That made me wonder about the ethnicity of our earliest African American Ancestors. I wonder how many different ethnic groups were represented in the trans-Atlantic slave trade; Dozens, hundreds, thousands? If we assume that there were at least hundreds that means we African Americans are descended from hundreds of different cultures, languages and traditions. And if we are from different cultures and traditions; how has that crafted the African America of today?
Is it possible that traditions from individual African ethnic groups could survive 300 or more years of American enslavement? Is there any way that fragments of our individual cultural heritage made its way to us? Are there things, maybe small things, that would identify us as being apart of a specific African group?
If this is possible how might it be playing out today? How would we now, 300 years later identify those traits? Let’s say a particular ethnic group was known to be very warlike. How would that translate 300 years later? Or what if there was a group known to be thinkers; how would that translate?
If we look at families and see that for instance, they have a long history of seeking education, might that be something passed down from their earliest ancestor?
One of the greatest atrocities of American Slavery was the destruction of the history of those who were enslaved. Even so, did Africans who were enslaved leave us a subtle history that we are over looking? Did they leave us clues as to who we are by passing down the tiniest bits of tradition?
We live in a country that thinks rap music is African American culture, so we know that this nation has absolutely no interest in true African American culture. Unfortunately a large percentage of African Americans have been brainwashed by the larger society into believing that our culture is either unimportant or non-existent. So this might make any search for our hidden culture even more difficult.But what if we could identify cultural differences.
Would we see that those differences were playing out today? Can the emerging different African America's be attributed to some sort of embedded cultural memory?
Let’s say that my first African ancestor to be enslaved in America belonged to a group that had a tradition of being nomads. Is it possible that in some way that could have been passed down to me and is the cause of my constant wondering and my angst when I'm in one place for more than a short period of time?
I have no solid evidence that something like this could be possible. And yet it makes perfect sense. If our Ancestors were prevented from owning anything and had almost no control over their daily lives; wouldn't it make sense for them to want to pass along the only thing they had to their descendants, their culture?
Do you think that this could be possible? Do you see traits in your family that could have be attributed to your ancestral culture? Or do you think that slavery and Jim Crow destroyed any chance of this happening?
I'd really like to think that my African Ancestors gave me more than the color of my skin.