Folk Song Of The American Negro - Online Book

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doubting soul has been a positive blessing to mankind/ but that soul with an abiding, immutable belief in "omnipotent righteousnessv has ever been the "salt of the earth/7 and it is a deep satisfaction to the Negro himself that he is no doubter but a positive believer; that his own soul finds no overmatching difficulty in holding to his faith in his God, but that he wallingly trusts to onmiscenee; fully expect�ing the final triumph of justice. Judged by his own soul-thoughts, if there can be any comparison of virtues, his supreme virtue is his faith; for every one of his songs is a song of faith. It is true that there are some individual songs which have faith for a theme, such as�                                              v.-                 - � - .                                      ■■■ ,- ■ - -
"All I want is a little more faith in.Jesus"; "Faith unlocks the door," and "Lord, make me more faithful,"
but from the nature of the case, these must be few, for faith is the all-pervading power of all the Negro's music.
A most natural consequence of having faith is having joy, for the soul that believes that all things will eventuate according to the laws of right, and that "God's in his Heaven," has joy in his security. Truly, clouds sometimes overcast the skies, but these are only inci�dents in the life of faith. The believer can smile through tears and shout Hallelujah! in a minor strain. So, for every sorrow song like "Nobody Knows the Trouble I See/7 there are many of those blasts of joy, like "Great Camp Meeting/7 "Shout All Over God7s Heaven/7 and "Golden Slippers.7' The Negro has the habit of being happy.
/'.' His endurance is a child of his faith and his hope. What a child it is! What power! What prodigious strength! What an Atlas, bearing what a world! The Maker made the African strong that he might endure. What has he endured? What no other would,� cruel wrath, and the folly of man, the hidden face of God, Gethse-mane, and Calvary,�that here on this western continent oppor�tunity might be given for the growth of a nation which should be a mighty instrument in the strong right hand of God. The songs of endurance are pointed and positive: