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Includes bibliography at end original document contained footnotes - The Black slaves of colonial America brought their own culture from Africa to the new land Despite their persecution the slave culture has contributed greatly to the development of Americas own music dance art and clothing Music It is understandable that when Africans were torn from their homes and families lashed into submission and forced into lifelong slave labor they would be on the most part resentful and angry Various forms of expression clandestine yet lucent developed out of these feelings One such form was music Native African music consisted mainly of wind and string melodies punctuated by hand clapping xylophones and drum beats Along those lines an early type of slave music was the spiritual which has its roots in Protestant hymns taught to the slaves Spirituals were long thought to be the spontaneous creation of African-American slaves and the only original folk music of the US Spirituals told tales of suffering and struggle but these true meanings were often hidden An example is in the song Gospel Train with the lyrics Get on board little childrenTheres room for many a-moreThe gospel trains a-leavin The gospel train of the song likely represented an escape method such as the Underground Railroad Another type of music distinct to African slaves was gospel These songs originated in plantation fields as work songs and were later sung in churches of Black congregations They were intended to enliven a crowd and employed bright music and joyful lyrics Gospel music contributed to the development of musical genres historically considered white such as rocknroll and country and western Religion Before Blacks came to America they had their own highly developed religious beliefs Most cultures believed in one almighty God and the ideas of good and evil They also practiced ancestor worship believing that dead family members could influence aspects of
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