By William Dillon Piersen

This publication examines the advance of an Afro-American culture in eighteenth-century New England. Piersen issues himself no longer with the equipment of slave keep an eye on or the political and social disabilities of bondage, yet with the techniques of cultural swap and production from the black bondsman's standpoint. What used to be it wish to be an African immigrant in colonial New England? What attitudes and assumptions underlay the Afro-American reaction to Yankee tradition? What does the advance in the confines of a predominantly white and ethnocentric New England of an Afro-American folks tradition in faith, public rituals, folks arts and crafts, social mores, and day-by-day habit say in regards to the construction of yank culture?

On the face of it, the grasp type known as the tunes and slaves danced the beat. Blacks who have been taken into New England's bondage have been sincerely engulfed in a pervasive, narrow-minded Euro-American society that had little interest in fostering Afro-American autonomy. the hot England adventure was once frequently merciless, and the numbers by myself recommend it was once one of the so much unequal of black/white cultural contacts within the New international. still, regardless of the strictures of bondage, the black Yankees of eighteenth-century New England created a maintaining folks tradition in their personal.

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Extra info for Black Yankees: the development of an Afro-American subculture in eighteenth-century New England

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A study of New England newspaper advertisements for new slaves undertaken by the historian Lorenzo Greene indicates that almost two-thirds of the notices did not specify the origin of the slaves. In the other cases, Africa was mentioned more commonly than the West Indies by a ratio of four to three. "15 Slaves from the West Indies commonly came from the English islands, primarily Barbados, but also from Jamaica, St. 16 But for New Englanders the West Indies were not so much a source of origin for new slaves as a way station on the transatlantic trade.

Whatever the case, I am certain these sources animate the lives and attitudes of the early black Yankees in a way other forms of evidence cannot. The study of folk peoples requires the insights of folk sources. When we use them, the belief of the first Afro-Americans of New England who lived in faith that they would be reborn in a better time and place is at least partially realized. Page 1 PART 1 AFRICAN IMMIGRANTS AND BLACK YANKEES Page 3 Chapter 1 New Slaves in a New World Nature as much as Christianity carved a puritanical character on the New England way of life.

The black population was not evenly or sparsely divided throughout New England but was, instead, concentrated in areas of much heavier black residence. In the second half of the eighteenth century, for example, as the Negro population grew from over 11,000 to 16,000 people, the blacks were not scattered randomly throughout New England but were, instead, primarily concentrated in and around the coastal urban centers, along the river systems, and in the Narragansett region of Rhode Island. This clustering of the Afro-American population was important because it permitted the development Page 15 of a black subculture in New England which a more scattered settlement might have precluded.

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