Religion In Albert Raboteau's Slave Religion

792 Words4 Pages
In Albert Raboteau’s Slave Religion, I expected to read a book dripping with rant-filled commentary. Judging the book solely on its cover, I would not normally pick up –or even read– a book that did not jump out at me from the design on the cover, and this book did not jump out. However, Raboteau’s depiction of the life of the slave did jump out at me. In elementary and high school, teachers briefly touch on the topic of slavery and its role in America, but religion is never touched on with slavery –at least my teachers never taught them together. So finally getting to learn the two side by side, it was fascinating to see how Africans created a version of their own religion of Christianity. The methods that slaves took to survive the cruelties…show more content…
To me, this “creolization” of Christianity and African tradition was a means to keep a piece of the slaves’ original religious background alive. This creolization was also a means of an identifier while being stripped of their African identity. In the beginning of the book, Raboteau describes the traditions and cultures of Africans; the “spirit possession,” the dance, and the emotion they experienced as they praised and worshipped their many gods. In addition, he talks about the pressure of “Salt-water” Africans to convert and adopt new traditions. Because of this pressure “seasoned” slaves put on “salt-water” slaves, forced conversion to American slavery customs was inevitable. With being pulled out of their tribes, separated from their families, forbidden from their native language, and barred from their native religion, African slaves adapted to keep a piece of themselves, their religion, and their homes alive; by mixing the emotion and the dance from their native religion into this Christian-creole. As a result, slaves hid a small piece of Africa in an American religion, which they took on as their
Open Document