Slavery was an important issue facing Churches, as slaves were allowed to meet for Christian services. Some Christian ministers, such as J. D. Long, wrote against slavery. Rural slaves used to stay after the regular worship services, in churches or in plantation "praise houses", for singing and dancing. But, slaveholders did not allow dancing and playing drums, as usual in Africa. They also had meetings at secret places "camp meetings", "bush meetings), because they needed to meet one another due to the influence of strong family bonds established in their homeland and the need to bond as an oppressed people. In rural meetings, thousands slaves were gathered and listened to itinerant preachers, and sang spirituals for hours. At church, hymns and psalms were sung during services. Some of them were transformed into songs of a typical African American form: to some they are called "Dr Watts". Spirituals were inspired by the message of Jesus Christ and his Good News (Gospel)!.
of the Bible, "You can be saved". .
Slavery was abolished in 1865. Then, some African Americans were allowed to go to school and be graduated. At Fisk University, one of the first universities for African American, in Nashville, Tennessee, some educators decided to raise funds for supporting their institution. So, some educators and students made tours in the New World and in Europe, and sang Negro spirituals (Fisk Jubilee Singers). Other Black universities had also singers of Negro spirituals. Just after 1865, most of African Americans did not want to remember the songs they sung in hard days of slavery. In the 1890s, Holiness and Sanctified churches appeared, of which was the Church of God in Christ. In these churches, the influence of African traditions was evident. These churches were heirs to shouts, hand clapping, foot-stomping and jubilee songs, like it was in plantation "praise houses".
In the 1920s, the Black Renaissance was an artist movement concerning poetry and music.