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No More No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans - Essay Example

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No More No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans

The African slaves once in a while reunite not just with the living and celebrate their culture through their songs, chants and dances, clad in their traditional attires as if it was only what they cared for and all that mattered to them.
Walter was able to explain every symbol that was used in the festival and connect them with anti-slavery. Such were the shouts and forming of a circle that meant they were not letting their oppressors penetrate them. The masquerading served as a means to hide their faces from their oppressors. Painting themselves white was done to mix with the whites and be part of the community. As Walker puts it, "dance and music create the environment that allows the spirits to possess, ride, or mount both willing and some unwilling participants". (Walker, 12) He even appreciates the ritual in saying that rhythms and "religious imagery" (Walker, 13) help in solving conflicts and in touching the community. An example is that of the Jamaican slaves who expressed their resistance to slavery in the form of a song.
The author's thought on festivals as a form of resistance to slavery is agreeable. The upstaging activity of the Africans is a sign of bravery and survival because they sticked to their own culture. While almost everything was taken away from them, which is their dignity through slavery, they did not allow their tradition to be taken away from them too. ...
In fact, tracing it to thousands of years ago, festivals were believed to be a form of defiance to slavery. The Feast of the Passover practiced by the Israelites was a sign of breaking away with the oppression of Egypt. A guest editor of one magazine states:

God heard the cries of people and brought His wrath against the nation that had enslaved them. In the celebration of a lasting memorial, the Lord painted for us a picture of our ultimate deliverance from the bondage of sin. Every spring to this very day, the Jewish people remember that they were released from slavery by the hand of God. Year after year, Passover reminds the world that God does not approve of slavery. (Fyock)

The author also talked about space termed as "space-related-social-control" in the second chapter in which he explains, is seen through the segregation of Africans in public places. They had separate sections in moviehouses, restaurants, hotels and parlors even in hospitals and even if they were already dead -- also in cemeteries that is. This set-up resulted to social control. He also says that places had a psychological and emotional effect in a manner that everytime a certain place is being talked about or seen, they are instantly reminded of what took place there. For instance the slave ship wherein slaves rode as they were being traded to another country had a negative image on the slaves, as it meant "death, violence and inhumanity." (Walker, 21)
Walter's use of the space to represent the line between white and black men was also a good point because it symbolized the social control that was happening. He says the so-called space also brought negative effects such as ...Show more


Slavery because of racial discrimination has become part of history and has occurred in some parts of the world. Daniel E. Walker in his book No More No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans focuses on the plight of Africans in Havana and New Orleans in America during the 19th century.
Author : marvinerin
No More No More: Slavery and Cultural Resistance in Havana and New Orleans essay example
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