Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
North America, African Religion in
Nana Kwabena Brown
The European slave trade from the 15th to the 19th centuries brought to the Americas millions of Africans along with their religious and cultural practices. Examples of these religious and cultural practices are putting broken cups and dishes belonging to the deceased on top of the grave; not moving or making any noise during a thunderstorm; divination and spiritual readings; giving communication with the dead and “spiritual causality” as the reason for some phenomenon; and the healing technique—documented in 1976 in rural North Carolina—of putting a sick person into a hole, sacrificing an animal in the hole, pulling the person out, and quickly burying the sickness and thus healing the person. Many more African cultural and religious practices have continued uninterrupted up to the present day. The traditional Black church displays the following African retentions and modalities: polyrhythmic music and antiphonal singing; call-and-response; spirit transcendence; prophecy and spiritual readings; the ...