Friday, June 8, 2012

Speaking Truth: Berenice Johnson Reagon

Bernice Johnson Reagon

This is a gorgeous record. I’m going away for a few days and won’t be posting anything until I return but I was listening to this this morning and simply have to share it.

Bernice Johnson Reagon (born October 4, 1942) is a singer, composer, scholar, and social activist, who founded the a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock in 1973.
The daughter of Baptist minister J.J. Johnson, Bernice was born and raised in southwest Georgia, where music was an integral part of life. She entered Albany State College in 1959 (since July 1996 Albany State University) where she studied music.
Reagon was an active participant in the Black Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s as a member of Th`e Freedom Singers, organized by the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
Reagon is a specialist in African-American oral history, performance and protest traditions. She was featured in 1992 in the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary The Songs Are Free: Bernice Johnson Reagon with Bill Moyers. She has served as music consultant, producer, composer, and performer on several award-winning film projects and was the conceptual producer and narrator of the Peabody Award-winning radio series, Wade in the Water, African American Sacred Music Traditions.
Reagon's work as a scholar and composer is reflected in publications on African American culture and history, including: a collection of essays entitled If You Don’t Go, Don’t Hinder Me: The African American Sacred Song Tradition (University of Nebraska Press, 2001); We Who Believe In Freedom: Sweet Honey In The Rock: Still on the Journey, (Anchor Books, 1993); and We'll Understand It Better By And By: Pioneering African American Gospel Composers (Smithsonian Press, 1992).
Reagon has recorded on several albums on Folkways Records2 including "Folk Songs: The South," "Wade in the Water," and "Lest We Forget, Vol. 3: Sing for Freedom."
Reagon is Professor Emerita of History at American University in Washington, D.C., and holds the title of Curator Emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, and was the 2002–04 Cosby Chair Professor of Fine Arts at Spelman College in Atlanta Georgia.
"Life's challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they're supposed to help you discover who you are." (Wikipedia)

I’ve included the booklet that came with this record which should be read. She gives a great biography of her life’s journey. Well worth the time.

            Track Listing:
            01 We've Come A Long Way To Be Together
02 There's A New World Coming
03 Room In The Circle
04 Old Ship Of Zion
05 Why Did They Take Us Away.
06 In My Hands
07 Joan Little
08 They Are Falling All Around Me
09 Freedom In The Air
10 I Won't Crumble With You If You Fall
11 Had, Took, Misled
12 Give Your Hands to Struggle


. said...

HI, any chance to reupload? thanks.

ajnabi said...