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Concerts from the Library of Congress: Pick of the Week

Each week, the Library of Congress Music Division features free video performances, lectures, and conversations to keep you company.


This Pick of the Week brings you perspectives on black experience in American through musical performance. We start this edition with a performance by Pine Forge Academy Choir singing negro spirituals, gospel, and pieces from the classical repertoire. We continue with a lecture that reflects on the Black Lives Matter movement and how music can be a tool for telling the American story and, at the same time, a means of silencing voices and entire communities. Finally, we close this edition with a fascinating lecture on how race has played a profound role in Broadway musical history. We hope this edition inspires you to find black voices from the Library's collections and to listen to what they have to say. 

Pick of the Week - Black Voices in Performance

Pine Forge Academy Choir (performance date: February 7, 2019)

The Pine Forge Academy Choir performs a concert of spirituals, gospels, anthems and classical repertoire.

Black Lives Matter & Music: Documenting Contemporary Culture (lecture date: Feb. 7, 2019)

The 2018 scholarly volume "Black Lives Matter and Music: Protest, Intervention, Reflection" collected critical studies which draw from ethnographic research and personal encounters to illustrate how scholarly research and teaching about the role of music in the Black Lives Matter movement can contribute to public awareness of social, economic, political, scientific and other injustice in our society. A panel of ethnomusicologists and contributors to the book "Black Lives Matter and Music" looks toward the present state of the movement to discuss economic injustices, gentrification and cultural displacement, as well as educational disparities as enduring kinds of violence. 

Race and the Broadway Musical (lecture date: October 10, 2014)

Warren Hoffman discusses the role of race in American musical theater.