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African American History and Culture

  • Page ID
    22721
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    It is important to learn about the history and heritage of African Americans that extends back into antiquity because throughout slavery and afterwards, people of European descent advanced what anthropologist Melville J. Herskovits called the “Myths of the Negro Past. (Drake 1990:1–14).” These myths were advanced particularly and primarily about African Americans as rationales to justify slavery, and later discrimination and segregation. (3) They advanced these myths, which portrayed Africa as a primitive and backward place, a ’Dark Continent,’ to justify slavery and create ideas of race and racial inferiority

    Thumbnail: The Old Plantation (anonymous folk painting). Depicts African-American slaves dancing to banjo and percussion. (Public Domain; anonymous via Wikipedia)


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