Black history

| January 11, 2016

Historians — particularly those writing about slavery in the first half of the twentieth century — have argued that enslaved Africans came to North America tabula rasa (i.e., as “blank slates”) and remained docile within slavery.

(a) How does what we know about the history of slave music (particularly spirituals), slave spirituality (or, sacred folk traditions), and slave folk tales, challenge the notion of tabula rasa?

(b) How does what we know about slave music (particularly spirituals), spirituality (or, folk traditions), and folk tales, challenge the notion of docility?

Please answer all parts of this question. Compose your answer as one, cogent narrative. Include an introduction, an essay body where you do your arguing (at least 6 paragraphs), and a conclusion where you tie everything up as neatly as possible. Include an introductory paragraph where you state your argument, an essay body where you make your argument, and a conclusion where you tie every thing up as neatly as possible.

Your answer should address both parts of the question (tabula rasa and docility) and should discuss all three categories equally (music, spirituality and folk tales) in each of the two parts. Make sure to draw from the course materials in order to support each point you make in your argument. Pay particular attention to chapter’s 1-4 of Levine’s Black Culture and Black Consciousness, but also be sure to incorporate other material from the course as well, such as the film Daughters of the Dust, the introduction to Kelley’s Race Rebels, Chesnutt’s “The Goophered Grapevine,” Stevenson’s “Aunt Rebecca,” Faust’s “Culture, Conflict, and Community,” Camp’s “To Get Closer to Freedom” and the multimedia material posted on the ELMS site.

The highest scoring essays will be those that answer the question fully, thoroughly supporting their arguments, providing specific and detailed examples, and incorporating the range of course materials to support their argument.

Category: Essay

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