African Spirituality The Pivotal Force Of Slave Resistance
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“African Spirituality the Pivotal Force of Slave Resistance”
Melvin Herskovits’ 1941 publication The Myth of the Negro Past argues the survival of the African culture and its substantial influence in the lives and history of Africans in the Americas. Furthermore, Sterling Stuckey argues that not only did the African religion and culture survive the Middle Passage, it became a pivotal part of the African identity in the America’s.1With that in mind the role of African spirituality was important to the planning and execution of slave resistance measures such as the Nat Turner Virginia Raid 1831, Denmark Vessey Revolt 1822, Bahia Revolts 1807-1835, Tacky Revolution 1760, and the Haitian Revolution 1791. The Africans brought with them many traditions to the America’s as well as developed many through syncretism between their beliefs and European ideologies. The importance of spiritualty was henceforth reinforced by Europeans through the enacting of laws and the establishment of codes as machines of control.1Therefore, I argue that slave resistances and subsequent revolts of the Tacky Revolution 1736, Bahia Revolts 1807-1835, Haitian Revolution 1791, Nat Turner Virginia Raid 1831, and Denmark Vessey Revolt 1822 used African spirituality as a factor for resistance. Furthermore, I argue that Europeans took extreme measures to distort and remove African spirituality.
The Gold Coast was composed of the Asante, Fante and Koromanti groups. They were often grouped together as the