Music of the Black Church

February 10, 2021, 8:00 pm

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Choir of Pentecostal Church on Chicago's South Side, April 1941 (Photo: Russell Lee, via Library of Congress)

From Spirituals to modern-day gospel, Black people have connected to God and each other through music even through painful and trying circumstances. Presented in conjunction with the premiere of the PBS documentary The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song, this special program takes a musical look at Black spirituality and the strength of a people determined to survive and thrive against all odds. In an hour of reverence and reflection, host LaRob K. Payton explores the voices that have shaped Black faith from the 1860s to now while motivating and anchoring Black people in the United States and abroad.  


“I Be So Glad When the Sun Goes Down”, an African-American Spiritual Song
Ed Lewis and Prisoners

“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”, an African-American Spiritual Song
Fisk Jubilee Quartette

“Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel”, an African-American Spiritual Song
Paul Robeson, bass-baritone; Alan Booth, piano

“Jesus On the Mainline”, an African-American Spiritual Song
James Shorty; Viola James; Independence Church congregation

“I Must Have Jesus”, an African-American Spiritual Song
The Dixie Hummingbirds

“Trouble of the World”, an African-American Spiritual Song
Mahalia Jackson

“Take My Hand, My Precious Lord”, by Thomas A. Dorsey
Thomas Dorsey; Marian Williams

“Oh Happy Day”, by Edwin Hawkins
Edwin Hawkins Singers

“Total Praise”, by Richard Smallwood
Richard Smallwood with Vision

“Holy Ghost Power”, by Percy Gray Jr.
Chicago Mass Choir

“More Abundantly”, by Ricky Dillard
Ricky Dillard & The New Generation Chorale

“In the Sanctuary”, by Kurt Carr
Kurt Carr and the Kurt Carr Singers

“Stomp”, by Kirk Franklin
Kirk Franklin; Gods Property

“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”, by Charles C. Converse
Aretha Franklin; Reverend James Cleveland; Southern California Community Choir