The African Influence on American Music

American history is tainted and blood-soaked, drenched in devastation wrought by White America's courtship of and immersion into the practice of slavery. Myriad accounts exist to tell and remind us of how far we have come and must go as a country. Eurocentric and America-centric perspectives on slavery invariably paint vague and falsified impressions of their indulgences in and consequences of slavery.

Thankfully, new revisionists refute this whitewashing of history by demanding that all accounts of the deportation, importing and enslavement of Africans to the Americas and Muslim-North Africa be told. These needed revisions must be derived from an Afrocentric perspective; starting from African history to explain where, how and why the slave trade began there.

UPDATE
Scholars around the world are presenting more ways to see the institutionalization of slavery. An important and enlightnening work based on historical accounts was created by a historian and English professor. You can learn all about their tremendous contribution that helps unravel the web of slavery by tracing it not from cotton but from the sugar industry. Check out: Sugar Changed The World.

But wait! Click these links that students in Idaho sent as part of their research in a course taught by Ms. Richards. I hope they receive lots of points for their research because it has improved and enriched this site. Thank you, students! OK, It is time to Click and Enjoy the Links:

  1. PBS: African Slave Trade and the Middle Passage
  2. Slave Trade-Clash of the People
  3. Digital History APA citation (without hanging indent):
    Mintz, S. (2007). Digital history. Retrieved August 19, 2011 from http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu
  4. BBC: Story of Africa
  5. Rutgers: Women's Human Rights Resources
  6. International Women's Websites
  7. The Women's Rights Movement
Now, let's resume from where we left off by returning to the point of the paper you are browsing.

The citizenry of two continents; the Americas and Africa need healing from this deep and painful wound. In order for this to occur, examination of the African past from an African perspective must occur. Necessary effort must be taken in order not to waste any more time assigning blame or disregarding the truth of the actual cruelty of slavery perpetuated by the racism of white humans against the uprooted black humans.

Yes, Africa suffered a terrible holocaust caused by the White Europeans who conspired with other Africans to capture fellow Africans for slavery. Perhaps their complicity in the successful removal, displacment and enslavement of nearly 12 milion Africans from the African continent found naive justification. One such explanation may have been simply that the captives were foes of the complicit Africans. Their enemies were easily and routinely rounded up to cull certain populations of Africans out of existence. Many Africans were snatched specifically for slavery.

We may desire to fill in the blanks but the fact remains that the Europeans could not have successfully stolen so many Africans without the aiding and abetting of greedy and often warring wealthy classes of predominantly West Africans. Just like theAmerican Indians and the Aztecs, the Africans were generally defenseless against people with guns and money. The Arabs were also notorious marauders who to this day, still capture Black Africans for enslavement in other regions of Africa. The big difference is in that Africans enslaved and kept on the African continent were of a multi-racial mix: Black, White and other. The slavery practiced in the US was strictly on the basis of color: Black African.

1) Slavery has existed for millennia and continues in Africa where people are captured, sold into slavery inside of Africa-BUT-at the very least, the option to purchase their way out of slavery exists.

2) The American form of slavery was cruel and perniciously eliminated prospects of freedom. Freedom was not an option considering European/American enslavement devices such as displacing the captured and sold, away from Africa. They were treated as less than refuse merchandise and transported to the US in terrible ocean voyages referred to as the " Middle Passage". Click on this link to find a map of that perilous journey.


FYI
It is a sad, modern, advanced society note that, unfortunately, another form of slavery/exploitation exists and harms many people around the world. Again, the privileged majority people with advanced ploys, weapons and money easily coerce minorities to become participants in
organ donation programs geared for wealthy, waiting clients.


Now, let's continue our story...

This plunged the fledgling US into the abyss of racism, replete with its horrific ramifications. Now, as we look back at a recent United States history, a timeline shows opposite cultures inextricably enmeshed, intermingled and intertwined. One culture is the majority and the other the minority.

Everything and everyone else in general were consigned to serve the white slavers, the masters of whatever they surveyed. They took peculiar pride in their stock of African slaves and by law, deemed these trapped people as sub-humans. Through their legal system, the slavers deliberately and methodically reduced the Black African slave to less than 3/5 of a human being!

Jim Crowe Laws or Slave Laws were designed to perpetuate and reinforce this tyrannical form of slavery. The relentless hatred of racism offered only grief with no possibility of escape for the Africans. The captured Africans found themselves in the situational hell of the European and American slavers. They were caught in the Americas under horrific and often deadly conditions in isolation. A comparison can be drawn when measuring the dire predicament of the African slaves in terms of the terrible Jewish holocaust. Now use any exponent greater than the number one to continuously multiply the outcome.

