Gospel music 🎶🎶🎶 🎶one of the pentacle foundations of Black American culture and music. Not only does it highlight the beauties of this peculiar people, but it let’s the world know about its connection to its spiritual hub of togetherness and comfort. If you are thinking the Black American Church, you are thinking, just right! In fact, it is from the Black American Church, where Black American culture, music, and her/history lays. Why, may you ask? Well, its because it was created through our own stories, experiences, and existence. When it comes to the ability for women, within a particular culture, to create a culture for the existence, portrayal, and reflection of their own people, the work and creativity must be of their own design. It must come from how they have crafted the showcase of their existence, within humanity’s quilt, without foreign influences; and those wishing to portray them mediocre imitations of another culture. Too often people discuss Black American culture, with a male-centered focused. Rarely do they acknowledge Black America’s authentic feminine presence and her production of such a vast and unusual culture. However, as time moves on, and as more maiden and mother images take their place, within these peculiar gardens, Black America’s feminine imagery will be re-affirmed.
Gospel music 🎶🎶🎶 is where other Black American, musical forms, prior to its creation, derive from. From the Black American Church is where the birthing of Blues, Jazz, Soul, NeoSoul, R&B, Ragtime, Hip Hop, and other genres took place. From the Gospel is where the different artistry of our people’s music 🎶🎶🎶comes from. Let’s make it very clear that it was more than entertainment. The Church was a spiritual space of wellness and cleansing. It was a space, where Black American people came to, when dealing with the hostile realities of those times. Whether it be the abusive practice of slavery, Jim Crow, and other painful times within the United States of America, it was in this spiritual spacing, where healing and prayer took place. Community, family, and love were responsible in Black America’s Church-based culture.
Certain Gospel artists from our times gave us that special nourishment. Taking reality’s pain, and crafting it into performance, they knew how to sang the presence of Divinity for the blessing of Earth’s domain. Growing with nothing, but being connected to land had its place. For one, it grants us with the serenity in knowing there is a greater authority, who is in control. On another level, it allows us to feel Heaven’s greatness moving through Earth’s soils. Planting and watering 💦 💦💦 Earth’s gardens, so that they are imitations of the Heavenly one’s. For Black Americans, those Negro folk of US soiling, crying out to Heaven was sometimes all that we had. Praying and surrendering to that greater power was, all that we had. So, when you have Gospel singers, who had the power to convey that, it meant that the Creator was speaking through, and around them, abundantly.
There is living greatness and testimony in the Gospel. You feel the blanket of truth wrapping around you, in order to experience Heaven’s kisses blessing upon you. You feel the serenity of peace, comfort, and happiness when songs of the Gospel are played on the radio, or in your house.; especially, during those quiet moments, when one is alone. There is nothing left to say, once you hear them play. All you can do is listen, and allow the message to soothe your Soul! One of such voices with the power to do that was none other than Georgia-born Gospel legend. . .
From the moment that she opens her mouth, you know that’s an Earthly woman. You know that’s a Heavenly woman; and Divinity is working through her! She came from a farming community, a musical community, from Dawson, Georgia. They may have been poor, but the music 🎶🎶🎶 made them rich. That’s a fact!
Bessie Jones was proud of her culture, her identity. She was proud of being a Black American woman-Black culture authentically grown from US shores. Not only did she specialize in preserving this one genre of Black American culture, but she desired it enough to have it recorded and taught. In 1961, Jones’ traveled to New York City, in order to complete a recording of her biography and musical collection. It is currently preserved in the Alan’Lomax archive. Music also made its way into marriage. While residing with her second husband on Simon’s island, she became a member of the Georgia Sea Island Singers. Throughout the 1960’s the woman who is referred to as the “Mother Courage Of American Black Traditions,” (as noted by Alan Lomax) performed in prestigious areas such as Carnegie Hall, Central Park, Smithsonian Institute and Newport Folk. It was also in 1982, where she received the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, and Duke Ellington Fellowship at Yale University. Not too bad for a woman, who was born into poverty, is it? It simply goes to show you that the greatest talents and minds cultivate their gifts in some of the most unlikeliest of places. Its the so-called “poor” and marginalized areas, which have produced the greatest treasures. Within these spaces gifted people have used them in the manufacturing of hope and overcoming. They have used them in creating triumph out of struggle. In the case of Bessie Jones, it was through the hers/history of her people, and the legacy of overcoming. There is no other choice. We survive and we overcome. That’s it. That’s all of it. And music 🎶🎶 was, and has been, our nourishment. It is our her/history book within these United States of America. Furthermore, that music, that peculiar sound, arises from the base of the Black American Churches. It has always been, and always will be.
There are certain songs, which illuminates the wellness and preciousness of finding magic in hard living.’ Hearing Bessie Jones’ voice, there is a nourishment in comprehending what it means to be an Earthly woman in Black America’s myriad cultures. There is a depth, which is captivating and it reminds a person of those ol’ times-that Ol Time Religion. The stories are endless. Yet, the common theme pertains to their ability to move through, and arise, anew. Her voice is akin to the initial phases and cultivation of Black American musical styles and culture. Closing your eyes and remember that time when our foremothers woke up into these foreign lands. They had no choice, but to move through that rich soil. It was hard. The burdens were heavy. Nevertheless, they continued to toil through the Earth. Moving and toiling through until they created something. Once something had been created, they created, something else!
Songs such as “Walk Daniel,” “Once There Was No Sun,” “Down to the More,” “One Morning Soon,” and other sacred treasures of her Being. You could never really understand what it meant to move through that time, if you were not born in it. Therefore, one has no choice, but to close one’s eyes and imagine. Feel the riches and energies of what our foremothers and forefathers understood. What did they feel? What did they hear? What did they taste? What did they smell? How did they feel? Every since of our sensory is titillated, and becomes awakened, to their experiences within that time. The songs are not simply for singing. Furthermore, they are not just songs. On another note, they are also telling stories. The only point is that foreign listeners have to be willing to imagine; going into the world of sensory, in order to fully understand the stories.
One morning, one morning One morning, one morning soon One morning, one morning One morning, one morning soon
I heard the angels were singing Were singing, singing Lord Singing Lord, singing to me My, oh my Lord
Heaven is clearly connected and intertwined with the realities of living. During that time when Black America’s foremothers and forefathers were forced to navigate the painful realities of their circumstances, they had no choice, but to imagine Heaven. That’s the power of mind. Imagining good things makes you feel good. So, they used that to their advantage. Furthermore, it was a holistic factor in being able to observe how they could take Heaven’s imagination, and place them into song. At least through music, they could gain a taste of Heaven. And Heaven’s taste is truly sweet. Yet, in order to convey the sweetness of musical 🎶🎶🎶 fruits, one must have understood creative cultivation, from an Earthly woman, cultivating in Georgian soil, for an Earthly sound!
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