Folk Music: How The slaves Maintained Their Identify and Contributed To The Society That They Were Forced To Be Apart Of

If you look at the term “Folk Music” on the Britanica website, it is described as a genre of music that was started in Europe in the twenty-first century.  This is one of the lies that white people have told the world in order to try to discredit black people and our contributions to society. However, the truth behind the origin of folk music is that the genre was derived from the slaves that were stolen from Africa in the 1400’s and brought to the Americas during the Atlantic Ocean Slave Trade to be exploited for labor. Folk music was an expression of the pain and suffering that the African descendants endured. Through folk music, the slaves were able to maintain parts of their culture from their homeland. Many aspects of African culture are present in folk music, from the instruments that are used to the different styles. This alone is proof that folk music originates from the descendants that were stolen from the motherland as a way to maintain their identity. Folk music incorporates instruments from the African continent such as the banjo, the bones, and the djembe. The slaves were able to recreate these instruments with the resources that they had. For example, the banjo was made with wood, horsehair, and animal skin. The bones were created with wood. The djembe was made from wood and animal skin. The different styles of folk music include but are not limited to: Call and response, hambone, storytelling. The call and response form of folk music is when the orator speaks a phrase and the audience repeats the phrase, all in a musical way. The hambone form of folk music that includes the stomping and clapping of feet. The storytelling style of folk music is obvious in its description, like the call and response. The storytelling form of folk music was a way that the descendants were able to pass down oral traditions. Although the slaves wereabducted from their homelands, they were still able to maintain parts of their home and identity from folk music. 

Call and Response Style of Folk Music
Hambone Style of Folk Music
Storytelling Style of Folk Music
Leila Sampson

Leila Sampson

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