This worksheet is aligned with CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1 and CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.9

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An African Spiritual (Grade 7)

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An African Spiritual

Tombstones [grave stones] are bursting,
Poor sinners stands a-trembling [shaking]
The trumpet sounds within-a my soul,
I ain’t got long to stay here. . . .
My Lord calls me, he calls me by the lightning;
The trumpet sounds within-a my soul,
I ain’t got long to stay here. . . .
Steal away, steal away, steal away to Jesus;
Steal away, steal away home,
I ain’t got long to stay here.

— “Steal Away,” an African American song from the American South
According to the song, where was the person singing the song hoping to go?
  1. to the next plantation
  2. to heaven
  3. back to Africa
  4. to where the trumpet sounds
According to the song, what does the person hear sounding in his or her soul?
  1. a trumpet
  2. lightning
  3. sinners trembling
  4. tombstones bursting
What does the song suggest about the quality of life for the speaker?
  1. The speaker had a good life.
  2. The speaker lived a rough life.
  3. The speaker had a lot of joy.
  4. The speaker was a hard worker.
During the time period, who was most likely to sing this song?
  1. slaves
  2. pastors
  3. children
  4. mothers
How did a song like this most help those in the American South?
  1. It encouraged them to show love to others.
  2. It comforted them when loved ones died.
  3. It reminded them to serve God with all their hearts.
  4. It helped them endure the hardships of slavery.

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