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finalpaperforafroamericanmusicclass - the Afro-Americans...

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To see all the connections and universalities across Afro-American music, one need look no further than the Diaspora caused by slavery and the retentions of the African people who survived it. I would rather not look on the scourge of history that is slavery and rather look at the vibrant people who came through it and continue to rise up. Although the African people were kidnapped from their homeland and stripped of their culture, it is impossible to let go of culture. Culture is taught from birth, and this is why even generations separated from their homelands people, the Africans in this case, hold on to it. The griot, or storyteller is a constant across African music. One musical performer always has more of our attention, in gospel it is the preacher sermonizing and yelling and singing, in rap it is the M.C. In jazz, the griot is the soloist, who also utilizes another African retention in improvisation. It is not exclusively African, but it is a constant theme in all African and Afro-American music. Another musical tendency for
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Unformatted text preview: the Afro-Americans retained from their ancestry is that of whoops and hollers and other unique sounds of the voice or instrument. Most of all, Music to the African, and in turn the Afro-American, is the sense of community in the music. Music brings together performers and dancers and poets and even artists into a community of music. It is this way that Black slaves were able to overcome the terrible wrongs that they suffered, and it helped them to get through poverty and hunger and racism and inequality. Many of the great martyrs of the Black people have been musicians, or at least involved in the musical community. People like Duke Ellington, James Brown, Bob Marley, Tupac, and others all led the Black people to a shift in attitudes towards them from the outside world and from themselves. They choose not to be victimized but carry on through struggle and adversity to bring their message to the world....
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