America Is Me: 170 Fresh Questions and Answers on Black by Kennell Jackson

By Kennell Jackson

Using a question-and-answer layout and organized chronologically by means of period, this readable, full of life examine examines hundred key elements of African-American heritage and tradition, from slavery to the humanities, sciences, civil rights circulate, and extra. travel.

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By the late 1480s, the Portuguese and trading in humans were synonymous. ” In 1502, the Portuguese landed the first Africans in the New World, on the island of Hispaniola (today’s Haiti)—just ten years after Columbus’s voyage. Everything was now in place for the transatlantic slave trade in Africans. As the slave trade grew, who were its victims? Africans did not volunteer for the slave trade. People who were taken were victims, tragic cases whose lives were changed forever against their will. Victims of the trade came from several sources: human booty—that is, prisoners resulting from major wars; people kid- Living Gifts from Old Africa / 35 napped by small raiding parties; and people accused of witchcraft, vicious magic, violating community rules, and antisocial behavior.

K. Armah, an aged blind woman, Naana, is keeping faith with the familiar African truths as the world around her is changing. ” Daily she reflects on the treasures of her life. Naana is not alone. For centuries, African writers, philosophers, artists, and musicians have tried to define what is most valuable to them. Edward Wilmot Blyden (1832–1912), a prodigious West Indian thinker who went to live in West Africa’s Liberia, spent his life identifying the basics of African culture. From all this speculation have come a few fundamentals: • Africans are committed to kin and family.

They would have seen it as different, interesting, curious, perhaps, but not inferior and certainly not in decline. It was a time of experimentation. New styles of life were developing. Trading was breaking new ground. New cultivation and irrigation methods were being devised. Agriculture was productive. Many herbal cures were being refined. The mining of gold was being advanced. Big states were taking shape in the interior. Along the coast, new states also were appearing. These new kingdoms gave a sense of pulsing life throughout the region.

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