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The book in hope of Liberty by James and Lois Horton uninterruptedly captures the main issues surrounding the ancient American history by carefully studying them through the window of the African-American history. The informed authors make strong arguments based on the modern discourses on the American and African- American history by rejuvenating the vigor of their lives by excellently capturing their experiences in print. They captured the experiences of African American males and females, the literate and the illiterate and the widely acclaimed and the historically obscure ones. They further provided detailed analysis of the colonial society and the significance of the revolutionary America. Of great importance is the cultural aspect of the African-Americans that the authors explore in sufficient detail. This paper will discuss how African cultural patterns were perpetuated in the free black community
The African that had been traded to America had their culture compromised as they were forced to embrace the freedom of the North. They were forced to abandon their African way of life for survival in the light of the American family life, speeded urbanization, labour market patterns, form of education and social class structure. Although the main focus is enacted on the early ages, the themes that pop from the revolution era stretch to the 17th century. Amidst the warping of the black force there is a great evolution positively affecting transport and communication, town development, an eruption of missionaries aspects which enhance the earthen up of economy. The African-American society developed apart from the larger American society being overshadowed in almost all aspects. Their welfare organizations were only prominent in cases burial and other benevolent associations.
The African culture was slowly getting faded away as African Americans gradually became Americanized while the Americans living near African-Americans also started getting gradually Africanized. According to Horton (1998), there was substantial evidence that working songs, the black movement militia songs, the dance hall music, street music sprees, the inherent African-American street culture and the salient nature of the then growing American popular culture depicted a great deal of the African infiltration into American music culture. The later blending of the America music and the African tune depicted the emergent state of a multicultural state that was slowly taking shape in the United States, (Horton & Horton 1998).
The African culture still revealed itself in the African-American ways of life in terms of speech, diet, religiosity and the folklore. To compare the European culture to this, the American patterns still remained authoritative as a part of white supremacist factor that later came to produce the high breed culture. By the antebellum decades of revolution, the African American were struggling to assert their presence in America and ultimately managed to influence the American culture through what Horton and Horton, (1998) calls the mingling of the African and American ways of life to produce a uniquely American style.
Put side by side to this cross cultural blending of the African and the American culture, was the speed.ly growing racially precipitated exclusivity of the then multifaceted political setting of the United States, (Horton & Horton 1998). There was an easily observable drastic change in the mob behavior witnessed from early 1790s into the 1840s. The discussions that ensues in this direction reveal that the in the 18th century, the United State' mob was partially legit tools for use by many political activists and the African Americans, like the case of Crispus Attucks, were mostly the noticeable partakers of the activism. In the wake of the 1820s when democracy was more embraced and influenced state decisions, many people and leaders had come to regard mob activism and demonstration as old fashioned ways of political expression. The mob had lost credibility even among its key participants: the blacks. During this period, mob violence as a culture was only left and identified with the lower socio-economic class at times against the whites and was mainly propagated by the unending competition for scarce resources in the already visible African-American populated urban areas.
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The relationship between the African-American multi-chained migrations with those of the broader American society played a key role in the cultural survival and intermingling. The American society had come to view this approach as a vital mechanism for handling urban competition which had further tagged African-Americans as criminals. The living patterns for the blacks were defined through the broader picture of urban chain migration which had also come to define many middle income and poor American families. The role of boarding in the urban migration among the blacks and the whites alike defined America as multiracial state where economic challenges had put everybody in awkward position: without areas of permanent residence. While Horton &Horton (1998) are overemphatic about the slowed delinking between the blacks and the African culture in the 19th century, they further appreciate that the African links formed a very strong basis for the future and thought of many African-Americans more than the European links did to the native white Americans.
The intermingling of the two cultures must have brought the later consensus that slave trade should be abolished. The continued attempts of the 18th century to abolish slave trade were based on the call for integration of African Americans as American citizens. Through the forces of the black antebellum abolitionists, the blacks were able to appreciate the growing friendliness among many Native Americans to share in the freedom from slavery. The mingling of the cultures called for unity that prevailed till the current freedom enjoyed by the blacks. The blacks needed to rouse the passion for freedom amongst themselves, the love for reform agenda and unmatched zeal for black identity while like minded American whites provided resources needed in terms of money, clothing, and expertise and feeding. The emergent zeal and the hopes for freedom were threatened by the Slave Power conspiracy theories. The black identity entailed the self recognition among the blacks that they had to come terms with their state and the role they have to play in their new homes and be hopeful of who they were however unfruitful their freedom quest efforts proved.
The influence the American culture, through Americanization, had on the black female was a great wake for emancipation. Educational opportunities for black women increased, than in Africa and white women reformers kept on urging women to take up education, (Horton &Horton 1998). To many American wives and mothers, education was inevitable in the bid to nurture children and ultimately influence their husbands. Female piety and their tight connection with the family became a justification for their participation in the antebellum reform movements. The women antebellum movements fought relentlessly against the emerging concerns that their emotional delicacy was reason enough to bar them from professions like medicine and law. Education gave females the power to articulate their grievances and differences in opinion with their male counterparts. Their reform agenda equipped them with the relevant ideologies to fight for their recognition. The antebellum women's movement achieved so much in empowering females and provided a course of zigzag fashion that ushered women into the modern and post-modern feminism.
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