I
THE NEGRO SONG IN GENERAL

THE Negro has always been a great singer, but the Caucasian peoples have had to be reminded of this fact again and again before they were convinced, or attached any importance to the conviction. The Negro himself was convinced last of all. Except in a few places like Fisk University, Hampton Institute, and Tuskegee Institute , only backward "country niggers" were ever caught singing spirituals between the eighteen-eighties and the second decade of the twentieth century. As late as 1909 Negro students at Howard University rebelled and refused to sing them. By the more progressive and aggressive elements in the race the spiritual was frowned upon as a reminder of slavery and ignorance. Now that the white race has been suddenly converted to the beauty of the spiritual, Negro churches are using the old songs more and more. Some choirs have even relearned them from the numerous recently printed versions, so that the folk-song collector can no longer be certain in every case that his spiritual is a flower of purely oral tradition. When I asked a member of one of the Durham Negro congregations if spirituals were sung much at his church he replied, "Yes, suh, we sings 'em -- any time the white folks 'quests 'em. Miss C------, she sings 'em. She was trained at the Chicago Conservatory."

The popularity of Negro work songs and blues that has sprung up in the wake of the revived interest in spirituals has increased the Negro's own interest in even these songs; but they are so much more spontaneous and incidental than the spiritual that the Negro is hardly likely ever to sing them from a book when they come so much more easily out of his head.

The Negro will go on singing, of course, but he will never be quite as unconscious of his great gifts as heretofore. Several times previously the Negro song has had its day on the minstrel and concert stage and in the printed book, only to retire into its original fastnesses among the illiterate folk-group, not entirely unchanged, but without fundamental alteration.

Constantly, from the very first, it has been influenced by the songs of the white people, much more than current writers on the subject seem to realize. In the early days (and to some extent still) almost

-3-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
American Negro Folk-Songs
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Foreword v
  • Preface xxi
  • Contents xxv
  • I The Negro Song in General 3
  • II Religious Songs 31
  • III Upstart Crows -- The Reaction From Religion 130
  • IV Social Songs -- Dance and Banjo 148
  • V Social Songs: Narrative Songs and Ballads 185
  • VI Songs About Animals 224
  • VII Work Songs--Gang Laborers 250
  • VIII Rural Labor 281
  • IX General and Miscellaneous Labor 290
  • X Songs About Women 311
  • XI Recent Events 341
  • XII The Seamier Side 356
  • XIII Race-Consciousness 376
  • XIV Blues and Miscellaneous Songs 387
  • APPENDICES 403
  • Bibliography 467
  • INDICES 481
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 501

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.