How could people believe that African-Americans were happy in a society in which they were enslaved? Likely, the classes who could not own slaves had rarely interacted with slaves and observed their demeanor. However, being unable to comprehend the degradation of enslavement lacks awareness and empathy for anyone else. The perception of the “Sambo” as a happy black man was incredibly degrading and harmful to everyone in society.
Music was used to depict the happiness of blacks in America, whereas much of the music enslaved people sang was out of grief. The white slave owners turned the relief of music around on blacks to keep them in a perceived state of subservience.