The Spirituals and the Blues

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The best-selling masterpiece shows how two forms of song – the spirituals and the blues – helped sustain slaves and their children in the midst of “a powerful lot of tribulation.” The spirituals speak "about the rupture of black lives," about a "eople in the land of bondage." The blues are secular spirituals, telling about love and sex and black life and the "gut capacity to survive." Both musical forms undercut the dominant society, strengthening the black community in the face of oppression.

"Highly recommended."--Library Journal

James H. Cone (1938-2018) was the Bill and Judith Moyers Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary. His books include A Black Theology of Liberation, Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare, and The Cross and the Lynching Tree, winner of the 2018 Grawemeyer Award in Religion. This year he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

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The Spirituals and the Blues
An Interpretation
James H. Cone