The spirituals and the blues: an interpretation

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Orbis Books, 1972 - Music - 141 pages
19 Reviews
Cone explores two classic aspects of African-American culture--the spirituals and the blues. He tells the captivating story of how slaves and the children of slaves used this music to affirm their essential humanity in the face of oppression. The blues are shown to be a "this-worldly" expression of cultural and political rebellion. The spirituals tell about the "attempt to carve out a significant existence in a very trying situation".

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Review: The Spirituals and the Blues

User Review  - Goodreads

Read for a class. I really liked the theory and enjoyed reading it for awhile, but eventually it began to feel as if the book would have made a better article. By halfway through, I felt like I'd ... Read full review

Review: The Spirituals and the Blues

User Review  - Izaiah Dawkins - Goodreads

Dr.Cone is a master at making a clear connection between pain and music. If you understand that the best music,that transcends time ,comes from pain. Loved the book. Read full review


Interpretations of the Black Spirituals
The Black Spirituals and Black Experience
God and Jesus Christ in the Black Spirituals

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About the author (1972)

A leading African American theologian and an advocate of black theology, James H. Cone was born in Fordyce, Arkansas. Cone came of age during the civil rights movement and he was drawn to the black power movement that gained prominence in the late 1960s. Rejecting the nonviolence of Martin Luther King, Jr., Cone moved to join theology with the militant, separatist vision of Malcolm X, with its espousal of forceful societal change to achieve racial equality. Cone's book Black Theology and Black Power (1969) eloquently equated black power with the political and spiritual liberation of black Americans. In it, he equated blackness as symbolic of oppression and whiteness as symbolic of the oppressors. Cone continued his teachings of what soon became known as "black theology" in a second book, A Black Theology of Liberation (1971), which strongly condemned racism and oppression. During the 1970s, Cone became a force in the development of liberation theologies in Third World countries. Beginning in 1976, he became an important figure in the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians. Cone's association with liberation theologies also broadened and transformed his vision of Christian theology. In Crosscurrents, published in 1977, he strongly articulated the view that Christian theology must move beyond reaction to white racism in America. Cone joined the faculty of Union Theological Seminary in 1969 and was appointed to the distinguished Charles A. Biggs chair of systematic theology in 1977.

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