• 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. 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. Source Analysis. This investigation focuses on how Cuba was affected by the U.S. ...

    He also speaks of offering the US's friendship to Cuba in order to define a more "positive and beneficial relationship",11 and to get rid of the divide since his views of Cuba's healthcare and education are superb.12 So, in reference to the origin and purpose, the value is clear that

  1. Revson notes on the Middle Ages + their Heritage the Idea of Unity ...

    1st step toward revival of Xian Empire - 3rd- series of war against Saxons (who were situated between the Elbe + Rhine to North) bet'n 772 - 80 - these campaigns were important in allowing him to secure rest of his territory.

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

    by the middle of the thirteenth century . At this time, Henry's son, John, brought the Irish legal system into line with that of the English . England's influence had slightly diminished to only two-thirds of Ireland by the beginning of the fourteenth century .

  1. Why has Afghanistan become such an important issue in the last 10 years?

    Overall, the attack was to highlight their cause and punish the United States for, what they believed to be, crimes of religion and other freedoms. Since the attacks Afghanistan has been a ?safe haven? for Al-Qaeda. This has meant that Afghanistan has come under more attack from powerful countries (mainly the UK and US)

  2. The History and Development of the American Dream

    He has chosen a slightly different approach linking the Dream with history and social changes. He believes the American Dream is like a mirror reflecting all the needs of the American nation during its development. Currently, his work is the most complete and detailed research of the given phenomenon.

  1. The Westeinde is one of the higher parts of The Hague, and the story ...

    But it did not work. His mother and his sister Catherine did all they could to turn him against his wife and their child, Nicolaes, or Claes. His mother did not live to see the results of her intrigues. She died in 1530 and two years later the marriage broke up.

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

    denied basic rights and opportunities; they could also have their land expropriated for no reason - The Israeli populace viewed the Arabs with suspicion (seen as a fifth column); because Israel was at war with their countries - In any case the two populations inside Israel lived very separate lives,

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