- For the religious meaning of "spiritual" see Spirituality
Spirituals (or Negro spirituals) are the songs which were sung by the black slaves in the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. The words to many Negro spirituals have Christian themes. This is because Black slaves in the United States turned to religion, as a way to cope with the pain of slavery. Negro spirituals combine traditional West African musical style with the style of Christian hymns from Europe.