Conflict Essay

860 WordsMay 31, 20134 Pages
“In times of conflict, ordinary people can act in extraordinary ways” Expository piece - article India Havers In the late seventeenth century, the first groups of slaves were brought on a tremendous journey from their homeland to America. To the white Americans of the time, the slaves were little more than strong arms and sturdy backs. They were meant to work and generate money; they were certainly not to have a voice. Though many white Americans appreciated the slaves for their exertion, this appreciation typically did not overstep the bounds of their work relationship. Even after the slaves were freed, the tide of oppression did not pass immediately. Their newly decreed freedom could not command humanity for blacks in the eyes of whites. It did not give them a heart and soul. Blues music was cultivated for this purpose; to help the slaves cope with such adversity and to tame the conflict between whites and blacks. The blues style of music originated in the work fields of the southern United States. In the nineteenth century, white Americans got their first taste of black music through blackface minstrel shows, which affected race relations in a positive and negative way. With the discovery and recording of blues in the twentieth century, this familiarity steadily intensified. Many historians assert that blues, the music created by blacks, vastly improved race relations in the United States since its recognition by whites. The music was a unique cultural offering that whites could not deny. It was something new and intriguing to whites that shed a new light on blacks and their place in American culture and society. It drew blacks to the same shows as it did whites. Stories tell of black musicians playing dances where a cord was used to divide the dance floor in half, one side for blacks and the other for whites. By the end of the evening, the cord would be on

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