RT Book, Whole DB /z-wcorg/ DS http://worldcat.org ID 43386534 LA English T1 Dark midnight when I rise : the story of the Jubilee Singers, who introduced the world to the music of Black America A1 Ward, Andrew,, PB Farrar, Straus, and Giroux PP New York YR 2000 SN 0374187711 9780374187712 AB "Dark Midnight When I Rise tells the story of a troupe of young ex-slaves and freedmen whose odyssey from cotton field and auction block to concert stage and throne room is one of the most remarkable trajectories in American history. Singing the sacred hymns of their ancestors, the Fisk Jubilee Singers introduced the world to African American music. They enchanted such luminaries as Ulysses S. Grant, Frederick Douglass, Mark Twain, Queen Victoria, and Prime Minister William Gladstone, and demonstrated to millions of white Americans and Europeans the courage, dignity, and intelligence of African Americans." "The Jubilees introduced scores of spirituals, from "Steal Away" to "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," with such soulful artistry they moved throngs to tears. But their contribution extended beyond their music. Forced to do daily battle with American racism in the dark midnight of Reconstruction, they bravely denounced segregation from choir lofts and concert stages, forcing the issue of discrimination onto the world's front pages. In their wake, Northern hotels, railroads, and schools opened their doors to blacks." "Their success came at great cost. The eloquent Benjamin Holmes, who had taught himself to read as a slave, died of tuberculosis. Pious Julia Jackson, who as a small girl had helped her relatives escape from bondage, suffered a paralytic stroke. Frail, stalwart Ella Sheppard, the matriarch of the Jubilees, nearly died of pneumonia after seven years of unceasing toil. As they struggled to overcome exploitation and prejudice, the Jubilees transformed American music forever, foreshadowing the triumphs and travails of thousands of black performers." "Based on the singers' own letters, memoirs, and diaries, Dark Midnight When I Rise is a deeply moving testament to the inherent decency of all men and women, and the power of art to change the heart of a nation."--Jacket.