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Folk music of the enslaved
African-american community

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The spirituals are a rich body of African American folksong that was born out of the lived experiences of enslaved individuals.


These songs were mostly created during the transatlantic slave trade from the 16th to 19th century.

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why sing the spirituals?

A unifying characteristic of African-American spirituals is their dual emphasis on both inner faith and outward action. These songs, born out of the collective lived experiences of enslaved individuals, give us the privilege of sympathising, empathising and even living vicariously their emotions and ambitions.


Enslaved Africans were victims of some of the most brutal forms of oppression, injustice and suffering imaginable. Despite this, the spirituals not only express pain and suffering but also hope and joy in the saving grace of Christ, alongside calls to actively serve one another in love.


We have much to learn from the wisdom of the spirituals. As we sing and appreciate them, perhaps we too will be refined inwardly with the power of the gospel and outwardly toward greater love and action for the poor and oppressed in our midst today.

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I've Got Peace Like a River (Acoustic Version by Neil Chan)
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