The African descended population of the countries of South America, Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Suriname, and Guyana. Their present day descendants speak Spanish, Portuguese, French, English, and Dutch. Black people have added their original contributions to the cultural mix of their respective societies and thus exerted a deep influence on all facets of life in South America. They had to deal with a significant and dynamic form of European society and culture. In the plantation societies of the South America, people of African ancestry held substantial control over their daily lives, despite the efforts of the politically dominant minority group to restrain and oppress them. The African communities survived, and in some instances grew against the stiff and relentless competition of the majority, or "high," culture. Pieces of the African ethnic subculture were eventually adopted by the mainstream.