Did you miss Part 1? Read it here! Our experience of Spirituals today is as fully accompanied songs or choral arrangements. A large part of their effectiveness comes from the accompaniments created by the original arrangers, working a generation or two after the end of slavery. Two of the most prominent arrangers were William […]
Many Christians who are long time “free church” members (traditions such as the New England congregationalists, baptists, and several others) do not really care for Ash Wednesday. Too high church and all. Too much against the grain of the gospel lesson recommended for that day: “Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them.” Matt. 6:1.
At every church I’ve served, I always devote the month of February to African American Spirituals. These songs have a power that goes well beyond their beautiful melodies and poignant lyrics. They are songs of despair, protest, and hope from an enslaved people, and they are a stark reminder of an ugly chapter in our […]