Negro Spirituals

What are Negro Spirituals?

Negro Spirituals came after the creation of folk music. Negro Spirituals came from slaves during the time of enslavement. These spirituals were sang in the fields and at religious services. These songs were symbols pf what they endured during such a dreary time. These songs gave them a since of freedom even though physically they were enslaved by the white man.

The Elements of Negro Spirituals

The elements of Negro spirituals include hymns, ring shout, and invisible churches. All of these elements were important to Negro spirituals. Hymns were used during religious services. Hymns are eight bars and we see them today in the black church. Invisible churches were not seen by the white man. This is where negro spirituals would be performed for the enslavement. Ring shout took place during church and had a leader joined with others and drums to accompany the spirituals.


Roland Hayes 

Negro Spirituals

Influences and Commodification of Negro Spirituals

Negro Spirituals have an influence on the music we know today. The Gospel we know and love today was influenced by early Negro Spirituals. This genre gives you hope, and when you have a rough day you turn to this genre to give you inspiration and motivation to push through a hard time. Over time since they were around the white man they soon started to use the songs. Our people influenced them and they began to wonder about the music they would hear in their fields.


I have always felt that Negro Spirituals were important to music as we know it today. Negro Spirituals make me feel happy because although they were going through hard times they had music to fall back on. This was their outlet to the pain they endured. 


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