African Diaspora Essay

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African Diaspora The study of cultures in the African Diaspora is relatively young. Slavery and the trans-Atlantic slave trade brought numerous
Africans, under forced and brutal conditions, to the New World. Of particular interest to many recent historians and Africanists is the extent to which Africans were able to transfer, retain, modify or transform their cultures under the conditions of their new environments. Three main schools of thought have emerged in scholarly discussion and research on this topic. Some argue that there are no significant connections between Africans and African American communities in the Americas. Others argue that Africans retained significant aspects of their cultures. Similar to this
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He contends these arguments stating that opportunities existed for viable communities to be formed, that there were prospects for passing on "changing cultural heritage to a new generation through training of offspring" and that there existed opportunities for Africans to associate with themselves (153).

Thornton finds much more evidence for cultural transformation than cultural "transplantation." He notes the tendency of researchers to focus on specific "Africanisms" rather than the cultural totality and stresses the fact that "cultures change through constant interaction with other cultures..." (209, 207).

I agree with Thornton's analysis. As stated in a passage from our paper:

It would be naïve to think that after being enslaved and transported across the sea to a foreign continent African slaves were able to physically transplant their cultures in this new environment.

It would be equally naïve to believe no elements of African culture made their way to this region... Africans were interacting with
Europeans and other Africans of different ethnic groups, adapting to the realities of their new environments and transforming elements of both old and new into their own African-American culture. (Bright &
Broderick 10).

Evidence exists that shows Africans were allowed enough associational time to form
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