African American Quotations

By Richard Newman | Go to book overview
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124. Music, dance, religion do not have artifacts as their end products, so they were saved. These nonmaterial aspects of African culture were impossible to eradicate. And these are the most important legacies of the African past, even to the contemporary black American blues, jazz, and the adaptation of the Christian religion, all rely heavily on African culture.

Amiri Baraka, 1934- Poet and Writer

125. The folk literature of the American Negro has a rich inheritance from its African background. They brought with them no material possessions to aid in preserving the arts and customs of their homelands. Yet though empty- handed perforce, they carried on their minds and hearts a treasure of complex musical forms, dramatic speech, and imaginative stories, which they perpetuated through the vital art of expression. Wherever the slaves were ultimately placed, they established an enclave of African culture that flourished in spite of environmental disadvantages.

J. Mason Brower, 1896-1975 Folklorist

126. But even with the rude transplanting of slavery that uprooted the technical elements of his former culture, the American Negro brought over as an emotional inheritance a deep-seated aesthetic endowment.

Alain Locke 1886-1954 Scholar and Critic


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