Unit 2: African-American Spirituals with Huxsie

Melody will take us on a journey from Toronto, Canada to Savannah to meet our next artist, Huxsie. Use SG13–15 to meet Huxsie and prepare your students to learn about African-American spirituals.

Genre Overview

African-American spirituals originated in the slave quarters of the American south, and are sacred songs with lyrics based on stories from the Old and New Testaments of the Christian Bible. Spirituals are the musical product of West African influences and practices, as well as hymns sung in Anglo-American churches. While spirituals were sung for worship, they were an important part of all aspects of life, and were sung during celebrations, as work songs, as lullabies, and were used as code songs to signal escape plans. After the Civil War, spirituals began to be written down and arranged for soloists, choirs, and instrumentalists, and eventually laid the foundation for other genres of music, including gospel and R&B.

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Listening & Viewing:

Additional Teaching Resources:

PDF Downloads

SG13 ↓ Download File

SG14 ↓ Download File

SG15 ↓ Download File


Go to Lesson 1: Exploring “Follow the Drinking Gourd”