The Fisk Jubilee Singers

Episodes

First
Broadcast
RepeatedComments
2004110920050324

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.

20071027

Bonnie Greer re-traces the journey of The Fisk Singers, a groundbreaking 19th-century black choir in Britain, and examines why their songs of freedom resonated with British audiences.

The Jubilee Singers not only introduced the world to black music, but also challenged racial stereotypes and championed the liberties of all black Americans.

20080823

Bonnie Greer re-traces the journey of The Fisk Singers, a groundbreaking 19th-century black choir in Britain, and examines why their songs of freedom resonated with British audiences.

The Jubilee Singers not only introduced the world to black music, but also challenged racial stereotypes and championed the liberties of all black Americans.