AFRICAN AMERICAN SPIRITUALS AND THE BIBLE: SELECTING TEXTS FOR SECONDARY EDUCATION INSTRUCTION
The research in this thesis attempts to select texts from the African American Spirituals and the Bible that are appropriate for secondary language arts instruction, specifically for grades 9-12. The paper first gives an overview of legal justifications and educational reasons for teaching religious literature in public schools. Then, relevant educational standards are discussed, and, using the standards as an initial guide, I identify common themes within the Spirituals and Bible, which, from my analysis of various literatures, are slavery, chosenness, and coded language. Next, I describe my systematic effort to choose texts from the Spirituals and the Bible. To help accomplish this, I draw primarily from two tomes: Go Down Moses: Celebrating the African-American Spiritual and Biblical Literacy: The Essential Bible Stories Everyone Needs to Know. After I describe the research process of selecting texts, I form judgments about which biblical passages and African American Spirituals are particularly worthy of study, along with their applicable and mutual themes.