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Efforts of African Americans to Rejuvenate African Musical Roots - Research Paper Example


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Efforts of African Americans to Rejuvenate African Musical Roots

The African Americans faced racism and its saddening effects during slavery. Even years after slavery, racism has been rampant in America. During the slavery period, Africans were an inferior minority group (Brown 24). These Africans did not preserve their African musical culture and absorbed new aspects from the other cultures. The black American music experience fused with aspects from other cultures became different from the original music. During slavery, Africans lacked the freedom to play their music. African music has unique rhythms and beats of drums. The drums were an abomination during slavery among the whites. Only Caribbeans and Latinos allowed Africans living among them to drum. African music is expressive and the black Americans embarked on new genres of music. These new genres were jazz, blues, and later rock and roll. African slaves had the freedom to perform their usual rituals. The song and dance in these rituals had erotic aspects that they expressed in the new genres. Blues had an African aspect and were expressional songs that helped African Americans express the emotions of their experiences and hope for the future (Brown 25). African American music that evolved was rich in west-African aspects and other European aspects. The African Americans in that era were slowly losing the African musical roots as they adopted musical aspects from other cultures and formed uniquely black-American music. The prevailing conditions affected the African image negatively. African Americans

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have taken many years to heal from the pain and effects of slavery. These people are facing the challenge of retracing the African roots and culture. The current generation of black Americans comprises of descendants of a generation that understood the African culture experience. The new generation has been rebuilding its African image. They have lacked an identity as Africans for a long time and racism has tainted their attitude towards the African ethnicity. The scenario in African music has been changing rapidly. African American music has risen from the minority type of music to dominate America. Although African Americans have been facing challenges in developing their unique music, they have proved relentless and have constantly applied the African energy and creativity to music. The current African American genres have been integrating different African aspects (Graham 70). The subject of the music sends messages to the white population. The African American music may not purely relate to African traditional music but it has many similarities with the modern African music. African music characteristically involves the performer and the crowd as well. In addition, African music is incomplete without expressive and vigorous body movement. Current rock, hip-hop, and rap present the African characteristics. Current music evolving from Jamaica is a true celebration of African roots. These genres are reggae, funk, and modern jazz and hip-hop (Conyers 235). The music reflects on black religion and culture. The music presents the African aspects that African Americans have been keeping deep inside for a long time. It is worth noting that rejuvenating African roots in music for African Americans is not easy. These people have been through a long journey. They lacked the freedom to express themselves freely in music for a long time during slavery. Most of the original African aspects of music did fade away over the
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This is another paper which is dedicated to African American music and its special niche in the music history, and how African Americans have struggled for their own culture…
Efforts of African Americans to Rejuvenate African Musical Roots
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