TeacherServe Essays

Beyond the Written Document: Looking for Africa in African American Culture

Author: Ebron, Paulla (NHC Fellow, 2000–01)

Objects, landscapes, orally transmitted stories and songs can complement written records and bring different voices into historical narratives. Cultural history goes across disciplines and beyond written documents to study objects, language, practices, relationships, etc. To understand the lives of Africans brought to the Americas as slaves, we must go beyond written records. Under slavery, social constraints and opportunities determined where African influences were inhibited and where they could flourish.

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Subjects
Anthropology / History / Education Studies / Cultural History / Enslaved Persons / African History / African American History / Material Culture /