words. This beat set a pace at which the slaves picked cotton, hoed the fields, or chopped wood. It brought a bit of happiness to their grueling work.

Even after the days of slavery many blacks loved music so much that they wanted to continue in that field. In chapter 3 of the novel Slumberland by Paul Beatty, he stated that "in order to fulfill his part in the resurrection of the black man", he wanted to listen to music by black people, one of the musicians...