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ERIC Number: EJ866357
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-0027-4321
Saving the Spiritual for Your Students
Small, Kathryn
Music Educators Journal, v96 n2 p46-49 2009
Spirituals are religious folk songs that were created and sung by enslaved African Americans to express the emotions and thoughts of a people in bondage. The spiritual conveyed deep religious convictions and the desire for freedom brought on by two centuries' worth of oppression, as slavery was legal in the United States from approximately 1650 until the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863. Lessons learned from this time have been pivotal in the development of the human rights movement in America. The spiritual originated from African American slaves yearning for a better life, but these songs were not only cries for freedom. The spiritual outlined the beginnings of a new plan for the future, a plan that included, for newly recognized citizens of the United States, a new sense of responsibility. The spiritual became the call for "all" people to become positive members of society, reinforcing the concepts of fairness and accountability in American culture. It is in the musical style of the spiritual that the early makings of democracy in America are evident, and African American slaves, although rarely recognized, are responsible in part for this. As one of the first genres of music created by those who came to America in the seventeenth century and later, it deserves to be more widely known by all people. Knowing the legal foundation for the teaching of the spiritual is not enough to defend and promote its importance in the public classroom. This article presents some ideas on how to promote the importance and relevance of teaching spirituals to the music curriculum. (Contains 7 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A