Deep River: Reflections on the Religious Insight of Certain of the Negro Spirituals

Deep River: Reflections on the Religious Insight of Certain of the Negro Spirituals

Deep River: Reflections on the Religious Insight of Certain of the Negro Spirituals

Deep River: Reflections on the Religious Insight of Certain of the Negro Spirituals

Excerpt

In 1945 I published privately a little volume of reflections on the religious insights of certain of the Negro spirituals. These reflections were first given as addresses before various groups. This early volume has long since been out of print, and as a result of many requests the manuscript has been revised and enlarged, and is now being re-issued under the same title.

My own life has been so deeply influenced by the genius of the spirituals that the meaning as distilled into my experience in my early years spills over in much that I have come to think in my maturity. The reader who is acquainted with Jesus and the Disinherited or with the Ingersoll lecture on The Immortality of Man under the title The Negro Spiritual Speaks of Life and Death will recognize at once some of the basic ideas expressed in this volume. For this I make no apology. In what is written here there is at work the movement of the creative spirit of God as it has sought under great odds to tutor my rebellious spirit in conflict with some of the tragedies of my social experience. I believe, with my forefathers, that this is God's world. This faith has had to fight against disillusionment, despair, and the vicissitudes of American history.

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