AASP202-Journals 1-5

AASP202-Journals 1-5 - Matt Hines AASP202 Journals #1-5 1....

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Matt Hines AASP202 Journals #1-5 1. Levine pgs. 136-189 In this section, Levine begins to focus on the culture of Postbellum African Americans. Levine highlights the changes in African American culture that occur following the Civil War through the analysis of linguistics and religious song. Levine argues that the acculturation process for African Americans has not been a simple one- dimensional shift. As represented in Postbellum culture, a much more complex process is occurring where past values have been reaffirmed while at the same time applying new, more Western aligned cultural practices. Upon Emancipation, newly freed African Americans experienced a self-conscious attitude in regards to their slave culture. A certain stigma had developed where the slave culture was below and less than the white culture of the time. Thus 1 st and 2 nd generation freedmen aspired to adopt the cultural practices of the “higher culture”. The term Levine uses to describe this sentiment is called cultural marginality. Cultural marginality helps one understand the shift in progressive cultural practices by recently freedmen in an attempt to model the western culture. This explains the linguistic duality that occurs African American culture as well as the focus on Western Christianity beliefs in black gospel songs. However, African Americans also had a sentiment of self-containment, which refers to the desire to preserve past cultural African and slave traditions. Thus, one finds Postbellum African Americans affirming new practices while at the same time re- affirming old traditions. In my opinion, I found that Levine did an excellent job of supporting his original argument with substantial evidence and thorough examples. After reading the section, it became clear to me the mind state of Postbellum African Americans and the sources that affected their language and religious song upon being freed. 2. Levine pgs. 3-55 In the beginning of Levine’s book, he first introduces slave song. He focuses on slave religious song, or slave spirituals. According to Levine these songs were a central focus of slave life, more than any other form of slave musical expression. Thus, the study of spirituals allows one to gain an understanding of the antebellum slave worldview and consciousness. A large portion of this section is dedicated to the origin of the spirituals.
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This note was uploaded on 10/17/2011 for the course AASP 202 taught by Professor Choflet during the Fall '10 term at Maryland.

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AASP202-Journals 1-5 - Matt Hines AASP202 Journals #1-5 1....

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