We seek to tear down the walls that hinder young people in learning from elders, and hinder elders in trusting young people to assume the mantles of leadership. We seek to draw from the wisdom of the ancestors, whose embrace of the twin forces of Spirit and Hope defied all odds. We seek to rejoice in the genuine social progress that we have made as a society, while also working to tear down the remaining walls that impede our efforts to build the kind of world in which we want our children and our grandchildren to live. Musically and poetically, our aim is for all to experience the infinite power of the soul that delivers a genuine inter-generational and interracial dialogue as it symbolically works its way through those strands. If we accomplish that aim, then we will know that the women and men who created and first sang the spirituals will be pleased.
I’m drawn to the spirituals for the powerful artistic experience they offer and for the symbolic space they create, where the pain and beauty of the past are brought to life in ways that makes us more human. At a Spirituals Project concert, we experience what it is like to be united in our splendid diversity.
I come from a musical family and we have great respect for the music we share, so the spirituals remain very personal for me. I’ve grown up with spirituals, and as an educator, researched them to gain a better understanding. And I truly and simply enjoy singing them! This music just rings peace into me. Once you clearly understand the music, you find peace, you find joy, and you’ll even find sorrow. But no matter what, it’s all good!
From an early age my parents instilled in me a deep passion for learning about our rich, rich history as a people. Attending college at Oberlin, which was one of the stops along the Underground Railroad, continued to fuel my passion. I am also a singer, with a background in education and in psychology, so involvement with The Spirituals Project is such a blessing because it truly allows me to bring together all my passions in service to the future.
The spirituals portray the struggles and triumphs of an oppressed people and are an indigenous American art form that must be preserved for future generations. This music uplifts me greatly and replenishes my soul!