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Drums are key musical instruments in Africa and the African diaspora. They are a mode of oral communication. They communicate African culture through sound and rhythm. In colonial America, the use of drums by enslaved Africans was outlawed in South Carolina in 1740 and in Georgia in 1755. In 1839, North Carolina passed similar laws. Nonetheless, Africans continued to express their culture using the instruments they improvised and those of their colonial masters. Examples are discussed herein.

African Drums: Improvisations

African drums were suppressed in Africa during colonialism and outlawed in the African diaspora during slavery. Abdias Do Nascimento, in his book Brazil, Mixture or Massacre: Essays in the Genocide of a Black People, points to the steel bands in Trinidad as examples ...

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