African history is a deep and painful story that must be told carefully and gently. Ghana is a multilingual society; dominant languages occur based on locality.
Pikworo Slave Camp (03:19)
The camp was established around 1704; locals refuse to visit the area. The slaves, mostly from the hinterlands, represented a variety of cultures. They stayed six weeks before being transferred to the coast.
Slave Trade (05:25)
Slaves were sold again at Assin Manso Slave River before being moved to the Cape Coast Castle; final sales occurred at slave castles along the coast. Colonizers discredited African language and sent the message that white was always superior. Slaves learned to communicate with one another.
Cat Island, Bahamas (06:38)
Slaves carried their master's name. Experts discuss remnants from slaves including language, oral tradition, music, craft, and cuisine.
Sullivan's Island, South Carolina (07:55)
Approximately 40% of all people of color that survived the Middle Passage were quarantined at the island before being sold in Charleston. South Carolina residents discuss traditional practices that come from West Africa and speech; language indicates heritage.
Coahoma County, Mississippi (05:01)
Africa is the origin of the Blues; the pain expressed through music has transformed into joy. Enslaved people must be ultra-creative to survive. Terry Harmonica Bean performs on a porch. Residents reflect on terminology and accents.
In the early 20th century, the South was mainly rural and home to 90% of the African-American population; the country store was a desegregated area. The Great Migration resulted in less contact between blacks and whites in the North. Northern residents discuss the Black Belt community and language.
Cultural Ties (08:29)
Experts reflect on what has been retained in the diaspora, speech, and "the dozens." Orality must be understood and expanded. Initial features brought into the language persist.
Language and Tradition (02:57)
Obádélé Bakari Kambon discusses resumptive pronouns and final locatives. Pouring libations is a common practice in West Africa and African-American communities.
Cultural Influence (04:42)
Slavery and African culture have impacted the world. African languages impact languages of the diaspora and vice versa. African-Americans that have the opportunity should visit the continent.
Credits: Talking Black in America: Roots (01:19)
Credits: Talking Black in America: Roots
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