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 I also 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.

If you would like to book a performance of my one-man show for your public or private event or a TV or radio show appearance, please contact my booking staff by filling out the form below. This show is perfect for your Black History Month programing and celebrations.


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Calvin Earl