The Spiritual: Soul of Black Religion

Posted: November 23, 2012 in Blues and Religion, LeRoy Moore, Slave history, Spirituals, Spirituals

Author: LeRoy Moore, Jr.

Source: American Quarterly, Vol. 23, N° 5, Dec., 1971, pp. 658-676


“THE AMERICAN NEGRO SPIRITUALS ARE THE PRODUCT OF THE FUSION OF Christian piety and the slave experience of persons of African descent. Alain Locke designated the antebellum decades beginning about 1830 as the “classic” period of the composition of these songs.  The aptness of his designation is indicated on the one hand by the fact that after the Civil War the songs were available to compilers, cataloguers, commentators and jubilee singers,  and on the other that in the decades immediately before the war circumstances converged to provide the conditions out of which the spirituals arose.”



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