The Evolution Of Gospel Performance ********************************************************************** Ancient Africa before the slave trade had a predominantly Muslim population. Before, during, and after the Islamic conversion of Africans, also, before, during, and after the Christian conversion of African-Americans, there was and still is a strong belief in spiritual beings that prevailed among natives of the Nyger River area There was also a strong belief in the human soul. These two criteria more than any thing else define the religiosity of the Nygeric Diaspora. For whatsoever is born of God, is the victory that overcomes the world, and even our faith. [First John 5: 4] Just as Jazz dominated the world during the Jazz Age, as Rhythm and Blues dominated the media during the Motown Age: Gospel music is now dominating the African-American churches. Over the years the spirit of the tragedy of the Atlantic-Passage has become 'Holy'. Moreover, that miracle has become the substance of the Nygeric existence as a nation among many nations in hostile America. One could argue that, it was the drudgery of monotonous slave labor that helped to nurture the broken victims of the Atlantic-Passage back to some resemblance of normalcy. From the fields of the plantation developed a charismatic spiritualism that became a catalyst for the survival of a people doomed to extinction. Subsequently, the agrarian Negroes of the field slowly re-invented themselves as African-Americans. And later, the evangelical protestant masters started evangelizing their slaves; this allowed them to congregate in the name of Jesus. Eventually, the same captives that used to speak in their native tribal languages became soul-brothers and soul- sisters in the faith. Moreover, by the grace of God through Jesus they became one people. The agrarian repertory that evolved through the Pentecostal Churches and through the other related denominations of the Church of God in Christ: gave definition to the Rustic society that emerged from field slaves. The Negro Spiritual repertory of the house-Creoles that evolved through the African Baptist Churches, through the African Methodist Churches and through the African Episcopal; gave definition to a Domestic society that emerged from house slaves. By the end of the sixteenth century, this Domestic society had become the new American race; due to intimacy between Masters and Slaves. So, hostile America became a country of three incompatible ethnicities: Black, White, and Colored, which later formed a collage of black, brown, beige, and white, and all the other hues in between. Wesli Riy-Ves FROM THE NYGER RIVER REGION IN WEST AFRICA, TO THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER REGION IN NORTH AMERICA There are several genres of African-American music performed in the U.S.A.: 1. Louisiana- Bayou [two beat afro] French Caribbean Catholic influence, 2. Mississippi-Delta Blues,[secular ] 3. Plantation Gospel [liturgical] traditionally, Blues and Gospel are identical, only the lyrics have been changed to protect the innocent, but the feeling is the same. 4. Saint Louis Ragtime 5. Chicago Swing [Celtic Presbyterian] 6. New York Bebop [ecumenical] All of these categories have been generically misnamed, Jazz; Jazz is a synonym for another four- letter word that explains the physical activity sold in brothels. This compilation entitled 'Neo-Gospo' is my humble contribution to the ever-expanding medium of Gospel music. Wesli Riy-Ves.