African American Art

In: Other Topics

Submitted By collegestudent05
Words 2008
Pages 9
Shameeza Subtil
Professor Lindo
African American Arts
May 5, 2010
Exploring African Influence on the West Indian/Caribbean Culture
It is rather interesting that in a “progressive” society, our behavior and practices are firmly rooted in our past. It is ever possible to wrest ourselves from the harsh realities of slavery and its ensuing impact upon Caribbean way of life? Probably to do so may mean rewriting history (our-story) or maybe knowledge of where we are coming from is what we need to help us embrace those parts of our history that must be held on to and celebrated and relinquish the undesirable parts: our acceptance of being powerless; our antagonistic propensities.
The impact of West Indian slavery on the cultural landscape of the Caribbean cannot be under estimated or taken for granted. In the entire discourse on West Indian slavery, it is often taken for granted that the discussion centers solely on enslaved Africans. However, slavery brought to the region not only African but Europeans (Spaniards, French and British) and consequent to its abolition, there was the advent of the east Indians. We see the impact of their influence in the names of places; the foods we eat; our music and dance; our arts and craft, gender and sexuality. As these and other anecdotal evidences are examined and the academic contributions of others are analysed, Caribbean culture will be clearly defined and its origin established. Slavery and its attending impact upon Caribbean culture have been both positive and negative as remnants of the social/class system of the “plantocracy” linger and take deeper root in the Caribbean community, in general and the Jamaican landscape, in particular.
Via the slave trade, the Caribbean has adopted many aspects of African culture. Jumping, leaping, kicking, shuffling, and waving are all body movements incorporated into African folk dance. Some of…...

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