2003-04-05 / Community

Gospel Tribute Celebrates Black History

Gospel Tribute Celebrates Black History

A celebration of Black History Month, "A Tribute To Gospel," was held on February 7. New York City Council Speaker Gifford Miller and Council Member James Sanders, Jr., and members of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus were among the attendees.

"Gospel music was born of the spirituals sang by the slaves who prayed for a day like today. Trying to separate gospel from Black History is like trying to separate sunshine from the sun or attempting to separate rain from the clouds. Certain things just should not be attempted," said Sanders.

"Those of us who truly love gospel music understand its hidden cadence. We understand that the song ‘Steal away’ was not just a call to salvation but an invitation sung in code by slaves when they were preparing to run away. The music is a bond that binds those who plowed the field and those of us who reap pain, laughter, hope and possibility. Gospel is, and must always be (if it is true to the Gospel), a music which exalts the faithful and speaks of liberation. It condemns those whose might is tempered with avarice, greed and jealousy. It arms the humble with perseverance, peace and above all justice," continued Sanders.

Speaker Miller noted "African-Americans – both young and old, past and present – have given voice to the voiceless, hope to the hopeless, while inspiring the hearts and souls of many. The great poet Langston Hughes once wrote, ‘To sit and dream, to sit and read/To sit and learn about the world/All you who are dreamers too, /Help me to make/Our world anew.’"

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