African American Spirituals

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Spirituals of Slaves
African slaves endured uncivil working and living conditions. Despite, the sorrow, loneliness and hardship, the slaves established unique spiritual songs in order to cope with their lives. These songs were known as the Negro Spirituals. The Negro Spirituals became a source of strength and foundation of the rising black leadership ideology, which emphasized on liberation and spiritual ties. The Spirituals of the slaves impacted American history by bringing communities together, influencing other cultures and by promoting the abolishment of slavery. To keep the African American slaves active through out the day, while being transported on ships, the captains would stress the importance of singing and dancing. They forced
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Douglass was born in 1818 on Maryland’s eastern shores and spent his young life with his grandparents and aunt. At the age of seven years old, Douglass ' mother died. Douglass, unfortunately, only saw his mother a few times before her death. Growing up as a slave in a broken family, Douglass was exposed to degradation of slavery and was forced to experience the punishments and whipping first hand. At the age of eight, he moved to Baltimore, where he lived with a ship carpenter named Hugh Auld. In Baltimore, Douglass got a glimpse of Education and a future. After spending many years in Baltimore, Douglass was sent back to his home town where he had to work for a notoriously brutal slave breaker named Edward Covey. Douglass had to endure many brutal beatings and whippings by the hands of Edward Covey. Fortunately, Douglass became an independent and pragmatic thinker, despite his hardships, and helped inspire many African American slaves. “Frederick Douglass, whose writings and orations were some of the most eloquent and persuasive attacks against slavery, claimed that witnessing the enslaved communities sing these spirituals was actually one of the most powerful arguments for the abolition of slavery.” Negro Spirituals resisted to white rule, oppression, and control. The songs became stimulants and rational points for slaves to concur over their sufferings. Songs such as …show more content…
Spirituals were frequently passed to whites by slave women who were caretakers of the owner’s children. Spirituals were often sang as lullabies to soothe children and used for play songs. Some southern whites were raised with the memories of these songs. The slave bands motivated the minstrel shows as well. Minstrel shows promoted white men who smothered their face in burnt cork and sand and danced to African-inspired tunes. Blacks were banned from performing, or attending performances. Minstrels went to plantations to listen to songs and write down dialect. Black music was started being written down by white musicians and incorporated into their culture even more. Spirituals also inspired white and black gospel music, the blues, the tango and ragtime Spirituals were also introduced world wide by Paul Robeson. Robeson, an influential leader in spiritual music, introduced spiritual music to listeners around the world by using his deep powerful voice and also his reputation in performing European classical music to massive

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