Summer Song Sunday
Hosted by: The Beloved Community Group
Topic: Juneteenth Service
We didn’t have to write a sermon trying to convince others of the importance of anti-oppression work. Oppressed peoples have their own voices. All we have to do is listen. Come celebrate Freedom Day with an informative, performative, and engaging service centering the voices of Langston Hughes, Max Roach, and Abbey Lincoln as presented by Beloved Community Group.
Juneteenth, also known as Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day, is an American holiday that commemorates the June 19, 1865, announcement of the abolition of slavery in the U.S. state of Texas, and more generally the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the former Confederate States of America. Its name is a blend of "June" and "nineteenth", the date of its celebration. Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in at least 42 states and the District of Columbia.
Nayyirah Waheed has published two works titled salt. (2013) and nejma (2014). Both salt. and nejma have been widely read and studied in classrooms and universities across the global African Diaspora. In 2019, Waheed created ‘preFICTION’ — introducing new, vast, visions and dimensions to the already ever expansive world of Black Creatorship.
James Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987) was an American novelist, playwright, and activist. His essays, as collected in Notes of a Native Son (1955), explore intricacies of racial, sexual, and class distinctions in Western societies, most notably in mid-20th-century America. Baldwin's novels and plays fictionalize fundamental personal questions and dilemmas amid complex social and psychological pressures thwarting the equitable integration of not only African Americans, but also gay and bisexual men, while depicting some internalized obstacles to such individuals' quests for acceptance.
Max Roach (January 10, 1924 – August 16, 2007) was an American jazz drummer and composer. A pioneer of bebop, he worked in many other styles of music, and is generally considered alongside the most important drummers in history. In 1960 he composed and recorded the album We Insist! (subtitled Max Roach's Freedom Now Suite), with vocals by his then-wife Abbey Lincoln and lyrics by Oscar Brown Jr., after being invited to contribute to commemorations of the hundredth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. Roach was given a MacArthur Genius Grant in 1988 and cited as a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France in 1989. He was twice awarded the French Grand Prix du Disque, was elected to the International Percussive Art Society's Hall of Fame and the DownBeat Hall of Fame, and was awarded Harvard Jazz Master. He was celebrated by Aaron Davis Hall and was given eight honorary doctorate degrees, including degrees awarded by Medgar Evers College, CUNY, the University of Bologna, and Columbia University, in addition to his alma mater, the Manhattan School of Music.
Abbey Lincoln (August 6, 1930 – August 14, 2010), was an African-American jazz vocalist, songwriter, and actress, who wrote and performed her own compositions. She was a civil rights advocate and activist from the 1960s on. Lincoln made a career not only out of delivering deeply felt presentations of standards but writing and singing her own material as well. In 1960 she sang on Max Roach's landmark civil rights-themed recording, We Insist! Lincoln's lyrics were often connected to the civil rights movement in America. Lincoln was married from 1962 to 1970 to drummer Max Roach.
Langston Hughes (February 1, 1901 – May 22, 1967) was an American poet, social activist, novelist, playwright, and columnist from Joplin, Missouri. He moved to New York City as a young man, where he made his career. One of the earliest innovators of the then-new literary art form called jazz poetry, Hughes is best known as a leader of the Harlem Renaissance in New York City. His poetry and fiction portrayed the lives of the working-class blacks in America, lives he portrayed as full of struggle, joy, laughter, and music. Permeating his work is pride in the African-American identity and its diverse culture. "My seeking has been to explain and illuminate the Negro condition in America and obliquely that of all human kind," Hughes is quoted as saying. He confronted racial stereotypes, protested social conditions, and expanded African America's image of itself; a "people's poet" who sought to reeducate both audience and artist by lifting the theory of the black aesthetic into reality.