Kentucky Historical Society

The Spirituals: An Oral History Project

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Thirty-nine interviews with scholars, historians, members of the Kentucky based American Spiritual Ensemble, ethno-musicologists, and laypeople concerning the Negro spiritual. These interviews were conducted to create a PBS documentary. The documentary recounts the history from which the spiritual art form arose, the importance of the spirituals to the Civil Rights movement, and goes on the road with The American Spiritual Ensemble as they gallantly try to preserve the vanishing folk songs of the slaves. These interviews delve into Kentucky political history, African American history, local life and culture with a regional and national perspective, and specifically with the civil rights movement during the period 1930-1970. Copyright belongs to Dos Vatos Productions Studios. The Kentucky Oral History Commission has user rights to the interviews. Authorization must by granted by Dos Vatos Productions Studios to use or publish by any means the archival material to which it holds copyright.