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Storytellers: Folktales and Legends from the South

Storytellers: Folktales and Legends from the South up enough to sustain themselves but by singing the spirituals and the blues. Paul Laurence Dunbar best embodied this tension. On the one hand, he could be pietistic in such poems as "A Hymn," and could poetically celebrate the spirituals, as he does "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" in "When Malindy Sings ." On the other hand, he could be pessimistic in such poems as "Religion" (80-81). In this piece he claims that human tears are more meaningful to him than human prayers, and that human praxis in this world is more crucial than the human quest for personal salvation. Drawing on his sentiments re­ garding the failure of Reconstruction to realize improved racial rela­ tions and integration, Dunbar became the first black writer to create a literature of skepticism and despair (90). Dunbar was the literary bluesman of the Nadir. Hence, theomusicology can follow the use of the spirituals and the blues in each new generation of black protest, and in each epoch of new music; theomusicology can also follow the reading and revision of the spirituals and the blues in each new literary epoch. Up from the Nadir, through the Harlem Renaissance, and beyond Black Con­ sciousness, the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Black Sacred Music Duke University Press

Storytellers: Folktales and Legends from the South

Black Sacred Music , Volume 4 (2) – Sep 1, 1990

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Copyright
Copyright © 1990 by Duke University Press
ISSN
1043-9455
eISSN
2640-9879
DOI
10.1215/10439455-4.2.54
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

up enough to sustain themselves but by singing the spirituals and the blues. Paul Laurence Dunbar best embodied this tension. On the one hand, he could be pietistic in such poems as "A Hymn," and could poetically celebrate the spirituals, as he does "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" in "When Malindy Sings ." On the other hand, he could be pessimistic in such poems as "Religion" (80-81). In this piece he claims that human tears are more meaningful to him than human prayers, and that human praxis in this world is more crucial than the human quest for personal salvation. Drawing on his sentiments re­ garding the failure of Reconstruction to realize improved racial rela­ tions and integration, Dunbar became the first black writer to create a literature of skepticism and despair (90). Dunbar was the literary bluesman of the Nadir. Hence, theomusicology can follow the use of the spirituals and the blues in each new generation of black protest, and in each epoch of new music; theomusicology can also follow the reading and revision of the spirituals and the blues in each new literary epoch. Up from the Nadir, through the Harlem Renaissance, and beyond Black Con­ sciousness, the

Journal

Black Sacred MusicDuke University Press

Published: Sep 1, 1990

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