Honoring the Sacred

Gospel Legend Mahila Jackson

The sacred traditions of Black Music are the following: Folk Spirituals, Arranged Spirituals, Folk Gospel, Gospel Hymns, Tradition Gospel, Freedom Songs, Modern Gospel, and Holy Hip Hop. I remember having a conversation with a friend a few years ago saying the BET Awards that gospel music should not be performed on the annual award show. After taking a class in African American Folklore I learned I was wrong about the statement I made. Gospel is one of the most important genres of Black music the lyrical content hold power and sheds light on our struggles and success. The sacred world contributed to establishment of various forms of musical creative expression.  Although I will say I do not like the contemporary gospel I hear on the radio and or see on television because I believe that too many gospel artists criticize secular music yet use "secular beats and compositions" and change the words around.

James Weldon Johnson

Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring,
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty;
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies,
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us,
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us,
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun
Let us march on till victory is won.

"Lift Every Voice and Sing" James Weldon Johnson 
The Negro National aka The Black National Anthem

The Norton Anthology of African American Literature (2004)
W.W. Norton & Company

Henry Louis Gates Jr. (Editor), Nellie Y. McKay (Editor), William L. Andrews (Editor), Houston A. Baker Jr.


Popular Posts