[SOLVED] Spirituals Response

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Homework responses (HR) will be mini typed responses written prior to class (3 paragraphs; minimum 500 words, single-spaced). They must be word document or pdf (you may not submit a google doc).

HRs are to be uploaded to Canvas prior to the start of class. The homework link in Canvas will provide you with a TurnItIn plagiarism report. Review the report and correct anything that is marked as plagiarism (if you have directly quoted from the required reading and used proper citation, you do not have to change that even if TurnItIn highlights it). If you do not upload your HRs to TurnItIn, 20% will be deducted from the grade.

To help you with this assignment, remember to read the Library of Congress’ page on spirituals https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200197495/ (Links to an external site.) as well as this page https://www.loc.gov/item/ihas.200197451 (Links to an external site.) which contains a section about songs during slavery.


From the Library of Congress’ page on African American Song, it says, “As Africanized Christianity took hold of the slave population during the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, spirituals, a type of religious song typically sung in a call and response form with a leader improvising a line of text and a chorus of singers providing a solid refrain in unison, served as a way to express the community’s new faith, as well as its sorrows and hopes. Some spirituals served as codified messages of secret meetings, of protest, or even of an intent to escape. Songs often used Old Testament sources to express the suffering of slavery. ” Select one spiritual and analyze its content for coded language as well as references to the Old Testament. How does analyzing these songs add a deeper layer to understanding the period of slavery? In other words, how might the act of studying the spirituals be seen as part of an Afrocentric education?

Reminder: Afrocentric education, according to Molefi K. Asante, “involves locating students within the context of their own cultural references so that they can relate socially and psychologically to other cultural perspectives” and illustrating Africans and African Americans as “agents, actors, and participants rather than as marginals on the periphery of political or economic experience” (“Afrocentricity in Education”).

Paragraph 1 – introduce concept (spirituals, your specific song, coded language concept). End with thesis specific to your spiritual.

Paragraph 2 – analyze the coded language in the song/lyrics.

Paragraph 3 – How does analyzing these songs add a deeper layer to understanding the period of slavery? In other words, how might the act of studying the spirituals be seen as part of an Afrocentric education?

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