The Sacred Fire: Africanisms in "Negro Spirituals"
|dc.description.abstract||The Africanisms controversy is an age-old debate on the cultural retentions of slaves in the New World. Initially, scholars used inadequate research methods and racist ideologies to justify that slave spirituals were "mere copies of European melodies." With the development of cultural anthropology, these perspectives developed into more well-founded arguments based on fieldwork and the theory of acculturation. After decades of discourse, scholars finally agreed that African American spirituals were grounded in African-derived musical practices shaped by the United States sociocultural experience. Although it took many years to come to the conclusion that spirituals were syncretic, I will argue that African cultural retentions were presented in the earliest writings by explorers in African and colonial figures who observed the religious and secular celebrations of slaves in the New World. By analyzing primary and secondary source readings on African cultural survivals in relation to the sacred music traditions of African American in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, I have shown the early evidence for African survivals previously overlooked by early scholars. Through an analysis of the qualitative, or non-analytical perspectives of the music and its place in culture, and quantitative, an analysis of an African American religious song, I demonstrate the clear and present evidence for African Survivals.|
|dc.title||The Sacred Fire: Africanisms in "Negro Spirituals"|
|dc.description.imprint||Indiana State University Cunningham Memorial Library|