Black music was a channel to express sorrow, trauma and resistance in the face of slavery and oppression, the hope and trust in eternal reward in the afterlife, and faith in God. In addition musical expression was established as a mainstay of Black culture by the Afro-protestantism. Amiri Baraka asserts that the influence of Black religious practices “permeates” all of Black culture, music particularly, and that this influence can be seen in both secular and spiritual music . Colored Conventions, convening of people at the state and national level, served to refortify and cement these practices.
While Black religion provide a space for the development of Black music generally and churches provided a physical space for Black people to gather in convention, the music sang during the Conventions was not solely religious in nature. Nor the music sang during conventions solely for the purpose of protest. Lawrence Levine calls for an interpretation of Black Music in the antebellum period that neither claims it to be purely a means for protest, nor absent of resistance. Instead, music was a means to express and claim their dreams, individuality, and identity . The varied role music played in the lives of Black people in the nineteenth century are reflected in the Convention proceedings. Convention songs can generally be categorized under the following themes: Religious exercise, celebration, and protest.
Each tab in this section provides an example of popular Black music that reflects these themes.
 Baraka, Imamu Amiri. ” The Phenomenon of Soul in African American Music.” The Music: Reflections on Jazz and Blues. New York, NY: Morrow, 1987, pp. 332. Retrieved from: Black Thought and Culture. (p. 270)
 “African American Music as Resistance,” Lawrence W. Levine. from. Burnim, Mellonee V, and Portia K. Maultsby. African American Music: An Introduction. 2015. (p. 587-588).