Walk Together Children: The 150th Anniversary of the Fisk Jubilee Singers

FULL EPISODE

Walk Together Children: The 150th Anniversary

In Walk Together Children: The 150th Anniversary of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, Dr. Paul T. Kwami and the current singers explore the stories of the world-renowned ensemble's original nine members and reflect on their roles as students and preservers of the group’s legacy. Directed by Jon Royal in collaboration with Dr. Kwami, the performance film is produced by Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

AIRED: October 05, 2021 | 0:54:59
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TRANSCRIPT

- Imagine two slaves chained together.

One has their left foot chained to the right foot

of the other.

Then they have to walk together.

Unity.

- It's important to know what our people went through

in order to truly appreciate where we are today.

Even though there's still more road to walk.

♪ Lord ♪

♪ Oh ock my soul in the bosom of Abraham ♪

♪ Rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham ♪

♪ Rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham ♪

♪ Oh Lord, rock my soul ♪

♪ Oh rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham ♪

♪ Rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham ♪

♪ Rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham ♪

♪ Oh Lord, rock my soul ♪

♪ Well poor man Lazarus ♪

♪ Praise King Jesus ♪

♪ As poor as I ♪

♪ Why don't you praise the Lord ♪

♪ But when he died ♪

♪ Praise King Jesus ♪

♪ He had a home on high ♪

♪ Why don't you praise the Lord ♪

♪ He said see yonder, son, see ♪

♪ How steady he runs ♪

♪ Don't let him catch you with your work undone ♪

♪ Poor man Lazarus as poor as I ♪

♪ When he died he had a home on high ♪

♪ Lord rock my soul ♪

♪ There's singing here ♪

♪ There's singing there ♪

♪ I believe down in my soul ♪

♪ There's singing everywhere ♪

♪ Run, mourner, run ♪

♪ Lo says the Bible ♪

♪ Run, mourner, run ♪

♪ Lo is the way ♪

♪ Run, mourner, run ♪

♪ Lo says the Bible ♪

♪ Run, mourner, run ♪

♪ Lo is the way ♪

♪ There's praying here ♪

♪ There's praying there ♪

♪ I believe down in my soul ♪

♪ There's praying everywhere ♪

♪ Run, mourner, run ♪

♪ Lo says the Bible ♪

♪ Run, mourner, run ♪

♪ Lo is the way ♪

♪ Run, mourner, run ♪

♪ Lo says the Bible ♪

♪ Run, mourner, run ♪

♪ Lo is the way ♪

♪ There's shouting here ♪

♪ There's shouting there ♪

♪ I believe down in my soul ♪

♪ There's shouting everywhere ♪

♪ Run, mourner, run ♪

♪ Lo says the Bible ♪

♪ Run, mourner, run ♪

♪ Lo is the way ♪

♪ Run, mourner, run ♪

♪ Lo says the Bible ♪

♪ Run, mourner, run ♪

♪ Lo is the way ♪

♪ Run, mourner, run ♪

♪ Lo is the way ♪

- Given the establishment of the federal compounds,

those who had been enslaved

sought to forge their own freedom

by leaving their plantations and going to these camp sites.

In those sites, they look to union troops,

not just for freedom,

but for the ability to forge for themselves,

the lives that they knew within them,

despite everything that told them otherwise

that they were entitled to.

What they really, really, really sought

was the gift of education.

George White saw something extraordinary in the singers.

He heard something extraordinary in the singers.

It is perhaps a combination of spirituality

with a certain level of capitalistic spiritedness

that inclines him to believe

that this is something that would sell.

He's enthusiastic about the singing,

but the school is still going under,

despite him being the um kind of defacto music teacher.

Because of his um limited experience with music.

Um he's also the treasurer.

And that is his primary responsibility is to find a way

to fund this institution.

Fisk had been free.

The school's name, Fisk Free Colored School.

Um and how else could it have survived an era

in which formerly enslaved persons had no resources?

