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Colonial African-American Life

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The life of an African-American in colonial times was anything but glamorous, working hard hours on farms or in domestic settings with hardly any praise, but they found ways to make it a little less miserable. Making African-Americans slaves was a result of the need for cheap labor in the late 17th century which caused a trade system of humans that was happening internationally. African-American slaves made up a large part the New England colonies. With the majority of them working on farms in the Chesapeake region, crops flourished, which resulted in a stable trade and economic system. The slaves didn’t get a break, working from dawn until dusk, so they had to come up with ways of passing the time. The practice of slavery was very controversial…show more content…
They were subjected to brutal punishments and often worked agonizing hours under the hot sun with no breaks in between. According to the Introduction of Colonial African-American Life article, the first official U.S. census recorded that eight percent of total African-American population living in the New England colonies were free, meaning that the remaining 92% were slaves. Slaves who worked on plantation farms lived in family units, meaning the slaves were not separated from their families. However, when thoughts necessary by their owners, the African-Americans can be punished brutally and severely, depending on what they did. Slaves were not thought of as people, just merely individuals who belonged to someone else. This being said, they weren’t treated as people either. Slaves who lived in urban settings didn’t have luxury when it came to comfort. They usually slept in lofts over their owner’s kitchens, laundries and stables, like…show more content…
Everyone joined in, there was never an audience, and it brought people together and it provided a getaway from the horrors of slavery. Many believe that African music was forcefully taken away from slaves, according to the Music and Slavery article, however that was not the case. Music was the one thing that could be taken away from them, and the African-Americans used it as a way to express their emotions and lessen the burden of labor. Music kept hope alive, as it reminded the slaves of where they come from, perhaps. Many slaves had ties that related to West Africa. The region had a variation of religions, languages, musical practices and traditions according to the Music and Slavery Article. Ignoring the differences of one another, the different cultures came together in communal activities and embraced the diversity of each other’s music. Music was the center attention at social gatherings and celebrations. At these festivals, no one was disregarded and everyone was encouraged to join, as there was never an audience to sit back and observe the event that was taken place according to the Music and Slavery article. Slaves used a variety of instruments, ranging from flutes, horns, and stringed instruments. This unique combination of musical instruments attracted the attention of those all over, which caused the popular opinion that African-American slaves were talented
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