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Trevor Stone's Journal
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Melting Pot 
20th-Jan-2012 10:47 pm
darwin change over time
New York City has a reputation as "the great melting pot." But long before the Puerto Ricans moved in next door to the Jews and the Italians, the plantations of the South did a lot of melting and cultural exchange. Myths, music, symbolism, and bits of language were passed between former tribesmen who would never have interacted in Africa. Babies were probably born to parents whose extended families were at war with each other. And this melting pot was further flavored by the WASPy culture of the slaveholder, yielding a much more fun version of going to church.

Today, some U.S. cities (particularly in the east) have an Irish neighborhood, an Italian neighborhood, a Greek neighborhood… several generations since anyone came over the Atlantic. But I've never heard of an American city with an Akan part of town and an Igbo neighborhood. Sometimes starting from scratch is more effective than standing on the shoulders of giants.
21st-Jan-2012 12:19 pm (UTC)
You don't have that because identity was stolen from the people who became slaves. You also had everyone who was not white classified as black unless they were Indian. Even when I was in school, people would ask "Are you black or white or Indian?"

You had slaveholders actively breaking up families and forbidding cultural practices that eventually blended themselves into Christianity. You definitely do have black parts of town, but who cares what makes them up when you have "one drop" rules declaring everyone with one black great-grand parent as black?

Typically, city planners would run major roads through black communities to break them up or put them near railroad tracks.
21st-Jan-2012 12:20 pm (UTC)
The only exception that I have heard of have been the Gullah. Because they were good at something that white people valued, they were able to maintain their cultural identity.
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