♪ Talk about a child ♪

♪ That do love Jesus ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Jesus, here is one ♪

♪ Talk about a child ♪

♪ That do love Jesus ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Talk about a child ♪

♪ That do love Jesus ♪

♪ Talk about a child ♪

♪ That do love Jesus ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Talk about a child ♪

♪ That's seekin' for a kingdom ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Talk about a child ♪

♪ That's seekin' for a kingdom ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Talk about a child ♪

♪ That's seekin' for a kingdom ♪

♪ Talk about a child ♪

♪ That's seekin' for a kingdom ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Here is one ♪

♪ Yes, here is one ♪

- When you were on stage together before the first song,

and we're all looking at each other, like I got you,

I'm with you, we got this, we got each other.

- I think it's so important that it's a generational thing.

There's always a new generation of singers.

However, we're still carrying on that same legacy.

- We all come from so many different backgrounds.

We've all had so many different experiences.

- It takes a lot of hard work, dedication and focus.

You have to be willing as an artist

and um ambassador of the school to be able to, you know,

set the time out and do what it takes

in order to do what you need do.

- Being a part of the history of Fisk

and the history of Tennessee

and really the history of America,

it is a big responsibility to hold up the legacy.

- It was during the first tour.

Um, of course, they started traveling

and there was no real name for the ensemble.

So they were called all kinds of things, all kinds of names.

When they got to Columbus, Ohio, George White it is said,

went in to pray and came back

and gave them the name, Jubilee Singers.

He took that word jubilee from the Bible,

Leviticus chapter 25,

which is in reference to the Jewish year of Liberty.

After every 50 years, freedom was given to people.

So he gave them the name, Jubilee Singers.

♪ Gonna lay down my sword and shield ♪

♪ Down by the riverside ♪

♪ Down by the riverside ♪

♪ Down by the riverside ♪

♪ Gonna lay down my sword and shield ♪

♪ Down by the riverside ♪

♪ To study war no more ♪

♪ I ain't gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ I ain't gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna lay down my warring shoes ♪

♪ Down by the riverside ♪

♪ Down by the riverside ♪

♪ Down by the riverside ♪

♪ Gonna lay down my warring shoes ♪

♪ Down by the riverside ♪

♪ To study war no more ♪

♪ I ain't gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ I ain't gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ gonna lay down my long white robe ♪

♪ Down by the riverside ♪

♪ Down by the riverside ♪

♪ Down by the riverside ♪

♪ Gonna lay down my long white robe ♪

♪ Down by the riverside ♪

♪ To study war no more ♪

♪ I ain't gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ I ain't gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ I ain't gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ I ain't gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

♪ Gonna study war no more ♪

The Negro spirituals contain messages

that still inspire us.

That help encourage us.

That help to build our faith.

Music was one of the elements connecting Africans

and African-Americans just because slaves came from

West Africa with their music, created the songs

that we sing.

Then interestingly, the Fisk Jubilee Singers

established this unique form of American music,

Negro spirituals.

They transformed it into concert um spirituals,

and then introduced the music to the world.

- We get to bond over these beautiful songs

that have been passed down from our ancestors.

- How important is the Negro spiritual

to the American culture even today?

Yes, we talk about other forms of music

being birthed out of the Negro spirituals.

We're talking the blues, country music, jazz, hip hop.

When I started teaching,

Um, I heard this a lot, that the negro spiritual

was a dying art.

But I found something beautiful in the Negro spiritual,

which I am always sharing with my students.

♪ The Lord bless you and keep you ♪

- When we sing, we sing to the glory of God.

We sing to make an impact on people's lives,

we really want to touch people's hearts.

♪ The Lord make his face to shine ♪

- We really put a lot of work into what we do

and what we sing about.

- It is in rehearsals that we dive into the music.

- Rehearsal is a place where it should just bring

a lot of peace to us in our minds, in our hearts.

- Students individually develop emotional attachment

to the songs, which of course helps them

to perform from the spirit and not from the head.

