Sunday, January 30, 2005

A Tradition of African-American Spirituals

“Follow the Drinking Gourd”
February 24th – Columbia Theater - Columbia, North Carolina

African-American music is the overwhelming influence in all American music. From the influence of "Blake and Sissle" on Broadway, Big Joe Turner on "Rock and Roll" and Scott Joplin on Jazz, the genres of music that bear the marks are legion; gospel, soul, rap, minstrel, Broadway, ragtime, jazz, blues, R&B, rock, samba, reggae, salsa and calypso. Nothing displays this better than spirituals.

Traditional African-American spirituals, originally referred to as slave songs or prayer songs, often spoke of a journey. These songs were an expression of feelings, heritage, and also a way of communicating messages. Not being permitted to learn directions for travel, songs like “Follow the Drinking Gourd” were coded.

To learn more about this genre and hear some great music, come join us at the Columbia Theater. Columbia, NC - 27925, on Thursday, February 24, 2005 at 7:00 PM in the evening.

There will be many returning participants from previous years including the choirs from: Alligator Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, Piney Grove Disciples Church, Salem Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Randy Bryant, Gateway to Heaven Church of Elizabeth City, NC and members of the Columbia High School Black History Club. There will be a few surprise presenters as well.

For information or questions contact Brenda Mixon (252) 796-1000 or Helen Craddock (252) 796-0723

During the month of February, there will also be art from the private collections of Dorothy Redford, (Executive Director, Somerset Place) and Barbara Hill (Faculty Advisor, Columbia High School Black History Club) on display. Come share the history and the culture of an African-American tradition.


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