Saturday, February 4, 2012

Jubilee Singers

Jubilee Singers by Edmund Havel (1873)

I love the elegance in this victorian painting by Edmund Havel who was the court painter for Queen Victoria. This is of the Jubilee Singers of Fisk University during their post civil war, "a cappella" performance which was done for Queen Victoria in order to raise money for their African American school which was low on funds.

This group was responsible for sharing "spirituals" to the world which were the soulful songs of the south that were created and sung during their bondage about freedom from slavery and freedom in Christ. Most of the songs have Biblical references which were also used as codes for escape in the underground railroad.

Their name, "Jubilee Singers" was based on the Old Testament (Leviticus 25:10) where every fiftieth Pentecost was followed by a year of jubilee where Hebrew law commanded that all slaves be set free. This group was put together in 1871 after the war of the states and most of the students of Fisk were former slaves which truly made this name meaningful.

Questions for mothers and maidens:
  • Do you know any spirituals? If so, comment below on your favorites. (I will be sharing my favorites in future posts.)
  • Do you know what a cappella means?

There is a sweet picture book (historical fiction) about the Jubilee Singers titled, A Band of Angels by Deborah Hopkinson which younger girls may enjoy. 

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