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|Title:||A social history of black culture in colonial North Carolina|
|Author(s):||Bontemps, Arna Alexander|
|Doctoral Committee Chair(s):||McColley, Robert|
|Department / Program:||History|
|Degree Granting Institution:||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign|
History, United States
|Abstract:||By surveying the full range of existing contemporary documents available for the study of slavery in colonial North Carolina, this study has attempted to provide a social history of black culture in colonial North Carolina against which it has sought to outline the aesthetic dimension of black life in that colony. The organization of the study--beginning with chapters on the historical background to the subject and including sections on life at sea; the slave trade and its mythology; the lore and reality of the coastal environment; the art and craft of agricultural production; measured experience (time, space and distance); the law and lawlessness; the lore of race relations; health, spirituality and romance--reflects its effort to focus analysis primarily on aesthetic considerations as opposed to acculturative concerns.
A concluding section, "Jonkonnu and the Art of Liminality", argues that the expressive behavior of blacks in colonial North Carolina generally mirrored the acculturative patterns of other aspects of colonial life among black Carolinians in its outward forms and institutional functions. However, on an emotional and intellectual level, especially as it was reflected in the folklore and ritual life of the black slave, it reflected a persistent sense of cultural estrangement that inhibited cultural reconciliation. In the tenacity of African influences and atavistic perspectives on their art and lore; in their spontaneity and liminal exuberance as artists; and in their imaginative use of unconventional strategies of expressive indirection, black Carolinians both celebrated and lamented their liminality as a reflection of slavery's tragic inner contradictions and as a defense against psychological domination.
|Rights Information:||Copyright 1989 Bontemps, Arna Alexander|
|Date Available in IDEALS:||2011-05-07|
|Identifier in Online Catalog:||AAI8916216|