The background history of Negro Spirituals and Hymns

  • What is a Negro Spiritual?
  • A Negro Spiritual is a genre of music particularly composed by African Americans with the story/meaning of Christianity behind it. This genre of music expressed social/physical experiences from person to person. And those that were enslaved. These spirituals also made it possible for enslaved African Americans to communicate with each other to give directions. And to tell stories. 
  • Examples of Negro Spirituals below

Negro Spirituals
often have a
Call and Response

What are Hymns?

Hymns are a a religious song or a poem written for prayers. They are based on bible scriptures and biblical stories. Some examples of Hymns are ” Roll Jordan roll and, Oh Freedom!

In Conclusion

In conclusion, Negro Spirituals and Hymns were used to not only tell a story but to help the enslaved express themselves/give directions and have something to share with each other. Our voices are telling of our troubles and pain. Today Negro Spirituals and Hymns are commonly known as gospel music, and this is what is heavily listened to in churches.


“Spiritual (Music).” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 21 Aug. 2020,



Kaushik, Nimisha. “Difference Between Song and Hymn.” Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects, 21 Nov. 2011,

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