"S" is for the Society of the Preservation of Spirituals

Jun 24, 2019

Credit SC Public Radio

"S" is for Society for the Preservation of Spirituals. In 1921 a group of Charlestonians founded the Society for the Preservation of Spirituals to begin collecting the spirituals that were so much a part of their surroundings. Every plantation had its own repertoire, so the project was immense. The Society had a triple purpose “of the preservation of the Negro Spirituals and Folk Songs, the education of the rising generation in their character and rendition, and the maintenance of a social organization for the pleasure of members.” The Society flourished, touring the East Coast with its concerts, which it performed in antebellum dress. The reputation of the society has waxed and waned through the years. However, no one can deny that the Society for the Preservation of Spirituals has completely fulfilled its stated goals.