- Even individuals who come to our show for years

and they come back and still say, "I remember, years ago,

when you all sang, and this song touched me."

♪ Amen ♪

♪ Swing low, sweet chariot ♪

♪ Coming for to carry me home ♪

♪ Swing low, sweet chariot ♪

♪ Coming for to carry me home ♪

♪ Swing low, sweet chariot ♪

♪ Coming for to carry me home ♪

♪ Swing low, sweet chariot ♪

♪ Coming for to carry me home ♪

♪ I looked over Jordan ♪

♪ And what did I see ♪

♪ Coming for to carry me home ♪

♪ A band of angels coming after me ♪

♪ Coming for to carry me home ♪

♪ If you get there before I do ♪

♪ Coming for to carry me home ♪

♪ Tell all my friends I'm coming too ♪

♪ Coming for to carry me home ♪

♪ Sometimes I'm up, sometimes I'm down ♪

♪ Coming for to carry me home ♪

♪ But still my soul feels heavenly bound ♪

♪ Coming for to carry me home ♪

♪ Coming for to carry me home ♪

- On October 6th, 1871,

George White and nine of his students,

against the desires of the administration at that time

left Nashville.

♪ Will turn back ♪

♪ And will go, shall go ♪

♪ To see what the end will be ♪

- George White says to the Fisk faculty,

I'm gonna take them.

And everyone says, "You gotta be crazy."

♪ Oh I will go, I will go ♪

♪ I shall go, shall go ♪

♪ To see what the end will be ♪

You're setting out literally to take somebody's child

away from their home.

♪ Will surely get his just reward ♪

- He decided that he could travel around the United States

with a group of students whom he had trained

to sing Western classical music,

students who also helped him to collect and arrange

the Negro spirituals, and transformed them into

high art forms of music, concert spirituals.

♪ Refused to shine ♪

♪ Will go, shall go ♪

- When George White says,

"I am going to take them into a world

that could be the death of them."

Any reasonable person is gonna say (laughs) not my child.

♪ And will go and shall go ♪

♪ To see what the end will be ♪

Not only was he risking the school's everything

or his personal everything, he was risking their everything,

because it was their literal lives.

And he was risking the every thing of many more other people

whose hopes and dreams were attached to them,

to their survival, to their thriving,

to their educations, to their employability.

You know, there's a lot riding on this first generation

of black college students.

They are literally going into the unknown.

♪ All rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ Rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ All rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ My Lord says he's comin' by and by ♪

♪ All rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ Rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ All rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ My Lord says he's comin' by and by ♪

♪ This is the year of Jubilee ♪

♪ My Lord says he's comin' by and by ♪

♪ My Lord has set his people free ♪

♪ My Lord says he's comin' by and by ♪

♪ All rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ Rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ All rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ My Lord says he's comin' by and by ♪

♪ Intent to shout and never stop ♪

♪ My Lord says he's comin' by and by ♪

♪ Until I reach the mountain top ♪

♪ My Lord says he's comin' by and by ♪

♪ All rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ Rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ All rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ My Lord says he's comin' by and by ♪

♪ Wet or dry intent to try ♪

♪ My Lord says he's comin' by and by ♪

♪ To serve the Lord until I die ♪

♪ My Lord says he's comin' by and by ♪

♪ All rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ Rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ All rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ My Lord says he's comin' by and by ♪

♪ All rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ Rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ All rise, shine, for the light is a-comin' ♪

♪ My Lord says ♪

♪ He's comin' by and by ♪

- I, Minnie Tate,

was born in Nashville, Tennessee, 1857.

My mother's mother, well, she was given her freedom

while living in Mississippi.

After their freedom was granted,

my family decided to move up north to Ohio,

the land of freedom.

But while traveling by foot,

they stopped and worked at different places

in order to earn money.

That is until they reached the German settlement

in the state of Tennessee.

Good treatment in that settlement caused them to stop there.

My mother went to school with white children

and she moved to Nashville where I was born.

