Although it was thought by African American history students that slaves in Africa sing many folk songs. To help them through their day, Africans could sing any tune they wanted. Slave owners can learn songs and have a better time singing while working on plantations. According to Black Culture and Black Consciousness of Lawrence W. Levine, a former slave stated that music was an essential part of his daily life. Singing together makes the task easier. Without music, it would have been difficult to escape slavery. A certain rhyme is evident in the way that cotton is picked and sung. Slave songs allowed each slave to express their feelings without being judged. Songs allowed slaves to express their emotions and those of masters and others. Slave songs allowed slaves to be themselves and express their feelings towards one another through song. The Ashanti high priest described the psychological side of salvesong. He said “…man should be free to express their feelings, whether it is through song or spoken word. People can become hurtful if they aren’t allowed to tell their leaders or neighbors how they feel.

Slave songs require a leader. The leader would start the song and the rest of the slaves would take part in the chorus. There are two solo lines after the chorus. Next, there is a short chorus followed by another line. Their surroundings were the best way to determine what they would sing. The slaves knew the lyrics to one of their songs. They would also sing lines from the environment around them. They could make up songs about any topic. “Some of these were full with rude wit. A lucky hit always drew thunderous choruses from the rowers 7). Sometimes, the slaves would sing songs mocking their masters or mistresses. They would use words they didn’t understand to sing. This is absurd for the outsiders. The singers are the ones who understand the meaning of the words. There are several types of slave song. They sing the same song no matter what it is. Slave songs do not care about rhythm or how many words are in a line. The song just flows together. To make their day easier, slaves wrote songs about the work they do. They would sing songs such as this one about the slaves who were cutting down trees. These songs are not written down before they are given to the audience. While they were cutting the trees, the leader would create a rhythm. This song allows all to chop at once and also allows for a feeling of togetherness between the slaves. Sometimes songs are formed by how they sing about something. These songs reflect the culture of enslaved persons by demonstrating how strong each person’s bond and what they find funny. They socialize only with one another and can only understand the songs if they are all in the same group. +African American slaves didn’t limit their faith to one time or place. They believe they are capable of reaching the highest being in any situation. The slaves believe in a god who will save their lives one day, and they praise him. They saw the cosmos as one, but they also saw God, nature, and man. The world of the slaves is one in which everyone comes together with no hatred. The world is peaceful to them when they consider God without pain or suffering. They see Anglo-Black people coming together to celebrate life. The spirituality of the African American is very different from that of Anglo American believers. Anglo Americans see Christianity only as a method of controlling others. They didn’t believe there was any higher power. However, they did use the bible as a weapon to slaves who couldn’t read or could believe the words. Because God is watching them, they can give instructions to the slaves in church. Example: “Q. What commandment does God give servants in regard to obedience to their masters?” A servant “obeys all orders of their master…fearing God.” (45. They used the word God against the slaves they owned and made up words that weren’t in scripture. They did not use the worship day for worship and thanksgiving, but they used it to play God.


  • marcosnguyen

    Marcos Nguyen is a 29-year-old blogger and teacher from Houston, Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, where he studied education and psychology. Marcos has been blogging since 2009, and he specializes in writing about education and parenting. He currently teaches middle school social studies and language arts.