AFRICAN AMERICAN TRIBAL MUSIC – THE BEGINNING

Posted by Lamont Pearley on

Published By:
Lamont Jack Pearley

The heritage and culture that are the foundation of what I like to call “African American Tribal Music” are the products of two continents – Africa and America. They stem from a long tradition passed down generations prior to arriving to the New World, mixed with events and conditions that were faced during a heinous period in American History by those who were captives and brought by force as well as those that were here before Columbus who also became captives.  Why do I use the term African American Tribal Music? Because we, African Americans, descend from many Tribes. Tribes that were already in the Americas, Tribes that date back to ancient Israel and Kemet, Tribes of Africa..I can keep going. An interesting point is, as time went on, as the tribes evolved, and in some cases became assimilated into Western European America, you can still see traces of the original tribes in modern African and Caribbean American expression. From the earliest of Black Traditional musics documented, all the way to present day, you hear glimpses of the different tribes we descend from in our music.

This information is important to our culture, heritage and lineage. For the most part our early tribal music was compartmentalized into Black Spirituals and Slave Seculars …the mother and father at the top of the family tree so to speak, which all American musics came from.

However, this is less about the music that the Black Spirituals and the Slave Seculars spawned, but more about the effect that four major events had on the Blues People, which would shape and evolve the styles of our expressions. This series of writings will discuss those four major events that dynamically shifted the African American Community in America, that would ultimately revolutionize African American Tribal Music.

 

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