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File #: RS2021-870    Name:
Type: Resolution Status: Passed
File created: 3/26/2021 In control: Metropolitan Council
On agenda: 4/6/2021 Final action: 4/6/2021
Title: A resolution recognizing the Fisk Jubilee Singers on the occasion of their 150th Anniversary and their first-ever Grammy Award.
Sponsors: Joy Styles, Sharon Hurt, Freddie OConnell, Jeff Syracuse, Jennifer Gamble, Brett Withers, Erin Evans, Russ Bradford, John Rutherford, Burkley Allen, Ginny Welsch, Bob Nash, Kathleen Murphy, Russ Pulley, Bob Mendes, Larry Hagar, Courtney Johnston, Colby Sledge, Angie Henderson, Robert Swope, Kyonzte Toombs, Dave Rosenberg, Steve Glover (resigned 3/1/2022), Kevin Rhoten, Tonya Hancock, Nancy VanReece, Emily Benedict, Thom Druffel, Zulfat Suara, Tanaka Vercher, Gloria Hausser, Brandon Taylor, Tom Cash, Jonathan Hall, Sean Parker, Delishia Porterfield, Mary Carolyn Roberts, Sandra Sepulveda, Zach Young
A resolution recognizing the Fisk Jubilee Singers on the occasion of their 150th Anniversary and their first-ever Grammy Award.

WHEREAS, Nashville's Fisk Jubilee Singers have won their first-ever Grammy Award for their album, Celebrating Fisk! (The 150th Anniversary Album) and are celebrating bringing African-American music around the world since 1871. Celebrating Fisk! won the Grammy for Best Roots Gospel Album at the 2021 Grammy Awards; and

WHEREAS, the Fisk Jubilee Singers are vocal artists and students at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, who sing and travel worldwide. The original Fisk Jubilee Singers - a group of former slaves, - introduced "slave songs" to the world and were instrumental in preserving this unique American musical tradition known today as Negro spirituals; and

WHEREAS, on November 16, 1871, a group of unknown singers -- all but two of them former slaves and many of them still in their teens -- arrived at Oberlin College in Ohio to perform before a national convention of influential ministers. After a few standard ballads, the chorus began to sing spirituals -- "Steal Away" and other songs "associated with slavery and the dark past, sacred to our parents," as soprano Ella Sheppard recalled. It was one of the first public performances of the secret music African Americans had sung in fields and behind closed doors; and

WHEREAS, in the decade following the Civil War, this group of young ex-slaves in Nashville, Tennessee set out on a mission to save their financially troubled school by giving concerts. Treasurer George Leonard White proposed traveling first through cities in the North, then on to venues across Europe. The Jubilee Singers introduced audiences to the power of spirituals, the religious anthems of slavery; and

WHEREAS, they would perform for presidents and queens, toured the United States and Europe, and established songs like "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "This Little Light of Mine" as a cherished part of...

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