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A Guiness-Record-Winning "Ring Shout"

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Ring Shouting began during slavery as part of church services. Over the 20th century, its popularity waned, and today it's danced as a performance art.
Smithsonian Archives
Ring Shouting began during slavery as part of church services. Over the 20th century, its popularity waned, and today it's danced as a performance art.

The ring shout is one of the oldest customs in African American culture. It dates back to the beginning of slavery in the U.S., when slaves combined elements of Christianity with African songs and dance rituals. The ring shout eventually faded from memory, but Emily Friedman speaks with people from all over the country who are working to bring back the tradition, one shout at a time.

[Music: "Lost Gander" by Mike Seeger from Southern Banjo Sounds]

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