The Vernacular Tradition

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Song and Literature through Vernacular Tradition For many years African Americans struggled with racism, prejudice inequality and oppression. They were taken from their families deprived of reading, writing, and learning and had their god given rights taken away. Through all the struggle, fighting and battles they never gave up and kept pushing forward for a brighter day. They did this so through music, song and dance known as the Vernacular Tradition. These were forms of expression, which enabled them to make it through those hard times and gave a voice and a form of self -awareness and endurance. The Vernacular tradition let them express what they felt in their hearts, minds, and bodies and gave inspiration to keep moving forward. Religion and faith kept them going even when it was difficult to hold on Thomas Jefferson says in the Vernacular Tradition “musically the slaves are more generally gifted than the whites with accurate ears for tune and time.” (pg 6) They were so gifted when in came to music and literature that it was even observed and noticed by their slave masters. They were able to make songs and poems about what they were going through at the drop of the hat. Poems and songs such as “Been in the Storm so long” “This little light of mine” and “Soon I will be done”. This was their pain and struggles they were expressing, the light would come soon they thought and it would all be over and they could make it to the promise land. These songs were not about being happy they had deep profound meanings metaphors in a since. If you didn’t understand what they were saying u couldn’t understand their pain you could feel their spirit through these songs and poems. Rhythm and blues was another form of the Vernacular tradition that was used for telling stories. During this time which blues started to become popular slaves were free but not completely and this

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