The Spirit Behind Negro Spirituals


Negro spirituals originated when slaves needed a way to express the emotions they experienced during slavery. Because slaves were only allowed to meet for Christian services they began singing songs of solitude and despair. 


Negro spirituals were sung in the form of call and response. They were also typically hymns, the praise and worship of God.

why did the slaves sing negro spirituals?

Life on plantations, being a slave was an inhumane lifestyles and singing was the only way slaves were allowed to convey these feelings. They were able to talk about the sadness, frustrations, and anger that came with being a slave. They were able to share their story with others.

negro spirituals today

Negro spirituals were traditionally shared orally and not written down. Eventually whites realized that these slaves had talent and began writing down their songs anc composed a book of 100 Slave Songs of the United States. Negro spirituals also had an influence on Jubilee Quartets.

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