by George Faithful, Saint Louis University

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“Shout on, children, you never die. Glory, hallelu!”[1] As jubilant and bold as ever, the voice of the poet resounds, drowning out centuries of physical oppression and subsequent decades of scholarly neglect. Few genres of song have been as significant historically, literarily, musically, and theologically as the “Negro spiritual.” For their original singers, they were songs of praise, lamentation, and resistance. I maintain that the spirituals present a coherent theology, which may be discerned upon a close reading of the songs’ texts.

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