Negro Spirituals are a sacred and sound timber to the Black American experience, culture, and artistry. Through much regard, they arise a collective memory for those prior times, which addresses Black American people’s recollection of that Biblical freedom, and who we were, as a people. It’s a magical mystery in assessing the miracle of our people’s existence, and how we continue to keep the memory of our her/history, and spiritual, Biblical connection. When we could not read, we would sing. Creating during our enslavement in the United States of America. Using creativity, as our sacred elixir, to continue the existence of our people. That is our gift to ourselves and the current generation of Black American people. Our musical her/history book is what birth the musical culture in the United States of America. One of the testaments to the sacred healing of Negro Spirituals is how they crafted and forms of meditation, in our connection to the Divine! They were holistic and kept us grounded in the midst of oppression, and being dehumanized.
The continuation of Negro Spirituals is a testimony to the authenticity of Black America’s spiritual haven, and memory. Anyone, who states that the Bible was a foreign concept to our people (supposedly, introduced to us through slavery by, “da White man”) are either ignorant or liars. Some even have an agenda in purposefully trying to rid of us any collective memory to our spiritual knowledge (and essence). There is something sacred, concerning the teachings of the Black American Church, which got Black folk, over. It carried the Spirit, and tended to the wounds of being removed from our humanity. It centered and rooted Black American people, and permitted such a people to create a cultural authenticity, which continues to nurture “the Souls of Black Folk,” to this very day.
Remember when it was conveyed how the very presence of opera music establishes a grandiose, and larger than life persona? Do you remember it having an articulation of connecting the Heavens and Earth? What if such was conducted in a way where Negro Spirituals were performed through an operatic experience? What if Negro Spirituals took on that performance, in front of Heaven’s domain, in order to establish a call of the Creator and Heaven’s gates; baring witness to the holistic jewels of Negro Spirituals?
There have been such Black American opera greats, who have done exactly that! Taking the cultural legacy of Black America’s forefathers and foremothers and bringing it into the grand stage of the opera world. Such permits the unfolding of the Negro story of US soil, to be seen by those being invisible to its presence. It’s similar to the Darker Brother and Darker Sister, by the famed poem, “I, Too, Sing America,” By Langston Hughes! Only this time, Black America’s imagery is seated, at the table! It’s an image of the stars gazing, while illuminating their lights onto those hidden treasures, which have yet to find. My, how victorious, it must be! How precious and enjoyable it feels to navigate through the Heavenly sensitivites of cultural songs-for a peculiar people; coming out with a fresher take!
Moving through the world of one Black American operatic dame, we hear the sweetness of a Baby’s lullaby, through her gentle whispers of Negro Spirituals! Of course, her operatic tone enriches it! One feels a Heavenly, and holistic experience, when hearing the performance measure. How she performs feels as if a person has retreated back to that very same timing! It’s the timing when all our people had to hold onto was hope! Using the stillness of music, in order to navigate the Souls of Black American people, into better times, a comin.’ Such an icon took these musical storybooks and placed them on a palette, to be explored on the Universal realm. One such Black American treasure was none other than. . .