My mother taught me my first lessons

before I entered Fisk University,

where I became none other than a Fisk Jubilee Singer.

- I was born in Fire County, Tennessee

on September 19th, 1848.

I was one of the 23 children.

My father was a slave and belonged

to the richest man in the county.

His master m-moved to Memphis and remained there

'til three months 'fore the Union Army captured the city.

My brother and I moved to Macon, Georgia,

then to Selma, Alabama.

This caused us to be separated from my family.

We later moved to Indianapolis, Indiana,

where I worked in a restaurant in a hotel

earning $40 a month.

In 1866, we moved to Memphis

and reconnected with our family.

I was very interested receiving formal education

and with $50 in my possession, I enrolled at Fisk.

During the holidays I worked and earned money

to maintain my studies where I later joined

the Fisk Jubilee Singers.

♪ Steal away ♪

♪ Steal away ♪

♪ Steal away to Jesus ♪

♪ Steal away ♪

♪ Steal away home ♪

♪ I ain't got long ♪

♪ To stay here ♪

♪ Steal away ♪

♪ Steal away ♪

♪ Steal away to Jesus ♪

♪ Steal away ♪

♪ Steal away home ♪

♪ I ain't got long ♪

♪ To stay here ♪

♪ My Lord calls me ♪

♪ He calls me by the thunder ♪

♪ The trumpet sounds within my soul ♪

♪ I ain't got long ♪

♪ To stay here ♪

♪ Steal away ♪

♪ Steal away ♪

♪ Steal away to Jesus ♪

♪ Steal away ♪

♪ Steal away home ♪

♪ I ain't got long ♪

♪ To stay here ♪

- I was born on July 15th, 1850 in Whitfield, Virginia.

My father, he was sold when I was a little boy.

And my mother, she died when I was five.

My master, he took care of me,

but he left upon the arrival of the Yankees.

I moved to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

I worked in a hotel and then in a Jewish store.

My master's little son, he taught me my letters.

I then became a cook for a mission family

and out of the kindness of their hearts,

they allowed me to attend school.

I entered the Fisk School in 1867.

Lack of money caused me to leave Fisk

and teach in the Davidson County school system.

But after several threats and no pay,

I return to Fisk where Mr. White utilized my talents

and cast me and the cantata "Esther".

I was a Fisk Jubilee Singer.

I am Isaac Dickerson.

- I am Jennie Jackson.

My grandfather was the slave and body servant

of General Andrew Jackson, President of the United States.

General Jackson made it possible for my grandfather

to be set free.

But while living in slavery,

a trustee in Kingston, Tennessee duped my family

out of its inheritance.

Mother was a laundress and I was able to help her

in her business.

I worked and I saved money in order to go to school.

Oh, but in 1866, I entered the Fisk School.

Where Mr. White utilized my talents

with the Fisk Jubilee Singers.

When my mother became ill and could no longer work,

Professor White paid my tuition.

♪ The gospel train is coming ♪

♪ I hear it just at hand ♪

♪ I hear those car wheels moving ♪

♪ And rumbling through the land ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ For there's room for many more ♪

♪ Oh get on board children ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ For there's room for many a more ♪

♪ She's nearing now the station ♪

♪ Oh sinner don't be vain ♪

♪ Just come and get your ticket ♪

♪ And be ready for the train ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ For there's room for many a more ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ For there's room for many a more ♪

♪ The fare is cheap and all can go ♪

♪ The rich and poor are there ♪

♪ No second class aboard this train ♪

♪ No difference in the fare ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ For there's room for many a more ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ Get on board children ♪

♪ For there's room for many a more ♪

- I was born February 24th, 1853

in Lebanon, Tennessee.

My master was Mr. Henry Frazier.

He left when he heard the Yankees were coming to Lebanon.

And my mother and I were left behind.

At the age of 12, I, Maggie Porter,

enrolled in the Daniel Watkins School.

And after one month moved to the McKee School.

