Tuesday, March 5, 2019
African American Oral Tradition Essay
Modern African American Literature was formed under a stressful time for Africans, buckle downry. The precisely way the stories of the indigenous people of Africa were passed down was through oral recollections, or stories of the make upts. In America this was especially difficult for the slaves because of laws preventing them from learning English. By non being allowed to learn English, the slaves had to learn English solely on audile purposes. This essentially made the slaves illiterate.When the slaves transferred the language that they heard to paper, a new behavior of language was formed which was referred to as dialect. Dialect is what the slaves thought they heard and the specify spelling of those words, non stock English. Dunbar, who wrote fluently in both standard English and dialect was praised by white critics only for his dialect poems, and not praised for his poems in standard English. His literacy black markets are ease alive today, except the dialect works w ere attached with a stigma. Usually whites despised the Africans dialect.Therefore, the slaves would not try to publish any type of work with dialect because the slaves did not want to be associated with the stigma. In all, by creating a unique dialect gave the slaves a bilingual type of style. By not being able to write, slaves also made Genres such as, spiritual, folk songs and gospels. Songs such as these were ways of passing down stories to the next generation. These songs also contained unfathomed messages. These messages may have contained information about escape routes or even the underground- railroad.However most of the songs were spiritual in nature. The songs also progressed through the years. The originals slave folk songs, spirituals, and gospels are now prevalent in unexampled day jazz and the blues. Martin even gives the example of Hayden, who mixes his song ideas with the ideas of Bessie Smith. Even though African are allowed to read and write, this is a form how their culture is still expressed today. Martin made the emphasis that the oral tradition is part of the African Americans distinct culture.