Negro Spirituals: The Cries of Our Ancestors

The Emotional Expression of The Slave

For hundreds of years, Africans were kidnapped and sold as slaves in a stolen land named America. The colonizers took everything from these people from their land, their culture, their native tongue, but one thing they couldn’t take away from them was music. African Americans have such a large impact on the music industry and world culture and sadly, American music was mainly rooted in the misery of the negro spiritual. Negro spirituals were songs sung by slaves and they were used to express their suffering in a religious way through a religion they were forced to adopt. They sung about bible stories, but also used these songs to communicate with each other without the master knowing. The number of spirituals is unknown because of the fact that slaves were forbidden from reading and writing but famous ones include “Wade in the Water,” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”. After slaves were freed in 1867, African Americans continued to express themselves through negro spirituals. Negro Spirituals were even starting to be performed; for example, by the Fisk Jubilee Singers which eventually created the genre of Jubilee Quartet. Negro Spirituals continued to evolve in to different genres and those genres evolved in to more genres. Americans wouldn’t have modern day rap, hip-hop, r&b, and neosoul without the voices of the ancestors. 

Play Video
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
allyssathornton

allyssathornton

Techno

Techno Techno is a genre very popular today in white music scenes and especially at festivals and raves such as Coachella and The Burning Man.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read More »

Ragtime

RagTimes Ragtime is a genre names after “rag” times and it’s known for its broken piano melodies that work together to make a fun jig.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read More »

Oh So Funky

Funk Funk music is one genre, out of many, that was evolved from Jazz. The term Funk or Funky was describe the Black experience and

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read More »

Musical Theater

African American Musical Theater Before the early 20th century, African American theater was white people in racist blackface mocking and disrespecting the African American image.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Read More »