In 1866, I was one of 300 students

to enroll in the Fisk School when it opened January 9th.

And Mr. White chose me

as one of the first Fisk Jubilee Singers

to go out and raise money for the school.

- Although my father was a slave,

he was able to secure his freedom.

He tried to secure my mother's, but was unsuccessful.

My father was able to secure my freedom,

remarried and we moved to Cincinnati, Ohio

to start life anew.

There my father was able to secure

and pay for my piano lessons,

even though I had to climb back steps at night to do so.

My father soon died.

His death was sudden,

and this left my stepmother and me alone.

It was then I met Mr. J.P. Ball and he arranged

and paid for my voice lessons for a little while.

I moved to Gallatin, Tennessee and worked as a teacher.

Later, I attended the Fisk School

where Professor White utilize my skills at arranging music

and at the piano.

I, Ella Shepherd, became a Fisk Jubilee singer

and was considered the mother of the group.

♪ Brother have you come ♪

♪ To show me the way ♪

♪ Brother have you come ♪

♪ To show me the way ♪

♪ Show me the way ♪

♪ How to watch and pray ♪

♪ Sister have you come ♪

♪ To show me the way ♪

♪ Sister have you come ♪

♪ To show me the way ♪

♪ Show me the way ♪

♪ How to watch and pray ♪

♪ Yes, my good Lord ♪

♪ Do show me the way ♪

♪ Yes, my good Lord ♪

♪ Do show me the way ♪

♪ Show me the way ♪

♪ How to watch and pray ♪

- I was probably born in the woods.

Two weeks after my father was sold

in Wilson County, Tennessee in 1854.

Mother did all she could to leave the plantation.

She often ran into the forests,

but the bloodhounds found her.

She was severely punished.

Mother was finally sold.

And my last memory of her was when she kissed me goodbye

at the age of two or three.

I was the only member of my family that was left behind

and kept in the big house during the day

to entertain the children.

I worked as a waiter and then as a cook

until the Emancipation Proclamation.

When I gained my freedom, I went to Nashville to my sister

and she taught me my letters.

I entered Fisk and was chosen to be

one of the first Fisk Jubilee Singers

who toured and raise funds for the university.

Oh yes!

My sister also told me my name.

I am Thomas Rutland.

- I was probably the father of the group

since I was the oldest,

having been born in 1846 or 1848

in Charleston, South Carolina.

In 1853, I was bound as an apprentice to Mr. Weston,

a colored tailor while I was so small that

I could hardly see over the bench.

I would begin to read letters and signs on doors

while I carried bundles of clothes.

I even learned how to write by studying the writings

in the measurement book in the store.

And by 1860 I would begin reading papers.

My having been sent to Chattanooga was providential.

Perhaps, for I took over a business

and became the first colored administrator of an estate

in the state of Tennessee.

In 1868 I entered Fisk and began at the beginning levels.

But within a month was advanced to the high school.

I taught school in Davidson County to pay my tuition,

but unfortunately I, Benjamin Holmes,

was unable to complete my studies

because of touring with the Fisk Jubilee Singers.

