The Genesis of African Americans
African American history began in a particular time and place and that was in Jamestown, Virginia in August of 1619 when about twenty Ndongans arrived through the Atlantic Slave Trade. African Americans were not seen as individuals but seen as an inferior group that was not important to history. Although many slaves came from different areas of Africa, they all shared common experiences that brought them together which lead to creating a common language (Painter). Therefore, African Americans created themselves through language, religion, and culture. In addition, African American culture is a mixture of many different traditions from West Africa in a European context. During the nineteenth and early twentieth century, highly educated people believed that Africa was a “dark continent” that had no importance or impact on history at all (Painter). But, Africa do have history and they proved that their race is not inferior to those who had enslaved them by the three great civilizations of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay in Africa. According to Nell Irvin Painter, “the appalling realities of the Atlantic Slave trade, New World Slavery, and colonial domination, and poverty stigmatized African-descended people” (6). Africans and their children living in the New World lived in a culture that was very different from the immigrants that were left behind in Africa. Because the Europeans and Native Americans outnumbered them, they came across various different languages and religions (Painter). Painter mentions, “many cultural attributes such as ideology, ethics, psychology, and health emerged under the umbrella of religion” (47). Due to the fact that Africans were being oppressed, they were forced to come to terms and conditions of their new world so soon enough they forged a new identity as African Americans (Painter). By the end of the eighteenth century, religion became an important aspect of African American identity. African...
Cited: Painter, Nell Irvin. Creating Black Americans: African American History and its Meaning 1619 to the Present. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. Print.
Please join StudyMode to read the full document