Thursday, March 28, 2013

Alienation of Igbo Culture

Slavery alienated nearly all of the slave's native culture. The Igbo, Yoruba, and other tribes they once knew disappeared and they were put in an alien, unfamiliar situation. They had to deal with things they had never seen before, and they had to create their own now culture. Community soon became extremely important, as it is still today. Beloved portrays the importance of community in the book. The African American community Sethe lives in is very close knit and protective of each other. They protect each other from slavers and other things, and without each other they would surely be returned to slavery or oppressed even more. Slavery alienated their native culture, but it also created a new, strong culture based on the values of community and family that aided them in overcoming the overwhelming oppression in America.

5 comments:

Grant Reggio said...

The institution of slavery initially and perhaps intentionally broke down the sense of community between the slaves by forcing them to work almost around the clock as well as subjugating them to extreme cruelty. As Tyler pointed out, these factors would naturally incline anyone to find support within a fellow victim. Hence a sense of community was reestablished and only grew stronger as slaves faced further abominations and hardships.

Grant Reggio said...

not just support, but comfort mores

Grant Reggio said...

moreso

Laura N said...

Examples of community in Beloved show how after being torn from their roots in Africa and tribal affiliations, a new (or several new) black community united together in America. Victims of slavery, people separated from their family members due to the slave trade and so on, come together to heal and care for each other. For instance, the Clearing is a gathering place where former slaves can dance out their frustration, cry out their fear and sorrow, and laugh to celebrate their freedom TOGETHER…in general express themselves and their shared experiences. Also the women who helped Denver find a job and get rid of Beloved untied to help a member of their community heal from her painful past. Also the Underground Railroad was an organization, or community if you will, of black and white abolitionists that worked together to free slaves. Community strengthens its individual members. It allows them to accomplish things that one could not otherwise do alone such as moving forward beyond the pain, injustice and regret that your life may have or is experiencing. Morrison definitely shows the healing power a community can have.

Ben Bonner said...

I think religion was instrumental in both destroying the slaves' native culture and the formation of a new community and culture. All traditional aspects of African culture that were removed had the commonality that they were incompatible with Christian teaching. Ironically, it is around religion that the slaves began to form their new culture. In Beloved, we how the community comes together in the Clearing and how children who are interested in learning are taught to read using the Bible.