What were the African influences on the slaves’ religion in America?
African-American Christians in Colonial America
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The type of African spirituality that took root in North America merged elements from many African cultures. Since slave masters intentionally mixed Africans from many tribal backgrounds, no “pure” African religion preserving one tradition emerged and/or survived. Nevertheless, the long-standing scholarly controversy about the extent to which African traditions have been retained in African-based religions is gradually being resolved in favor of those who see extensive survivals. In addition to singing, church music, and preaching styles—aspects where an African influence has generally been conceded—scholars have made persuasive arguments for African influences in family structure, funeral practices, church organizations, and many other areas.