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Category: Spiritual music

Shape note singers in Chicago, 1977.

New Research Guide: Shape-Note and Sacred Harp Traditions

Posted by: Douglas D. Peach

The American Folklife Center (AFC) has published a new research guide, highlighting collections materials related to shape-note singing and Sacred Harp traditions in the United States. Read this post by Deena R. Owens, the guide's creator and a former AFC intern, to learn more about the research guide, the shape-note singing tradition, and Owens' experiences with this musical culture.

A man playing a guitar and singing to a close crowd of a dozen or so men and women

“A Central Thread of Our History”: African American Heritage Lasts Longer than a Month

Posted by: Guha Shankar

“In the case of American Negroes, their labor founded the nation and was prime cause of the industrial revolution and the capitalist system of the modern world:  their slavery, revolt, escape, protest and emancipation is a central thread of our history: and without their music and laughter American art and literature would never have attained …