During one of the darkest periods in the history of America, a miraculous musical gift was born on it's soil: the Negro Spiritual. The African slave, in a time of great suffering and pain, eased his anguish, restored his faith and brought joy to his soul through the spontaneous creation of song. These musical works of art were the result of the slaves combining their innate gift for melody and rhythm with their newfound religion, Christianity. This uniquely American music initially freed the slaves spiritually, but later freed them physically as the lyrics became coded messages used to assist the escape of runaway slaves The Negro Spritual gave America it's own musical voice, because it led to the development of many musical styles the our country is recognized and celebrated for: blues, jazz, rock and roll, rhythm & blues, and gospel. These amazing songs are universally loved because of their power to evoke a myriad of emotions as well as to lift the spirit of the listener. We sincerely hope that this CD will renew your interest in and appreciation of America's musical gift: the Negro Spiritual.