The president of the Mayme A. Clayton Library & Museum in Culver City, California has discovered an unusual book in his late mother’s extraordinary collection of African American artifacts.
The small, cloth-bound book, titled Slave Songs of the United States, has a publication date of 1867 and contains a collection of 136 plantation songs.
Could this be the first book of African American spirituals ever published?
History Detectives explores the coded messages and the melodies that laid the foundation of modern blues, gospel and protest songs of future generations.
- Also with Wes Cowan Texas Servant Girl Murders Years before Jack the Ripper, did a serial killer walk the streets of Austin, TX?
- Also with Wes Cowan Manhattan Project Patent Was this drawing part of America's secret plans to fuel the atomic bomb?
- Related Investigation Slave Banjo Is this the only surviving banjo carried by former slaves following Emancipation?
- Also with Wes Cowan Yakima Canutt's Saddle What leading role did this saddle play in the birth of the Hollywood cowboy?
- Related Investigation Land Grant How did an African-American win freedom and land so early in American history?
- Also in this episode Birthplace Of Hip Hop Did this Bronx apartment building give birth to a culture that now spans the globe?
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