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The Tradition of the Spiritual

The Spiritual, also known as Songs of Sorrow, are both social and political. The Spiritual grew out of a rebellion against slave masters and the slave condition. It is a reflection of African tradition and life on Southern plantations. Theologically, the Spiritual allows one to understand how the divine spirit moved Black people toward unity and inspired in them a fervent determination to overcome both hardship and tribulation. The Spiritual played an integral role in the creation of the slaves religion that was based in part on remnants of both African and Christian beliefs. Two central themes of the Spiritual are:

• A desire for freedom from bondage.

• A desire for justice.

The Spiritual records an unforgettable period in Americas history. The Spiritual sings the stories of the dehumanization of a people. New Arts Six breathes life into their indomitable spirit!