♪ I'm a-rollin', I'm a-rollin' ♪

♪ I'm a-rollin' through an unfriendly world ♪

♪ I'm a-rollin', I'm a-rollin' ♪

♪ Through an unfriendly world ♪

♪ Oh, brothers, won't you help me ♪

♪ Oh, brothers, won't you help me to pray ♪

♪ Oh, brothers, won't you help me ♪

♪ Won't you help me in the service of the Lord ♪

♪ I'm a-rollin', I'm a-rollin' ♪

♪ I'm a-rollin' through an unfriendly world ♪

♪ I'm a-rollin', I'm a-rollin' ♪

♪ Through an unfriendly world ♪

♪ Oh, sisters, won't you help me ♪

♪ Oh, sisters, won't you help me to pray ♪

♪ Oh, sisters, won't you help me ♪

♪ Won't you help me in the service of the Lord ♪

♪ I'm a-rollin', I'm a-rollin' ♪

♪ I'm a-rollin', through an unfriendly world ♪

♪ I'm a-rollin', I'm a-rollin' ♪

♪ Through an unfriendly world ♪

♪ Oh, preachers, won't you help me ♪

♪ Oh, preachers, won't you help me to pray ♪

♪ Oh, preachers, won't you help me ♪

♪ Won't you help me in the service of the Lord ♪

♪ I'm a-rollin', I'm a-rollin' ♪

♪ I'm a-rollin', through an unfriendly world ♪

♪ I'm a-rollin', I'm a-rollin' ♪

♪ Through an unfriendly world ♪

- I was born into slavery on March 1st, 1857.

My mother belonged to Wesley Greenfield,

while my father was owned by John W. Walker.

I was the next to youngest in the family.

And when my mother was freed,

she took my other siblings and left me with my father.

But after the war Father had enough money

to where he could buy an ice house.

And then he saved enough to where we could have

our very own house.

But problems with the lease caused us to lose that house.

And in 1866, at the age of 13,

I entered the Fisk School

and joined the Fisk Jubilee Singers.

I am Eliza Walker.

♪ Oh reign, oh reign, oh reign my savior ♪

♪ Reign, Master Jesus, reign ♪

♪ Oh, reign salvation in my poor soul ♪

♪ Reign, Master Jesus, reign ♪

♪ Oh reign, oh reign, oh reign my savior ♪

♪ Reign, Master Jesus, reign ♪

♪ Oh, reign salvation in my poor soul ♪

♪ Reign, Master Jesus, reign ♪

♪ I'll tell you now as I told you before ♪

♪ Reign, Master Jesus, reign ♪

♪ To the promised land I'm a bound to go ♪

♪ Reign, Master Jesus, reign ♪

♪ Oh reign, oh reign, oh reign my savior ♪

♪ Reign, Master Jesus, reign ♪

♪ Oh, reign salvation in my poor soul ♪

♪ Reign, Master Jesus, reign ♪

♪ I never felt such love before ♪

♪ Reign, Master Jesus, reign ♪

♪ Saying go in peace and sin no more ♪

♪ Reign, Master Jesus, reign ♪

♪ Oh reign, oh reign, oh reign my savior ♪

♪ Reign, Master Jesus, reign ♪

♪ Oh, reign salvation in my poor soul ♪

♪ Reign, Master Jesus, reign ♪

- I became the director of the ensemble in 1994.

- Dr. Kwami was a student and a Jubilee Singer

at the same time that my mother was a student

and a Jubilee Singer.

So they were both in Jubilee Singers together.

- Having her daughter as a member of the ensemble now

makes me see her as one of my own children

that I am now teaching to help carry on this tradition.

- I kinda just think that having him,

having that personal connection of being a Jubilee Singer

allows him to put himself in the place as us a lotta times.

- If I were to speak in today's language,

when I have young people like Kristen to teach,

that is very fulfilling for me.

To keep going, whatever the case may be.

(gentle music)

It helps me to see this particular student

and others of that same age group

an opportunity for me to pass on to them

this wonderful legacy.

