Black History Culture : AFRICANISMS IN AMERICAN ENGLISH...

Discussion in 'Black History - Culture - Panafricanism' started by Isaiah, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This particular webpage is for all of you who say that, either, African Americans have brought nothing to the American cultural scene, or have had our African Culture completely erased from mind and memory... For the young people, it is important for you to read, and not just depend on the spoken word or visual media for your historical information... Please read, and if you have comments on your READING feel free to post...


    http://www.transafricaforum.org/reports/africanisms_issuebrief1199.pdf

    1
    Africanisms in America
    An intellectual debate persists surrounding African cultural
    tie-overs in America. Many believe, based upon the works of
    sociologist Franklin E. Frazier among others, that the
    oppressive conditions of slavery in the United States
    separated Africans in America completely from their brethren
    on the mother continent. Another group of scholars led by
    Mellville J. Herskovitz exposed compelling cultural,
    linguistic, and social parallels to African culture, especially
    those cultures in West Africa, and African-American culture.
    Despite the claim that Africans could not retain their culture
    after a dramatic shift in living conditions, an evident cultural
    legacy suggests the opposite. Africanisms in America have
    not only survived, but also continually evolve. The American
    cultural fabric is intricately interwoven with the culture of
    Africa.
    Language
    Much of the research associated with Africanisms in
    American speech focuses on the African survivals found in
    the Gullah dialect of the Sea Islands. The impact of Gullah
    culture on the larger African-American population was not
    pronounced due to their relative seclusion. However, there
    are examples of African linguistic links in common English.
    According to Dalby in Rappin’ and Stylin’ Out (1972), some
    researchers have shown either direct African “loans-words”
    in American English or mixtures of meanings and sounds
    with origins in the languages of West Africa.
    A partial list of some commonly-used African words or
    derivatives found in American or African-American English:
    The English slang "funky", meaning strong odor, may be
    derived from the Ki-Kongo word for bad odor, lu-fuki. The
    Bakongo use of lu-fuki may be closer to meaning "funky"
    when used by jazzmen in America. Both use it to praise
    persons for the integrity of their art.
    "Goofer dust" in African-American culture literally means
    grave dust. Goofer may stem from the Ki-Kongo verb
    kufwa (to die).
    Mandingo, Hausa, and Ibo words have also been found in
    spoken English. These include: cooter (turtle) from
    Manding; cola from Temne; okra from Akan and Western
    Bantu languages; mumbo-jumbo, a corruption of the name
    of a Mandingo secret society; juju (fetish, amulet) from
    Hausa and/or Mandingo; buckra (white man) from Efi.
    Other words that find their origins in these language groups
    include: yam, gumbo, hoodoo, goober and pinder (peanut),
    okay, and tote.
    The "toby" found in African-American culture to mean good
    luck charm has its origin in the word tobe, the general word
    for charms for the Kongo.
    bad (esp. in the emphatic form baad): as used in the sense of
    “very good, extremely good” found in Mandingo (Bambara)
    bad-mouth: “slander, abuse, gossip” (also as a verb); from
    Mandingo da-jugu and Hausa mugum-baki, which literally
    mean "bad mouth" in both cases.
    bamboula: “vigorous style of dance”; from Banyun
    bombulan and similar terms in other languages on the
    western coast of West Africa.
    banjo: “stringed musical instrument”; from Kimbundu
    mbanza.
    bogus, bogue: “fake or fraudulent”; from the Hausa
    boko-boko “deceit, fraud.”
    boogie (-woogie): “fast blues music”; from the Mandingo
    bugB, “to beat drums.”
    cat: “man, fellow”; from Wolof Kat “denoting person as
    final element in compound” (e.g. hipi-kat, hep-cat).
    guy: “fellow, person” esp. as term of address; from Wolof
    gay.
    hip, hep: “well informed, alert, aware, of what is going on”;
    from Wolof hepi, hipi “to open one's eyes, be aware of what's
    going on"; hence hipi-kat means someone with his eyes open,
    aware of what is going on.
    rooty-toot: “old-fashioned music”; and rootin-tootin, “noisy,
    boisterous”; from Wolof ruti-tuti "rapid drumming sound."
    wicked: as used in the sense of "excellent, capable" found in
    Mandingo (Gambia).
    zombie: “ghost, raised corpse”; from Kindundu nzumbi
    "ghost, phantom."
    Artifacts
    __________________________________________________
    Researched by Maurice Mitchell and Carrie Solages, Interns-
    TransAfrica Forum
    November 1999
    TransAfrica Forum
    1744 R Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20009
    Tel: 202/797-2301 Fax: 202/797-2382
    E-mail: [email protected]
    www.transafricaforum.org
     
  2. Isaiah

    Isaiah Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This is for you, brother Ralfa'il... I think this page adds credence to the fact that not all of our linguistic creativity is attributable to Southern White Folks...(smile!)

    Peace!
    Isaiah
     
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