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West Africanisms refer to cultural characteristics of West African origin. These African retentions have survived more than 500 years of imperialism, colonialism, enslavement, racism, and oppression. During the Maafa (the transatlantic trade in enslaved Africans), which began in the early 16th century and ended in the late 19th century, West Africanisms were adjusted and readapted to the times and settings. The survival of West African culture in North America, despite all efforts to eradicate it, is observed in almost every aspect of North American society, including language, aesthetics, sciences, agriculture, animal husbandry, architecture, cuisine, healing, philosophy, spirituality, and religion.

West Africanisms in Language

Enslaved West Africans created hybrid languages throughout the diaspora. They modified foreign vernaculars and blended them with the languages of ...

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