• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In the early years of slavery before 1830, many things shaped African and African American identity like religion, acculturation, and social stratification

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐Page Amir Homsi October 7, 2012 Section 2 Gomez Essay In the early years of slavery before 1830, many things shaped African and African American identity like religion, acculturation, and social stratification. In 1822, Denmark Vesey, an African pasture, planned a revolt in South Carolina. The revolt failed because of the ethnic and social differences that caused the Africans to not successfully unite. The first contribution to the African and African American identity was through religion. An example of this contribution is through West Central Africa that converged in America to form the religion called Voodoo. Voodoo contains rituals and spirits that can affect your life. Voodoo gradually came to be viewed less as a religion and more for its superstitions and spells. In the nineteenth century, Voodoo began to scatter in Louisiana and the lower Mississippi and some practitioners achieved a high level of recognition for their powers. According to the Exchanging Our Country Marks book, until this day, the people of New Orleans still enjoy a certain quality of religious mystery, and it assumes that Voodoo practice today is undeniable. Another way religion played a role in shaping the African and African American identity was by Islam. Islam contributed to the religious division within the Africans. Chapter four in Exchanging Our Country Marks starts by stating ?Indeed, one of America?s most illustrious sons, Frederick Douglass, may have himself been a descendant of Muslims?(Gomez 1998, 59). ...read more.


Comparatively, Islam had a major impact on the process of social stratification within the early African American society. It has been noted that the Senegambians were very important to the launching of economies in Carolina, Georgia, Virginia, Maryland, and Louisiana because of their classification of being skilled black workers. They became one of the most important sources of slaves for North America. Senegambians mainly identified themselves religiously as Muslims. Muslims were deeply affected by the racist views the whites had towards other Africans and they would be encouraged to distance themselves from the average African and African American. This ruined the opportunities of building any sort of relationships between the Muslim and non-Muslim slaves. For example, a Muslim house slave would not be able to build a strong relationship with non-Muslim slaves because he had the perk of working indoors rather than outdoors like everyone else. Islam caused a division between the different Africans and Muslims were treated as higher class slaves. Likewise, another example of division was by bringing slaves from many different parts of Africa. Each kind of people had their own cultural practice and religious view. The Bambara people because they had a stereotypic image of being rebellious to their masters, and slaves originally from Sierra Leone were classified as farmers,fishers, and hunters. On the other hand, some of the Igbo people, who come from Bight of Biafra, would commit suicide because of their belief in reincarnation and belief that suicide will return them back to Africa. ...read more.


They had to realize that the greatest common factor between the different African and African Americans was their blackness. They could not escape the American way of life because it would be hard to blend in with their black color when they attempted to run away. On the other hand, acculturation had an impact on America from Africa when it is noted that herbalism, mental healing, and funeral traditions had Congolese and Angolan influences in the American South. Likewise, another example of America acculturating African heritage is because many women slaves were raped by European men for as long as slavery had begun. African men had a disadvantage when they attempted to intervene. However, sometimes intimacy and relationships between slaves and whites would develop and mixed race children would result. These mixed race people were named mulattos. Mulattoes had trouble being accepted with both white people or black people, and this became a lifelong problem. In conclusion, it is clear that the process of enslavement directly informed the restructuring of a slave?s identity. In fact, a statement from Exchanging Our Country Marks states that ?Africans brought to North America did not conceive of human society in terms of race; however, by the end of legalized slavery, the concept of race had crystallized in the community? (Gomez 1998, 209). Race was never introduced until the end of legalized slavery. The Africans shaped an identity of their own. Division between the Africans still remained through religion, and cultural differences, but they still found a common blackness within themselves. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate History section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate History essays

  1. Interwar Years: 1919-39

    German politicians - namely a search for improved relations between the former wartime enemies. * This led to the Locarno Treaties of 1925. Locarno Background * Following the Ruhr Crisis of 1923 and the Dawes Plan of 1924 Gustav Stresemann, the German Foreign Minister, in January-February 1925, put out feelers

  2. The Evaluation and Effect on the Formation of W.E.B Du Boiss NAACP during the ...

    Once he began teaching at Atlanta University in 1898 he was the Professor of Economics and History and the Chairman of the Sociology Department. "On top of his work as a teacher and scholar, he was a tireless activist for social and racial justice."

  1. Jamestown and Early New England Jamestown, situated on Jamestown Island in the Virginia ...

    Their main town was Norridgewock, which is current Maine. The Penobscot were settled beside the Penobscot River in Maine. The Wampanoag had taken southeastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and the islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket. In these early years, interaction between colonists and Native Americans alternated among harmony and carrying weapons skirmishes (David, p.

  2. The North, The South, and Slavery

    Cotton Man. Produced goods of coarse grade ii. Fine goods had to be imported from England iii. Woolens suffered from lack of raw materials to produce enough goods to satisfy the home market iv. America exported little because it could not fit demands at home v.

  1. The purpose of this report is to investigate how the apartheid system was created ...

    20 years after the white men came to South Africa there was 1779 white people and 1107 black slaves. Another weapon the white men brought with them was smallpox that was a lethal disease for the natives whose immune system had never faced a virus like it before.[2] The colonies

  2. The History and Development of the American Dream

    We find life of the notion within literature to be the most captivating and worth of attention since this space is multi-dimensional and immense. There is a certain list of books traditionally associated with the problem of the Dream. That is where readers gain a rough about a typical «conqueror» and follower of the Dream.

  1. Notes on the History and Development of the Arab-Israeli Conflict

    civil disobedience - they had amazing weaponry etc but couldn't exactly legitimately use them against women and children throwing rocks. Soldiers were trained to fight against other soldiers - not regular people and the army felt very uncomfortable about this.

  2. How did the Black Death of 1348 impact on the rivalry for political power ...

    those in Ireland, and that the course of the Black Death imitated the path seen elsewhere. The pestilence is reported to have been more rampant in the towns and ports , and therefore it raged more fiercely among the English colony compared with the native Irish.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work