♪ Oo ♪

♪ I've got a robe, you've got a robe ♪

♪ All of God's children got a robe ♪

♪ When I get to heaven goin' to put on my robe ♪

♪ Gonna shout all over God's heaven ♪

♪ Heaven, heaven ♪

♪ Everybody talking 'bout heaven ain't goin' there ♪

♪ Heaven, heaven ♪

♪ Gonna shout all over God's heaven ♪

♪ I've got a shoes, you've got a shoes ♪

♪ All of God's children got a shoes ♪

♪ When I get to heaven gonna put on my shoes ♪

♪ Gonna walk all over God's heaven ♪

♪ Yes, heaven ♪

♪ Yes, heaven ♪

♪ Everybody talking 'bout heaven ain't goin' there ♪

♪ Heaven, yes, heaven ♪

♪ Gonna shout all over God's heaven ♪

♪ I got a harp, you got a harp ♪

♪ All of God's children got a harp ♪

♪ When I get to heaven gonna play on my harp ♪

♪ Gonna play all over God's heaven ♪

♪ Heaven, heaven, heaven, heaven ♪

♪ On my ♪

♪ Everybody talking 'bout ♪

♪ Heaven ain't goin' there ♪

♪ Heaven, yes, heaven ♪

♪ Gonna shout all over God's heaven ♪

♪ Oo ♪

- One president said at one time that Fisk Jubilee Singers

are first of all, students.

They will not graduate as Fisk Jubilee Singers.

- Juggling so many different things,

being a Fisk Jubilee Singer, a full-time student,

having a job, being in different organizations,

leadership positions, it-it can be daunting.

- Even though there's obstacles, I keep getting stronger.

And it doesn't deter me from what my main goal is

when I entered Fisk, which is to get this degree.

- While here, even though they're members of the ensemble,

their academic work has priority over our travel

and o-over all our performances.

- Being that I'm a dual major, doing two different majors,

just being on top of that,

but also I'm a Fisk Jubilee Singer and we travel.

So being that we travel, we don't play about our grades.

We have to have those grades up

and make sure that we maintain those.

- Um, I'm a biology major. (laughs)

- I'm a biochemistry and molecular biology major.

- It's-it's difficult at times.

Organic chemistry is not for the weak.

- That's the struggle within itself.

- That's why I love being a part of this group

because when I come from doing stoichiometric equations

and um a-a failed lab, I get to come to the music building

and sing and breathe and-and live through the music.

♪ Oh Mary, oh Martha ♪

♪ Oh Mary, ring them bells ♪

♪ Oh Mary, oh Martha ♪

♪ Oh Mary ring them bells ♪

♪ I hear archangels a rocking Jerusalem ♪

♪ I hear archangels a ringing them bells ♪

♪ I hear archangels a rocking Jerusalem ♪

♪ I hear archangels a ringing them bells ♪

♪ Church getting higher, rocking Jerusalem ♪

♪ Church getting higher, ringing them bells ♪

♪ Church getting higher, rocking Jerusalem ♪

♪ Church getting higher, ringing them bells ♪

♪ Oh Mary, oh Martha ♪

♪ Oh Mary, ring them bells ♪

♪ Oh Mary, oh Martha ♪

♪ Oh Mary, ring them bells ♪

♪ I hear archangels a rocking Jerusalem ♪

♪ I hear archangels a ringing them bells ♪

♪ I hear archangels a rocking Jerusalem ♪

♪ I hear archangels a ringing them bells ♪

♪ New Jerusalem, rockin' Jerusalem ♪

♪ New Jerusalem, ringing them bells ♪

♪ New Jerusalem, rockin' Jerusalem ♪

♪ New ♪

♪ Jerusalem ♪

♪ Ringing them bells ♪

♪ Oh Mary, oh Martha ♪

♪ Oh Mary, ring them bells ♪

♪ Oh Mary, oh Martha ♪

♪ Oh Mary, ring them bells ♪

♪ I hear archangels a rocking Jerusalem ♪

♪ I hear archangels a ringing them bells ♪

♪ I hear archangels a rocking Jerusalem ♪

♪ I hear archangels a ringing ♪

♪ Them bells ♪

- Imagine two slaves chained together.

One has the left foot

chained to the right foot of the other.

Then they have to walk together.

I immediately saw it as unity.

For people to be able to walk together

there has to be love.

Even when they are tired,

or if they're, if they're walking together

and running into the, into adverse situations,

they will always help each other.

- The connection that we have on stage together

is something...

And I've been, I've been in choirs since high school,

is something that I had never experienced

before becoming a Fisk Jubilee Singer.

Dr. Kwami has us create

such a familial bond with each other.

When we're on stage there's no room for nervousness

because all there is is love for each other.

