WATCH: M. Roger Holland, II Explains Why Your Understanding of American History is Incomplete Without Knowing Spirituals

In the video above, M. Roger Holland, II speaks with CPR Classical's Monika Vischer about their yearlong, monthly series, Journey to Freedom: The Spiritual Radio Project, a collaboration designed to illuminate the vital role spirituals play in understanding the complete picture of American history and the African American experience.

Across the year on CPR Classical, you’ll hear many beloved spirituals including “Deep River”, “Go Down Moses”, “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho” and “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” Additionally, Holland will choose a dozen spirituals for CPR Classical - one each month - that help tell the African American cultural narrative. Many are less-known; all will air on CPR Classical, including Sunday mornings on Sing! from 6 to 10 a.m. with host David Ginder. The series began in February during Black History Month with "Lord, How Come Me Here?"

In the following video, Holland breaks down the make-up of the African-American spiritual and it's vital contributions to American folk music:

Holland is Teaching Assistant Professor of African American Music and Theology at the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music, and Director of DU’s Spirituals Project Choir.

Join CPR Classical monthly, on-air and right here online as Roger and Monika explore the meaning and significance of these succinct, power-packed, extraordinary musical works, and how they speak to the current age.

February's Spiritual - “Lord, How Come Me Here?”

March's Spiritual - “He Never Said A Mumblin Word”

Listen to Professor Holland’s monthly musical selections and commentary throughout the year on CPR Classical, including Sunday mornings on our choral music show Sing!, hosted by David Ginder

Hear CPR Classical by clicking “Listen Live” at the top on this website. You can also hear CPR Classical at 88.1 FM in Denver, at radio signals around Colorado, or ask your smart speaker to “Play CPR Classical.”