In 1871 a group of freed slaves took their music of bondage and suffering for the first time to white audiences.
Their school in Nashville, Tennessee was on the brink of financial ruin and this was a last desperate attempt to raise funds to avert closure.
Not only did they achieve this, but their success, particularly in Britain, guaranteed the future of Fisk University to the present day.
Critics however point to the fact that in order to make their slave songs acceptable to a white audience, they had to sing those Negro Spirituals in a European choral style turning their backs on their roots and culture.
Horace Boyer, an African-American musicologist, leading gospel singer and one time director of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, returns to Nashville to re-examine the social and musical impact of the Fisk Jubilee Singers.