- When I first came in, I was very shy,

closed in, antisocial.

When I found the courage to actually audition

for the Jubilee Singers and step out of my comfort zone,

you know, I got to meet new people

who have become friends after all these years.

It's just been wonderful to be a part of this.

♪ And rumbling through the land ♪

It's very euphoric experience.

That's the most joyous thing.

♪ Children get on board ♪

- We took a song that was created

during the time of slavery,

we take that same message.

If we, as a choral ensemble, cannot walk in love,

it will affect the way we perform.

- It's important to know what our people went through

in order to truly appreciate where we are today,

even though there's still, still more road to walk.

♪ There's room for many a more ♪

- [Man] Cut.

♪ There's a great camp meeting ♪

♪ There's a great camp meeting ♪

♪ Oh a great camp meeting in the promised land ♪

♪ Walk together children ♪

♪ Don't you get weary ♪

♪ Walk on my children ♪

♪ Don't you get a weary ♪

♪ Just a walk together children ♪

♪ Don't you get weary ♪

♪ There's a great camp meeting in the promised land ♪

♪ Oh walk together, children ♪

♪ Don't you get weary ♪

♪ Walk on my children ♪

♪ Don't you get weary ♪

♪ Just a walk together children ♪

♪ Don't you get weary ♪

♪ There's a great camp meeting in the promised land ♪

♪ Gonna walk and never tire ♪

♪ Walk and never tire ♪

♪ Walk and never tire ♪

♪ Walk and never tire ♪

♪ Walk and never tire ♪

♪ Walk and never tire ♪

♪ There's a great camp meeting in the promised land ♪

♪ Oh walk together children ♪

♪ Don't you get weary ♪

♪ Walk on my children ♪

♪ Don't you get a weary ♪

♪ Just a walk together children ♪

♪ Don't you get weary ♪

♪ There's a great camp meeting in the promised land ♪

♪ Gonna sing, gonna sing and never tire ♪

♪ Sing and never tire ♪

♪ Sing and never tire, sing and never tire ♪

♪ Sing and never tire, sing and never tire ♪

♪ There's a great camp meeting in the promised land ♪

♪ Oh walk together children ♪

♪ Don't you get weary ♪

♪ Walk on my children ♪

♪ Don't you get a weary ♪

♪ Just a walk together children ♪

♪ There's a great camp meeting in the promised land ♪

♪ Gonna shout, gonna shout and never tire ♪

♪ Shout and never tire ♪

♪ Shout and never tire, shout and never tire ♪

♪ Shout and never tire, shout and never tire ♪

♪ There's a great camp meeting in the promised land ♪

♪ Oh walk together children ♪

♪ Don't you get weary ♪

♪ Sing all my children ♪

♪ Don't you get a weary ♪

♪ Just a shout together children ♪

♪ Don't you get weary ♪

♪ There's a great camp meeting ♪

♪ Great camp meeting ♪

♪ Great camp meeting ♪

♪ In the promised... ♪

♪ Land ♪

♪ Oh rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham ♪

♪ Rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham ♪

♪ Rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham ♪

♪ Oh Lord, rock my soul ♪

♪ Oh rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham ♪

♪ Rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham ♪

♪ Rock my soul in the bosom of Abraham ♪

♪ Oh Lord, rock my soul ♪

♪ Well poor man Lazarus ♪

♪ Praise King Jesus ♪

♪ As poor as I ♪

♪ Why don't you praise the Lord ♪

♪ But when he died ♪

♪ Praise King Jesus ♪

♪ He had a home on high ♪

♪ Why don't you praise the Lord ♪

♪ He said see yonder, son, see ♪

♪ How steady he runs ♪

♪ Don't let him catch you with your work undone ♪

♪ Poor man Lazarus as poor as I ♪

♪ When he died he had a home on high ♪

STREAM WALK TOGETHER CHILDREN: THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FISK JUBILEE SINGERS ON

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