The timelessness of Christmas spirituals

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
 | 
Bill Bumpas (OneNewsNow.com)

music staffSinging Christmas carols is a popular tradition for many during the holiday season. In Waco, Texas, an expert in black gospel music is re-introducing the passion and richness of Christmas spirituals.

Robert Darden is a professor of journalism at Baylor University and founder of the school's Black Gospel Music Restoration Project. For more than a decade he has been working to preserve recordings from the black gospel music tradition – including Christmas spirituals, some of which were born during the days of slavery in the South.

He says many of the nativity songs were performed in the present tense – or what scholars call the "eternal now," urging an immediate response.

Darden

"Frankly in my mind that response isn't to get on the computer and go to Amazon, or to go to the mall," he shares. "It's to think about those who are hurting, those who are like the Baby Jesus thousands of years ago needing help and there was nobody there and there were enemies all around."

The slaves in the 1840s to 1860s "got that," he continues. "That's who they identified with more so than we today in our comfortable, white, middle-class life can understand," says the educator.

Other Christmas spirituals on the top of Darden's list include "Rise Up Shepherd and Follow," "Go Tell It on the Mountain," and "Joy to the World."

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWS BRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

FEATURED PODCAST

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Which upcoming event will have the greatest bearing on your vote for president?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Organizer arrested after driving car into California protest
Fighting erupts between Armenia, Azerbaijan; 18 killed
Greek police arrest 3 human traffickers, free 7 captives
Thousands march in Washington to pray for the country
Late night protest in Portland, Oregon, declared unlawful
California will house transgender inmates by gender identity
Trump picks conservative Amy Coney Barrett for Supreme Court

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Hawley warns Schumer not to criticize Barrett over religion during SCOTUS hearing
Trump calls for Biden to take a drug test before upcoming presidential debate
Ted Cruz turned down Supreme Court offer from Trump
Trump tells 'Fox & Friends' he wanted to choose a textualist for Supreme Court
Senate Republicans ready quick push on Trump's Supreme Court pick Barrett

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
'Whiteness' courses insult to minorities

Berkeley anti-white protestA university's attempt to shame white people only embarrasses minorities who appear to be victims, says a conservative black activist.