In what ways did Africans develop their own culture and resist slavery in North America?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Africans found a way to resist slavery by developing their own culture.  Slaves had no rights and were restricted in what they could do.  An overseer also constantly watched the slaves.  As a result, Africans found ways to resist slavery. These activities contributed to their own culture being formed.

Slaves found ways to communicate with each other. Through song, slaves were able to send messages to each other.  Since slaves weren’t allowed to assemble in large groups, by singing, they could give messages to other slaves.  These songs eventually became part of their culture.  Many slaves turned to spirituals and Christianity to find meaning in their lives.  This helped them deal with the harsh realties of slavery while also giving them hope that things would eventually get better.  The spirituals also became part of the culture.

Along the Underground Railroad, there were all sorts of signs and symbols that had meaning for slaves who were trying to escape and for the conductors who were trying to help them escape.  Markings on trees, specific handshakes, and hand signals all had a specific meaning which was designed to help slaves escape to freedom.

Africans were very creative in developing activities that helped slaves escape to freedom.  These activities became a part of African culture.

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