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Article

Невольничьи песни: особенности и скрытые смыслы афроамериканских спиричуэлс

Себрюк А. Н.

The African American spiritual is one of the most significant forms of American folklore which have made lasting contributions to global culture. It is considered to have laid the groundwork for the musical genres such as gospel, blues and jazz. African Americans are largely the descendants of slaves who were taken from their African homelands by force to work on plantations in the American South. Coming from hundreds of different tribes, mainly from Western Africa, they brought with them rich West African musical traditions. Away from their roots and torn out of their own cultural heritage, they sought solace in music. It helped them remain hopeful and resilient during the most difficult times. Music was a way for slaves to express their feelings: longing for freedom and home, joy, sorrow. Spirituals were created as a result of the coexistence of African and European cultures. They represented a unique combination of various elements of Puritan hymns, Anglo-Celtic ballads, African folklore and performance style. The author analyzes several songs associated with the Underground Railroad and argues that Black spirituals were regarded not only as expressions of religious faith, but also as a veiled form of resistance. The article presents some results which illustrate that some of the lyrics had a double meaning and coded messages. Spirituals were the means by which slaves could protest against slavery, transmit secret messages and encourage the fight for freedom. The article covers the main themes of spirituals and defines the key characteristics of their origin and history.