The Black Church: Negro Spirituals Essence


Personally, I grew up all 20 years of my life surrounded by church members. My grandfather is a pastor as my godfather is a pastor as well. My parents are prominent members of the church as well. Growing up in a black Pentecostal, I was able to hear a variety of gospel music that I personally feel embodies negro spirituals. Hand clapping, stomping, ‘shouting’ and the call-response way of singing are all present within church. Even the moments where services last from the morning until late into the evening. As time continues, the music proceeds to evolve by taking specific characteristics and creating something new. Negro spiritual takes some similarities from Secular Folk Music and used it to provide a more spiritual or religious twist to the music.

Tamela Mann
An incredible female gospel artist known for singles: Take Me to the King, Change Me and God Provides.
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Tye Tribbett
Famous male gospel artist known for his singles: He Turned It, If He Did Before, Victory and The Worship Medley.
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Fred Hammond
Well known male gospel artist known for his singles: I Will Trust, All Things Are Working and Awesome God
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Kierra Sheard
A very well known female gospel artist known for her singles: Indescribable, You Are, and Free.
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To This Day..

Gospel artists like Tasha Cobbs, Tamela Mann, Tye Tribbett, Fred Hammond, Kierra Sheard and etc, use these types of methods during worship. As an example, Todd Galberth’s song, Lord You Are Good, uses the call-response to get the audience engaged. As a participant of many services like these, it is better to understand the lyrics as well as communicate through this mode of musical selection. I personally believe it is a deeper connection between the higher power and the individual participating. As time progresses, I have no doubt that there will be another type of music that uses the same components that negro spirituals previously used.


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