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.
Based in Berks County, Pennsylvania, the Pine Forge Academy Choir performed a concert of spirituals, gospels, anthems and classical repertoire as part of the Library's Black History Month celebration.
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.
Warren Hoffman discusses the role of race in American musical theater.