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Captive Passage: The Transatlantic Slave Trade and the Making of the AmericasPhillis Wheatley
Benjamin Banneker

Captive Passage
has been made
possible in part by:
National Endowment for the Humanities
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for this exhibition
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Legacy: Building New NationsCreating Institutions and Community
Africa's GiftsThe Black ChurchEducationFoodMusicA Lasting Legacy

Africa’s Gifts

Over time, European and African cultural traditions blended to create uniquely American cultures. African music, ever-present in the daily lives of slaves, became the foundation for many forms of American music. African food, dance, speech, and folklore became key elements of what it means to be Brazilian, Cuban, or American.

Individuals such as Phillis Wheatley, an enslaved African who became a noted poet, and Benjamin Banneker, a child of slaves who became one of America's scientific pioneers, are just two of numerous enslaved Africans who contributed to the emerging culture of the Americas.


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Phillis Wheatley