Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Black History Month: Fisk Jubilee Singers

For Black History Month, this blog will share some of the songs and stories from the Music Collection's copy of The story of the Jubilee Singers; with their songs by J.B. Marsh of Fisk University in Nashville. (ML400 .M34 1877)  The book chronicles the history to that point of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, a college singing group that toured the U.S. and Europe to raise awareness of African-American spirituals and to raise money for their university.

Organized after the civil war, Fisk University and other universities educated former slaves, many of whom had been denied even the most basic education until then.  The singing group was called the "Jubilee" singers after the the Biblical term "jubilee," which referenced the Emancipation Proclamation.  The university has carried on the tradition to this day, and the Jubilee Singers still perform both on-campus and away.

Throughout February, this blog will summarize the biographies of the individual singers as described in this book, as well as discuss arrangements of the spirituals the group sang.

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