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African American Studies

In: Social Issues

Submitted By stormyjames26
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Hannah Dada
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Definitions that need clarification: • African identity- this term will be used interchangeable. (1) realizing the African continent commonality, (2) the culture and behavior of the slaves (African born and creoles)—basically what defines the slaves’ identity. • Creoles- (1) Atlantic creoles that are phenotypically and culturally mixed with African and European cultures.

The Dynamic African identity: Coping with Slavery Upon considering the changes and the creation of an “African” identity (definition 2), it is important to realize that similar to the constantly changing slavery due to the frequent shifts in the social, political, and economic contexts, the “African” identity was also dynamic. Although the overall reason that prompted the development of the notion of the African continent (definition 1) might be similar across the board of slavery, the specifics of what constituted this identity (ex: religion, family formation) is largely dependent on the time period and region being discussed—ex: the 17th Century African identity in North America is different from the 18th Century identity in Europe. Several factors that enhanced the creation of the African identity (definition 2) include: (1) ability to form families as a result of the gender ratio, mortality rates, segregation from other slaves, (2) population ratio of native-born to creolized slaves, and (3) religious movement that were characteristic of the time and space. These three factors allowed for the African identity to be realized and eventually led to the syncretism of the African culture with the American culture to produce a new African American identity. In order to appreciate the differences in what was contained in the African identity, the reason behind the generation of the unity of the Africa continent is important to understand. Thomas Holt...

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