America's Cultural Roots Traced to Enslaved African Ancestors
Most traditional West African societies, the sources of the vast majority of enslaved Africans in the Americas, had dynamic, vibrant, expressive cultures. The languages spoken were unusually animated, by most European standards. Peppered with proverbs, they were sources of moral and ethical training as well as simple vehicles of communication.
Everyday conversation, as well as storytelling and oratory during sacred rituals and other performance events, was filled with energy and dynamism.
Indigenous musics, which were extremely complex, permeated all aspects of traditional African social life. They were used to establish and maintain the rhythms of work. No festival or life-cycle celebration was complete without the presence of music, the moving rhythmic center of traditional African social and cultural life.