African-Americans have played a vital role in the culture and economy of the American South.   Southern cooking, music, art and storytelling are heavily influenced by African-Americans, blending folk culture of their African homelands with European traits.  

African stories and folkways were first shared during slavery times as a means of cultural survival.  While African-American culture in the modern South may be urban and progressive, some early traditions persist in rural areas.  For instance, the Gullah people, direct descendants of the original slaves, still keep original African customs alive on the Southern coast.

Read below on the importance of African-American culture to the American South, past and present.