The music slaves brought with them from Africa came from a variety of different cultures, and it is impossible in the caption for a single image to recount the history of the blending of those practices into an African-American musical tradition. One of the most influential forms of the transformation of African music into African American music is probably gospel. Gospel evolved in the late 1920s from early African spiritual music traditions. Modern gospel music has many forms and traditions, but all share a rhythmic heritage from African folk music, and many are derived from the "call and response" song style of the "Sea Island Shouting Songs" (see Painting Of Lowcountry Group Of Singers). Here, a gospel choir performs at the 38th conference of the NAACP at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration.