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They Bear Acquaintance

African American Spirituals and the Camp Meetings

Series:

Nancy L. Graham

Identifying the roots of African American spirituals and other religious folk music has intrigued academics, hymnologists and song leaders since this genre came to the public eye in 1867. The conversation on origins has waned and waxed for over eighty years, sometimes polemical, sometimes compromising. They Bear Acquaintance looks at this discussion through the output of various well-regarded researchers from the twentieth century. The effects of cultural distinctions, immigration patterns and class structure have all left their imprint on the anatomy of the music. No one living has ever heard a spiritual performed in an authentic setting, so misconceptions abound. Pre-dating the American Civil War and achieving global attention in the Civil Rights movement, the spirituals soften the edges of difficult situations, and speak gently, yet poignantly, to human struggles. The book also pinpoints new material from a wide range of sources in the twenty-first century that will preserve and affirm this music for many years to come.

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Appendix I

Extract



Volumes of Published Negro Spirituals examined by George Pullen Jackson for White and Negro Spirituals: Their Life and Kinship

Listed chronologically in Jackson’s style

1. Slave Songs of the United States Wm. Francis Allen, et al. New York: Peter Smith, 1867.

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