Michael Newton’s talk in the Afro-Celts were not only a good one but one that kept people talking during a long question time. And it drew an interesting collection of people who seemed to belong to every cultural configuration available including a sociolinguist who might be called Afro-American but is also Catawba and probably Scotts as well. A wonderful woman who sang “Motherless Child” in a duet with Michael whilst he sang a song in Gaelic about the Highland Clearances. Several people wanted to talk about geneology and several wanted to claim themselves as Scots-Irish which Michael would say is not a Celtic culture, but a culture of those who rejected Gaelic and who sided with the English rejecting the culture of the Highland Scots. For Michael, to be Celtic is to speak Gaelic and to embrace the culture of those who are Gaelic speakers; that is, Highland Scots and anyone who would be like them or better would be adopted by them. So that if an African were to enter into Scots culture and speak Gaelic then … There is plenty of evidence that Scots culture in music and in dance and even language (as well as mixing of Scots and Africans) happened often in North America and in the Carribean .
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