When will racism end? Will it rear its ugliness in religion, politics and education? These questions require careful thought and consideration before ever attempting to answer them. We must continue to peel away the layers and expose the trappings of racism at its core. The truth about America's slavery must be taught in public and private schools. These measures provide basic and important keys to circumvent racism. Education creates conditions that are conducive to positive changes resulting in deflating words like "tolerance" from the dialog. Then, growth and development will occur and healing for all can begin.


Unfortunately, the Black Music Hall of Fame site that contained the Black Gospel music trivia appears to be offline for the moment. That's alright, though because a good substitute and departure is found in a Black perspective journey through New Jersey. Just download the following link. Enjoy!

Although this report speaks to the atrocities of slavery practiced by white slavers in North America, some positives came out of it that stand the test of time. Many examples of African influences in our melting pot of American culture and music exist today. These are readily seen in analyses of our very unique American art of Gospel music. The fervor and beauty of this type of music may find explanation in the misery of sun up to sun down toil; wailing in agony from the torment of barbaric slavers. The United States of America was truly hell on earth for the Africans.

The Africans suffered greatly, forced to supplant their heritage and culture by adopting the slavers view of God. This timeline of the Africanization of White Christianity in America provides a brief historical account of the Africans ultimate survival and progress in the USA, despite it all. The original Fisk singers are credited with keeping the traditional slave holler songs from extinction.

This progression is recollected through the slave hollers in the searing fields to the Gospel music ringing out from nearly all African American churches that you might visit one Sunday morning. The African American community of the City of Seaside, CA provides an appropriate illustration of this progress. Specifically, the Greater Victory Temple (GVT) Church of God In Christ (COGIC), in my opinion was and is the cornerstone of the African American community of Seaside, CA since 1946. The Seahorse Sculpture is an important emblem of Seaside that greet visitors and locals passing through one of the city's three entrances.

 

Please fill out the artistic exposure questionnaire to increase awareness of Sister Deola! God's Singer! Hit the submit button after filling it out. Your input will help generate a groundswell of interest in Sister Deola! performances.


Sister Deola! shares memories and aspirations in this interview. Her story spans part of the legacy of Africans in the USA. She discusses her Gospel Diva acquaintances, friendships and her "PURE GOSPEL" CD.

Now, should we ask her to sing a song for us? A live performance? Then, put your hands together, stomp your feet, make a lot of joyful noise unto the Lord! Help her get to the stage ya'll!

She sings and asks us to join in, sing or hum along. We are all excited, happy and renewed. We can face whatever it is. We thank Sister Deola! God's Singer! for making our journey so much brighter. Her PURE GOSPEL CD is perfect for roadrage abatement!

Current events demonstrate the need for multicultural music appreciation through education. Therefore, I hope this site becomes an educational reference to access past, present and future activities of African Americans, particularly those influencing music.

The incredible legacy of former African slaves is now finding a proud and rightful place in history. You can find excellent business approaches using proactive information technology solutions that result in greater Black cultural appreciation and serve as a means of self determination at:

The descendents of the African Diaspora carry on, continuing to shape and influence the landscape of American and international music. The cultural contributions of Africans to civilization are beautiful, consistent and irrefutable.

Sister Deola! God's Singer!
Video Clips

Gospel concert in Carmel Valley, CA 1994 Hidden Valley Music Seminar.
This clip shows rare footage of my departed Father, Rev. George E. Booker.

Professor Richard Bains-Music and Performing Arts Institute Director

1st New Millennium Pre-Easter Gospel Concert at CSUMB with the CSUMB Gospel Choir directed by Professor Paulette Gissendanner.

Bobby Peoples-Organ, Jabari-Drums-LeVonne Stone-MC & Booker Family members

Shayla Walker-Pianist.mov

Uncle Larry Settles-Minister


Listen to this great Gospel Diva and learn about the African American experience in the USA. You will be glad you have heard our special Angel sing.


 http://www.afgen.com/gospel1.html
 http://www.buildfreedom.com/tl/tl04.shtml
 http://www.uwec.edu
 http://www.hometown.aol.com/bardsherman
 http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~wldciv/world_civ_reader/world_civ_reader_2/african_proverbs.html
 University of Virginia
 http://www.gmhf.org/index.html
 Seaside, The Magic City
 Gospel Singers
 http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/cp/vol-01/no-04/slavery/white.shtml
 http://charmaignescott.com/Credit.html