How African-American Culture Conceived Jazz
Near the beginning of the twentieth century, Jazz was a new style of music being invented by African-American musicians who lived in New Orleans, Louisiana. The city of New Orleans during the beginning of the twentieth century was loaded with individuals of different ethnicities and backgrounds. Before the early twentieth century, New Orleans was colonized by the French and Spanish. When the French and Spanish colonized New Orleans, they brought with them their slaves from various regions of the African continent; mainly, the slaves came from West Africa. In the book The Story of Jazz Marshall W. Stearns states:
…the various stages in the development of the slave trade had a decisive influence on what part of Africa the slaves came from... the majority of slaves came from the West coast of Africa…inter-tribal raids and dynastic wars in West Africa led to the selling of kings and priests into slavery, people who were specialists in their own tribal music and rituals (16).
When the French sold the Louisiana Purchase to the United States, the slave trade existed until it was banned sometime in the early nineteenth century. However, even though the trade was banned, slavery in the United States existed until after the Civil War. Within the confines of slavery, a new tradition was made from a mix of African and American traditions. The mix of African and American traditions started when the slaves were brought to the Southern plantations. While on the plantations, the slaves would go into the cotton fields to pick the high demand crop; during downtime, the slaves would adopt Christianity, and learn about American life because Africans were taught to adopt the culture and religion of their conquerors (Stearns 18). While the slaves worked in the fields, they came up with ways to express themselves while integrating African traditions into their lives as slaves. One of these forms of...