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The Books of American Negro Spirituals

4.31  ·  Rating Details ·  13 Ratings  ·  1 Review
In two elegant and masterly prefaces, James Weldon Johnson discusses the origin and history of more than 120 of the most significant spirituals known. Favorites like "Swing Low Sweet Chariot," "Deep River," and "Go Down, Moses" are arranged for voice and piano by his brother, J. Rosamond Johnson, and considered within their African tradition.
Paperback, 384 pages
Published December 18th 2002 by Da Capo Press (first published July 20th 1940)
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Jennifer
Aug 06, 2016 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
I used this book as a resource while working on a class about hymns and spirituals. I wanted to talk about "Lift Every Voice" which led me to reading more about James Weldon Johnson and his brother Rosalind Johnson, which led me to this book.

I found many spirituals that are unfamiliar - a new favorite is "Members Don't Get Weary." Max Roach recorded this song in the 1960's but other than that I couldn't find much about it.

Members don't get weary,
Members don't get weary,
Members don't get weary
...more
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James Weldon Johnson was an American author, politician, diplomat, critic, journalist, poet, anthologist, educator, lawyer, songwriter, and early civil rights activist. Johnson is remembered best for his writing, which includes novels, poems, and collections of folklore. He was also one of the first African-American professors at New York University. Later in life he was a professor of creative li ...more
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