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African American Vernacular Tradition Focuses on Spirituals Songs - Essay Example

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The African American history can be sketched back to the early European colonization period during which mass migrations took place, responsible for the multi-cultural and multi-national society currently flourishing in the region…
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African American Vernacular Tradition Focuses on Spirituals Songs
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Download file to see previous pages This proved to be the foundation for “white” and “colored” discrimination in the United States, which still thrives ceaselessly in the area. With immense African migrations, slavery was legalized in many regions of America (Zinn 23).The African Americans were referred to as “blacks” or “negroes” due to their dark complexion they inherited from their homeland environments. This discrimination proposed a widespread racial feeling of mixed emotions – hatred, contempt, pity or patronization (Zinn 23). Several conflicts have risen within the country due to this racism, leading to the Civil War of 1861. Even though attempts have been made to promote equalization of rights for all citizens alike, the cities are now divided into racially segregated segments. The term “Vernacular” refers to a traditional trademark, specifically associated with a nation. Hence the African American Vernacular traditions refer to their trademark characteristics that differentiated them from masses. African Americans are known to possess unique language skills and values. Their spiritual songs have been their primary source of inspiration since time unknown. Though their vernacular traditions have now been highly influenced by the modern cultures, attempts have nevertheless been made by the African Americans to save their traditions from extinction....
rect addresses and dialogues, as well as erasing all specific time markers in identifying specific episodes, Jones constructs a complex text of characters and events whose authority and authenticity are occasionally undermined by its ambitious elasticity and heteroglossia” (Bell). This reflects the uniqueness of the African American Vernacular language from the Standard English of today. However, it has not been this simple for preserving oral vernacular traditions like spiritual songs. These were essentially conveyed from parents to offspring and down through the generations. The originality could therefore not be protected since the newer generations “… learned all their songs by ear, they often strayed into wholly new versions, which sometimes became popular, and entirely banished the other” (Higginson 160). Hence the oral vernacular tradition was heavily influenced by the cultural and environmental factors through times and has evolved in many stages into the forms and genres as we see today. The African Americans love their spiritual songs, and they continue to inspire them even today. Their deep respect for the songs stemmed from their relevance with the sufferings of Christ. When the African Americans toiled on plantations and labor in the capacity of slaves, many of them identified themselves as Christ undergoing the troubles and sufferings of his life, often asking God for help and the strength to overcome these problems. But the sufferings of the African Americans turned into their faith – a faith that found its solace in songs. Therefore the African Americans regard their spiritual songs in highest esteem. The African American Vernacular traditions are described as that “which refers to the church songs, blues, ballads, sermons, stories … ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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