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Old 08-06-2013, 01:43 AM
 
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Black-Americans aren't generally known to have many direct African cultural influences like those found in Haiti,Brazil or Cuba. But didn't some degree of African influence shape the way that black-Americans do and approach certain things? Like for example blacks in America have been well known for being good dancers and innovative with music. Where does that come from? Black Americans have their own way of speaking english called "black english" by some. What influenced that?

Could Jazz music had been developed without some amount of African sensibilities? In order for James Brown to create the music he created wouldn't that have also required that it come from someone of African descent? A song like Flashlight by Parliament could have only come from African descendant musicians. Dance styles like Locking and popping(popular in the 70's-80's)could only have been by created by African descendants also.

Basically what I'm getting at is that it's true that Black-Americans don't have the more obvious African cultural influences found in a Cuba or Haiti but much of what we do in music,dance,language,worship and food does show some African sensibilities if you look a little deeper at things.

 
Old 08-06-2013, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
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Like, what's European about me?
 
Old 08-06-2013, 10:55 PM
 
Location: San Diego, California Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motion View Post
Black-Americans aren't generally known to have many direct African cultural influences like those found in Haiti,Brazil or Cuba. But didn't some degree of African influence shape the way that black-Americans do and approach certain things? Like for example blacks in America have been well known for being good dancers and innovative with music. Where does that come from? Black Americans have their own way of speaking english called "black english" by some. What influenced that?

Could Jazz music had been developed without some amount of African sensibilities? In order for James Brown to create the music he created wouldn't that have also required that it come from someone of African descent? A song like Flashlight by Parliament could have only come from African descendant musicians. Dance styles like Locking and popping(popular in the 70's-80's)could only have been by created by African descendants also.

Basically what I'm getting at is that it's true that Black-Americans don't have the more obvious African cultural influences found in a Cuba or Haiti but much of what we do in music,dance,language,worship and food does show some African sensibilities if you look a little deeper at things.
The things you mentioned are a good starting point. For starters, we are more American than anything else. While the African in us may not be as apparent as blacks in the Caribbean, it has definitely played a role in, not just Black American culture, but American culture as a whole. For example, the banjo, so stereotypical of American folk and country music, was invented by slaves. A lot of " Black English" eventually becomes part os standard American and at times may even become international within the Anglophone world. Now some take exception when the black influence on modern music is mentioned but, most modern forms of music are descendant from the original blues. This gave rise to jazz, rock n roll, Soul, Disco, House, Hip-Hip Tehcno and so on.

I think another question might be, how African is America?
 
Old 08-06-2013, 11:18 PM
 
Location: California
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Ever been to a black American baptist church? Stevie Wonder could see the African influence there.
 
Old 08-06-2013, 11:49 PM
 
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A lot of Southern food has African roots. Okra is from West Africa, collard greens are eaten all over Africa and in places that had African slave populations like Brazil.

The Caribbean might have more of an evident African cultural connection in some ways--on the other hand though there were places in the Southern US that had their own unique cultural mix(New Orleans or the low country of South Carolina). And a lot of the Afro-Caribbean influences of the Caribbean basin and Latin America influenced music and culture in the US. Jazz music(and ragtime) evolved with the "Spanish tinge" or the Habanera rhythm--which itself was a mixture of African rhythms and Spanish folk music--and in turn this would influence a lot of rock or R'n'b music later on.

But all these places in the western hemisphere are a mix of a lot of different cultures... Food in the Caribbean has a lot of Indian influence in the English-speaking islands. The US has taken a lot of Irish and German and Italian and Jewish and Chinese and Mexican influences over time. So in a way there's a lot of African influences in African-American culture--many of which have influenced broader cultural trends. Though it might be more subtle at this point than in a place like Salvador, Brazil.

Last edited by Deezus; 08-06-2013 at 11:58 PM..
 
Old 08-07-2013, 12:18 AM
 
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As far as language check this out.



Quote:
Perhaps the most commonly used African word in the English language (and probably the word used in more countries than any other) is "okay," or "O.K," which became popular in the 1830s in America. Clues to its African roots were found in the 19th century black-spoken English of Jamaica and Surinam, as well as the Gullah speech of South Carolina, all of which have numerous forms of the word. Two prime examples from Mande and Wolof cultural groups for the use of similar words are o ke, "that's it" or "all right," in Mande language, and waw kay, which means "all correct," in Wolof culture. The use of the expression "O.K." is first recorded in the speech of black Americans around 1776, but it was probably used much earlier in the 1700s.

Slavery in America
 
Old 08-07-2013, 12:21 AM
 
Location: Springfield, Ohio
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Louisiana is probably the most African-influenced area of the US, with voodoo, Mardi Gras Indians, etc.
 
Old 08-07-2013, 06:51 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Motion View Post
Could Jazz music had been developed without some amount of African sensibilities? In order for James Brown to create the music he created wouldn't that have also required that it come from someone of African descent? A song like Flashlight by Parliament could have only come from African descendant musicians. Dance styles like Locking and popping(popular in the 70's-80's)could only have been by created by African descendants also.
Some black American academic tried to trace the roots of jazz and he thought he would end up in West Africa, instead he ended up in Ireland. The core of jazz was picked up by African slaves from Irish foreman and slave owners.

Also the origin of the word "OK" was based on a (bad) joke deliberately misspelling "all correct" as "ole kurrek":

What's the Real Origin of "OK"? | Mental Floss
 
Old 08-07-2013, 08:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreutz View Post
Some black American academic tried to trace the roots of jazz and he thought he would end up in West Africa, instead he ended up in Ireland. The core of jazz was picked up by African slaves from Irish foreman and slave owners.

Also the origin of the word "OK" was based on a (bad) joke deliberately misspelling "all correct" as "ole kurrek":

What's the Real Origin of "OK"? | Mental Floss
Could it be that Jazz was a combination of musical forms, which includes polyrhythmic beats that are common in African music, to create the artform? Here is some interesting information: How the Irish Invented Jazz CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names
 
Old 08-07-2013, 09:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreutz View Post
Some black American academic tried to trace the roots of jazz and he thought he would end up in West Africa, instead he ended up in Ireland. The core of jazz was picked up by African slaves from Irish foreman and slave owners.
Are you talking about the musical roots of jazz or the etymology of the word jazz itself? I've heard the idea that the word "Jazz" is different spelling of a Irish/Gaelic word meaning heat that started to be used to describe the music towards the end of the ragtime era.

However, saying an academic tried to trace back the roots of jazz at this point makes it sounds like jazz was some motherless orphan left on a doorstep and someone did a DNA test years later. The musical roots of jazz are well known--there's thousands of books written on this subject. It was born in New Orleans--it's as much a Creole mix as gumbo. It was a mix in the post Civil War-era of the call and response chants and syncopated African rhythms of the ex-slaves preserved through Congo Square mixing with the wealthier Creole blacks trained in European classical and marching band music styles and influenced by music of the Caribbean(particularly Cuba). During the Jim Crow-era of segregation, the more Creoles were forced to mingle with the ex-slaves(and the many ex-slaves who moved into New Orleans from the rest of the South and brought the early blues styles). This is what led to the development of what was called ragtime music and would later evolve into what became early "Jazz".

The Irish came to New Orleans in large numbers in the decade right before the end of slavery and were for the most part poor migrant workers and not slave owners. There weren't a lot of Irish slave owners in the South--they were too poor and mostly migrated to Northeastern cities where they were about the same social class if not lower than free blacks. The Scotch-Irish had a lot influence in the styles of other parts of the South--mostly in Appalachia--though that's the roots of a different music style--that also was influenced by and influenced the blues and country music.
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