Negro Spirituals

Negro spirituals were the most common form of expression and communication within the African community. These songs emerged in the 1800s during the time of slavery. These songs were a way to keep a connection between the community. After the enslaved peoples were forced to convert to Christianity, the created more of these spirituals to deal with the oppression of their enslavement and to also pass the time when they were forced to work.  

In Africa, it was known that music had been central to people’s lives and as Christianity took hold of the enslaved peoples in North America, these negro spirituals served as a way to express the community’s new faith, as well as its sorrows and hopes. Soon collections of spirituals were published in the 1860s which piqued interest in negro spirituals. In the 1870s, the creation of the Jubilee Singers came about. The Jubilee Singers toured in the United States and even in Europe. The Jubilee singers, gave birth to a concert hall tradition of performing and this music style of performance has remained strong to this day.

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