African American Vernacular Traditions: Integrated Into Modern Culture

Topics: African American culture, African American, Slavery in the United States Pages: 4 (1279 words) Published: December 7, 2011
African American Vernacular Traditions: Integrated Into Modern Culture
African American vernacular traditions have been around for many centuries and still cease to exist in their culture. The vernacular traditions of the African Americans started when slaves were existent in the eighteenth and nineteenth century. It is believed that the slaves spoke a mix of Creole and partial English, in which they had to create in order to communicate between them discreetly. The vernacular traditions originated from the way the slaves lived their lives and their creativity. The relationship between the slaves and their masters, were very weak because the master’s believed that the slaves were inferior to them. It is believed that African American slaves have better lungs than whites; therefore, giving them the advantage in singing over the whites. It is indicated that early landmark anthologies of black literature included black songs and stories, which originated from the earlier vernacular forms. Early vernacular traditions of the African American literature influence the modern day African American literature.

African Americans started practicing spirituals and gospels since the earliest days of slavery. In the early 19th century, slaves would sing these religious songs, while working, playing, resting, and during their gatherings. The songs were the only way the slaves could create a positive and optimistic attitude towards their lives. The insecurity that the slaves had from their slave owners were then forgotten because of the songs that they sung. These songs made them believe that they were the children of God and took their attention away from the hardworking labor that they withheld every day. The spirituals gave the slaves hope and the security of Fong 1

knowing that they would go to a peaceful place after death, known as Heaven. These spirituals and gospels have evolved into songs practiced weekly after many years. The songs evolved sporadically, and...
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