The language used by the enslaved Africans was unusual. It was full of proverbs, which contained moral lessons and traditional training. Their language also included simple means of communication (Sherrow, 2006). Storytelling together with oration, which was performed during the sacred rituals, contained a lot of energy and dynamism. They used to have their traditional music, which maintained a conducive rhythm of work. Traditional music was the center of their cultural and social life. Dancing, which was mainly led by talented performers, brought the enslaved together because it involved all members regardless of their sex, age, and social status.
Religion played a significant role because it gave the slaves the sense of dignity, personhood and the power that they were denied in their lives. It was also a way of showing the world their resistance to the activities of the slavery. Some religions such as Catholicism created a context whereby the enslaved were able to combine their cultural rituals to maintain their relationship with their gods (Barnes, 2004).
Many of slaves’ societies were based upon agricultural practices (Kay & Carry, 1995). Most farmers were skilled, and some were familiar with iron tools. Individual tribe’s ownership of properties was common, and the knowledge of individual property was little. Major urban centers existed with trade routes. The African nations had stable and well-defined laws that guided the daily routines of people in the community.
Slave treatment was characterized by brutality and inhumanity (Finkelman, 2006). Rapes, execution, and whippings were common practices done to those who were regarded as disobedient slaves by their master. The enslaved were denied the chance of reading and writing so that they would not obtain the inspiration to rebellion or escape. The owners also instilled inferiority complex in the minds of the slaves and thus the slaves would not know other places. Slave’s marriages were highly discouraged; this was to make it easy to discipline the slaves. Some activities such as drumming, which enhanced the culture of the slaves were banned by the slave owners because it was seen as a threat to them.
Barnes, K. C. (2004). Journey of hope: The Back-to-Africa movement in Arkansas in the late
1800s. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press
Finkelman, P. (2006). Encyclopedia of African American history: 1619-1895: From the colonial
period to the age of Frederick Douglass. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press.
Kay, M. L. M., & Cary, L. L. (1995). Slavery in North Carolina, 1748-1775. Chapel Hill:
Sherrow, V. (2006). Encyclopedia of hair: A cultural history. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.