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The Creolization of America: Beyond Black, White, and Red

Room 138B in the Norfolk State student center held a lively and almost heated roundtable discussion on how the 1619 era affected Native American, African, and European American culture. Conference-goers shared knowledge on the matter, attempting to answer such questions as “Why did Europeans specifically bring Africans to America?”; “Who’s role in the shaping of 1619 southeastern American society was more vital?”, and “How did 1619 introduce the politics of race into American society?” Breaking the subject apart, we realized that the early American’s entirely unique ways of living were practically obliged to assimilate. Incoming Europeans and Africans, with their own cultural baggage, intermixed with the resident Native Americans. Throw in such environmental factors as climate, and topography and you have what is now recognized as creolization. This is also when the emergence of creole societies began to take place. Influences in architecture, food, farming, medicine, religion, dance, and song from all peoples involved in the colonization of the New World were greatly evident in the 1619 era. Working together, to carve out a sense of comfort in an unfamiliar environment, these deeply-rooted cultural aspects have stood the test of time. After all that has happened to America since its colonization, the habits and traditions of all peoples involved were, and are still evident in society today.