African-American spirituals are a valuable part of American history. Born out of an oral tradition that reveals Christian values while describing the hardships of slavery from the period of 1600 to 1870, the music and melodies of these songs are still being performed and appreciated today.
The negro spirituals are usually sung as part of Black History Month, which is observed during February each year.
African cultural traditions, which include drumming and dance, were brought with them from West Africa.
As their music was forbidden by European masters, the slaves took to the hills and valleys, singing and playing their instruments by rivers and secret worship houses.
Lyrics are accompanied by plaintive melodies, and are created in a “call and response” format.