History Of The African American Spirituals

Calvin Earl
Calvin Earl performance at NYC Public School in the Bronx, NY

As a storyteller, in my one-man show - HISTORY OF THE AFRICAN AMERICAN SPIRITUALS  I tell the stories of our slave ancestors embedding their oral history into the spirituals for safekeeping. I sing their secret and sacred songs. I shed light on the secret coding hidden within the songs to help runaway slaves find safe routes on the Underground Railroad. We will also explore the vibrational sound waves within the music. The spirituals rhythmic sound, like ancient mantras were used as a form of concentration to put you on a path away from the pain and suffering you are experiencing on your human journey to reconnect with the love and security within your soul. A spiritual is more than music it is a personal experience and journey for every person listening or singing it.

Knowing the history of these songs is an essential part of our understanding who we are evolving into as Americans. I also talk and sing about how in our history these humble songs were transformed into freedom songs during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s. The spirituals are also the foundation and inspiration for multiple  American musical art forms including Blues, Jazz, R & B, Rock and Roll, Gospel and Hip Hop. This interactive program also includes communal singing and making time for discussing any questions you might have.

SONGS ON OUR ROAD TO FREEDOM - BEYOND THE LABELS Is an interactive communal singing program designed for all ages.

This program is a WE THE PEOPLE story in song. Experience America’s music from Spirituals, Freedom Songs, Jazz, Blues, Folk, Country, Protest Songs, Songs of Hope, and Songs of Love. FREEDOM has always been a powerful thought for Americans, and music brings that thought of freedom to life.

Communal singing has always been an intricate part of our multi cultural roots as Americans. Whether we arrived as willing immigrants or as immigrants by force, no matter what country we came from originally music helped ground us and helped us feel connected to our new homeland. Our newly created music, spoke of our lives in the new world and helped calm fears, put our babies to sleep, brought enjoyment sung around a campfire and comfort in times of sorrow.

Singing together brought us together and strengthen our purpose and strengthened our community spirit. It still does today. This program is about coming together and singing together to continue building a strong community that is inclusive of all of us.

Thomas Jefferson proposed in written word a purpose and direction for our nations creed. Music created by humble unnamed slaves, and well known songwriters helped us feel that purpose with passion and dedication to ensure our nations creed belongs to all of us. Come join Calvin Earl as he leads us in inspiring songs in our American History!

If you would like to book a performance for your public or private event or a TV or radio show appearance, please contact my booking staff by filling out the form below. These shows are also perfect for your Black History Month programing and celebrations.


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Calvin Earl