How Did African-Americans Develop a Culture That Combined African and American Elements? What Were Some Features of That Culture?

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Life for the African Americans in the Deep South was severe because of the climate and excessive labor. The rice plantations were really far away from each other and most male Africans died, so only the newly imported slaves could survive.

In the Chesapeake region though, the work conditions were much better because they grew tobacco which didn’t need much care. Tobacco plantations were much larger and closer together. Because the plantations were large and closer together, it permitted the African slaves to frequent their friends and relatives easier. In 1720, female population began to rise, so it made it possible for the males to have families, therefore making the population grow. Native-born African Americans contributed to the growing slave culture. They started mixing the cultures in elements of speech, religion, and folkways. Off the islands of South Carolina’s coast, Africans evolved a language with elements of English and African dialect called Gullah. The ring shout, a dance Africans performed in Africa, were brought from the slaves and contributed to the development of jazz. Other contributions to the American culture by the Africans were the banjo and bongo drums. Slaves also help build the community with their labor. They became artisans, carpenters, bricklayers, and tanners. They mostly did all the hard work the colonists didn’t want to do. Slaves were a large part in making up the American society. They contributed to many parts of our culture we have today. If it wasn’t for them, we probably would have learned about these things as part of their culture.
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