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African American Spirituals: Cultural, Historical, and Musical Significance: Selected Media Resources

Video Resources

Battle, Kathleen and Jessye Norman. Spirituals in Concert. New York: WNET-TV, 1993. 

A video-recording of a now famous 1990 concert of spirituals at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

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Brown, Jim. We Shall Overcome: The Song that Moved a Nation. San Francisco: California Newsreel, 1989. 

Through iconic footage and interviews, this documentary film chronicles the evolution of the song that became the anthem of the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.

On order.

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Vanguard Cinema. I Can Tell the World. Los Angeles: Vanguard Cinema, 2010. 

This documentary film follows members of the Denver-based, interracial, multi-generational Spirituals Project Choir as they demonstrate the importance of preserving and performing African American spirituals. As these diverse men and women share their stories of transformation, we learn how the experience of shared songs can help heal a nation still wounded by racism.

On order.

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WGBH-TV (Llewellyn Smith, Executive Producer and Director). Jubilee Singers: Sacrifice and Glory. Boston-WGBH-TV, 2000. 

Historical re-enactment of the story of the famed Fisk Jubilee Singers, who brought the spirituals to the world stage in the 1870s. Teacher’s guide available at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/singers/tguide/index.html.

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WGBH-TV (Orlando Bagwell, Executive Producer and Director). Roots of Resistance: A Story of the Underground Railroad. Boston: WGBH-TV, 1990.

On order.