Affirmation Essay

This essay has a total of 806 words and 4 pages.


Affirmation is defined as a recognition of political, personal, cultural values and
identity. The Puritans, African Americans, and Native Americans affirmed their identity in
Colonial America through: oral traditions, songs, and rituals. This is the reason they are
studied all over the world.

The Puritans affirmed their identity through their religious beliefs, utopian ideas and
theocracy. The Puritans had a storyteller who spoke of their genealogy. Since these
stories were based on the bible, most of the listeners (children) were isolated from the
reality of life. They grew up with their same beliefs as their parents, grandparents, and
elders. All Puritans were considered sinned because of the teachings on the bible.
However, they believed in predestination (only those people, "the elect" by God are saved
and go to Heaven) yet the other Puritans continued to value the bible and obtained good
citizenship. The Puritans respected hard work and had a distrust of leisure, a suspicion
that the poor are shiftless which is said to have contributed to their downfall. When the
Puritans escaped Europe from its Religious persecution and came to the colonies, they
dreamed of becoming a utopian society. This society was also looked at as "the city on top
of the hull" probably expressing the point of view the Puritans had of themselves. They
used their theocracy (belief that the bible was the supreme authority) to complete their
utopian society and has been debuted by historians if they achieved their dream. The
Puritans did affirm their beliefs by their storytelling, by their genealogists, their
theocracy, and the achievement of their utopian society.

Enslaved African-Americans affirmed their identity through their developmental resistance
towards slavery, sacred songs and their storytelling. Storytelling has existed in many
cultures, but existed for different reasons than that of the Puritans. Survival skills
folk wisdom and hope, were the most common reasons and were important to their everyday
survival. Mr. Rabbit and Mr. Bear is one of many stories told by the griot (genealogist)
which focuses on hope that the Enslaved African-Americans will one day be a trickster like
Mr. Rabbit and escaped slavery; like the Rabbit escaped being hung from a tree. After a
long bitter life, the Enslaved African-Americans began to imagine and dream of freedom.
Most slaves had learned to speak English and sang. Having been a slave herself, Harriet
Tubman, helped other slaves escape by using her songs to guide them North, thus becoming
the founder of the Underground railroad; by her will to give and her heroism, she is still
remembered and her determination inspires people still today. One sacred song the Enslaved
African-Americans sang was "Follow the Drinking Gourd," which really meant to follow the
Big Dipper and the North Star to freedom/Northern U.S. "Follow the Drinking Gourd" was a
great song that actually motivated slaves to seek freedom. When a slave became a free
slave their happiness really belonged to those like Harriet Tubman who risked their lives
by guiding slaves North. The Enslaved African-Americans of colonial times truly affirmed
their culture and identity , their courage and determination of freedom will be remembered
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